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Louisville falls short to Florida State, 35-31

This game felt familiar

NCAA Football: Florida State at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Louisville has a strong showing in the first half, but their lead isn’t as big as it should be due to their own mistakes. This comes back to bite them in the second half as they lose a close one.

I know I’m not the only one who is sick and tired of watching this same episode on repeat for the last three seasons.

This was a big game. One that can, and will likely, set the trajectory of the season. Win, and the fans are back in your corner and the 7-8 win season you were planning on is in reach. Lose, and the fans start looking for a way out again. This was as close to a must win as they come in week 3 of a season, and the same shortcomings that have plagued this staff and program the last three seasons returned.

While everyone hated to see Jordan Travis leave the field towards the end of the first half, I’d be lying if I wasn’t a little relieved as he’d been stellar for most of his game with the exception of his lone interception. It was time for the defense to feast as they did last week. And when Rodemaker came in many UofL fans were thinking that the FSU offense would struggle, but they ended up out scoring the Travis-led offense.

There are so many things one can point to that ultimately caused Louisville to lose this game. There were poor decisions in the kick/punt return games, there were predictable and uninspiring calls once again on offense, there were back breaking penalties on both sides of the ball, and the list goes on. But the constant is this staff. I felt like I was watching the same horror film for the billionth time, even though I was somehow dumb enough to believe it might end differently this time.

Im sure there will be a lot of opinions as to when the game was finally lost for good, but for me I can’t get past the eerie and unsettling feeling that came after th Cards kicked a field goal to take the lead, 31-28, with 11:51 in the fourth quarter.

The crowd that had been loud and raucous all game went quiet. The energy went out of the building. And everyone prepared for the worst.

Think about that. With the lead, plenty of time left, and FSU’s best player out of the game, the entire stadium had already lost hope.

That’s a fanbase that’s become all too familiar with what to expect from their current coaching staff.

I know there are plenty of haters, but I genuinely believe that the majority of fans want Scott Satterfield to be successful at Louisville. We’ve made an awful lot of excuses for him and we keep moving the goal posts for this guy. There are so many times in his stint at Louisville where we’ve said “just do this,” and he’s fallen short.

Every time you think he and his staff, particularly Bryan Brown, have turned a corner, they revert right back to their old ways. It’s what makes them so frustrating. You never know which version of them you’re going to get and the outcomes are often infuriating. We’re all just along for the roller coaster of nonstop highs and lows.

Like the Syracuse game, there’s a lot to digest and a lot to parse through in order to understand whatever the hell just happened. But tonight I think the main thing on everyone’s mind is that they’re tired of doing this.

They're tired of making excuses for the “nice guys” in charge of the program. They’re tired of seeing the same flawed philosophies hold this program back. They’re tired of being ready to fire the coach one week and ready to root them on the next.

For a program that’s had a lot of proud moments in their quick ascension through the ranks of college football, I think at this moment fans just want something they know they can believe in and something they can see growth in. The rollercoaster that Scott Satterfield has us on right low certainly is not that, and I’m not sure there’s much faith in what lies ahead.

After the Syracuse loss in week one I wrote about how scared I was that the fanbase’s overall feeling was apathetic. But tonight it bothered me even more how the fanbase was so desperate to have fun and get behind the team only for them to lose all hope when we had the lead with 11:51 to go in the game.
Thats what bothers me most. I want to feel like we always have a chance to win. I want the fun that the fans were having in the first half to stay. But more than anything I want a coaching staff I can believe in.

I guess we’ll see what happens over the next nine game, but I’m not going to make the mistake of thinking this movie ends differently again.