—Spread check according to DraftKings Sportsbook: Central Florida by 6.5.
—The CJ’s Alexis Cubit has three takeaways from Louisville’s collapse against ‘Cuse.
—Eric Crawford assesses the damage after Saturday night’s debacle. Spoiler: It’s substantial.
Consider: It was a 31-point loss at Syracuse that was the final straw that earned Bobby Petrino his $14 million pink slip. On Saturday night, Louisville lost by 24. And there were no excuses, no injuries, no adversity, just noise.
Consider: It was a more lopsided loss than the team suffered in last season’s opener against Ole Miss, a 19-point setback on a neutral field. And it came to a team the Cardinals had outscored 71-3 in the past 2 meetings.
How has Louisville’s stock dropped? Consider: Louisville players launched the “Derby City NIL Club” football collective two Saturdays ago with the published goal of raising $50,000 per month. As of Sunday morning, the new goal is $2,500 per month, with $455 pledged. That’s not even enough money for a ride home.
None of this bodes well for Scott Satterfield or his Louisville program. The momentum and positive vibes built in the offseason were drowned out by the jubilant cheers of 37,110 fans in the JMA Wireless Dome.
Syracuse revamped itself in the offseason. And from all initial appearances, Louisville did not. Matt Hasselbeck, the ACC Network analyst, made an astute first-half observation.
“Lance Thomas is the new offensive coordinator,” he said. “But this is still Satterfield’s offense.”
—Want some more positive news on this Tuesday? Louisville las lost nine of its last 11 road games, while Central Florida has won eight straight at home and has been unbeaten at home in four of its last five seasons.
—The unbeaten Louisville men’s soccer team hits the road tonight to take on Kentucky in Lexington. The Cards have dropped two straight to the Cats. Here’s a preview.
—Look, look, there’s more than enough bad to go around here.
A lot of focus on Malik Cunningham's struggles on Saturday, but the Louisville defense missed 15 tackles against Syracuse.— Bryan Ives (@awaytoworthy) September 6, 2022
That is the third-most missed tackles by any team in a game this season.
—Matt McGavic of Louisville Report has the Cards at No. 10 in his week two ACC power rankings.
—It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the folks over at Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician are feeling awfully optimistic after Saturday night’s beatdown.
—The fellas also have three takeaways from the Orange win.
—The easiest route to weekly awards once again appears to be games against Louisville.
Highest graded Quarterbacks against the blitz from Week 1:— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 5, 2022
Garrett Shrader: 97.3
Spencer Sanders: 90.2
C.J. Stroud: 89.2 pic.twitter.com/kn4anoHEt2
—Scott Satterfield jumps from No. 26 to No. 10 in the latest coaches hot seat rankings.
—After a weekend loss to No. 8 Ohio State, the Louisville volleyball team is down two spots to No. in this week’s coaches poll.
—RIP to former Kentucky football coach Guy Morris, who passed away after a five-year bout with Alzheimer’s Disease.
—According to the S&P metrics, Louisville had the third most disappointing offensive performance of week one.
Here are the offenses that underachieved projections (and the defenses that overachieved) the most.
1. Iowa (vs. South Dakota State): -25.9 (32.9 projected points, seven actual points)
2. Temple (vs. Duke): -25.4 (25.4 projected, zero actual)
3. Louisville (vs. Syracuse): -22.5 (29.5 projected, seven actual)
4. Navy (vs. Delaware): -22.1 (29.1 projected, seven actual)
5. MTSU (vs. JMU): -19.2 (26.2 projected, seven actual)
Any list that didn’t start with Iowa would have seemed sketchy, but let’s focus on Louisville. We might soon find out that Syracuse is on its way to a nice rebound season: The defense jumped from 97th to 54th in defensive SP+ last season and returned quite a bit of experience, and coach Dino Babers brought in former Virginia tag team Robert Anae (coordinator) and Jason Beck (QBs coach) to fix Garrett Shrader and the Orange’s offense. For all we know, it worked.
But we’ve seen far too much potential from quarterback Malik Cunningham and the Louisville offense to accept a performance like this. Cunningham threw two interceptions and took three sacks, and while the Cardinals did average 6.2 yards per play and drive into Orange territory on five of nine drives — more often than not, they turn that into far more than seven points — the glitches were still damning.
Confidence meter: 4 out of 10. The Cardinals’ next two opponents (UCF and Florida State) were both projected higher than Syracuse this year. The Syracuse game might end up a reality check or might end up a harbinger of doom.
—Four-star class of 2023 hoops standout George Washington III, who previously played high school ball at Christian Academy of Louisville, has decommitted from Ohio State. U of L is among the schools that have been in contact with him since.
—The undefeated Cardinal field hockey team is up to No. 5 in the country after weekend wins over Penn and No. 13 Princeton.
—The Philadelphia Enquirer says buy low on Louisville football.
—Jaire deserved better.
Jaire Alexander bet me 20 push-ups on Syracuse-Louisville last week.— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) September 5, 2022
Syracuse dog walked them 31-7 on Saturday.
Saw me on his way back in from Packers picture day and immediately dropped down. Man of his word. pic.twitter.com/nnjK56RYMP
—Here’s the Syracuse student newspaper’s write-up on the 31-7 Orange win.
—Scott Satterfield wants to hit the “reset” button going into week two, but Eric Crawford knows it’s going to take more than that to win back the fan base.
—Syracuse committed the second-most penalties of any opponent in the history of Louisville football ... and the Cards still lost by 24.
—Make me feel better, Jae’Lyn.
—The worst case scenario for Louisville football — the one we spent all offseason pretending didn’t expect — has now arrived.
—JP Acosta looks at the winners and losers from the first weekend of college football.
—TNIAAM dives into Syracuse’s first down offense against Louisville.
—Isaiah Miranda is a 7’1 dude who can do this.
He has Louisville on his final list of schools and has an official visit to U of L coming up.
— Louisville’s Katie Schneider has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Field Hockey Co-Offensive Player of the Week.
—It shouldn’t surprise anyone that “revenge” is the theme of the week for UCF.
—Not the types of things you want to hear after the first game of the season.
Cunningham credited the Syracuse fans for creating a loud atmosphere inside the JMA Wireless Dome and an Orange defense that showed alignments not seen during game film prep for making things difficult on its trip into the red zone, but he added that it came down to the offense not getting it done.
“We just didn’t execute,” he said.
Louisville couldn’t match the energy and determination of Syracuse.
“They took away our big plays,” Cunningham said. “They played harder than us. They wanted it more. Just have to give it to those guys.”
Louisville will need to find a way to overcome the disappointment quickly. The Cardinals have a short week before traveling to face UCF on Friday night.
“I’m lost for words honestly,” Cunningham said. “I just got to play better. We all got to play better.”
—The depth charts for Louisville and UCF are out.
—The Athletics looks at the potential for the expanded College Football Playoff to be here as soon as 2024.
—The U of L women’s soccer team played James Madison to a 0-0 draw on Sunday.
—This isn’t making anyone feel better.
Scott Satterfield: "We have to match the intensity, energy and physicality of the football game." pic.twitter.com/X0lS6H5lJy— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) September 6, 2022
Satterfield on the tackling issues surprising him: "I was just disappointed that we didn't make those plays. And those guys are capable of making those plays. They've made them in the past." pic.twitter.com/UOVcjGej7V— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) September 6, 2022
Lance Taylor: "Our guys played hard. I think we played physical. I think like Coach Satt just mentioned, we didn't always match their intensity and continue to keep that throughout the game." He follows later by mentioning Syracuse's environment affected guys. pic.twitter.com/YFjvaKDowl— Tyler Greever (@Tyler_Greever) September 6, 2022
Toss in some quotes about how impressed they were with the way the guys have bounced back at practice and everything about Tuesday afternoon felt like we were back in 2018 again.
—The Athletic’s Matt Fortuna dives into the storyline that will not go away.
3) Keep an eye on Louisville and Purdue
As the Bronx cheers rained down from the Ross-Ade Stadium stands after Purdue finally ran the ball following 12 straight pass plays Thursday, and as Louisville looked lifeless in its loss at Syracuse on Saturday night, it became easier and easier to put two and two together.
Boilermakers coach Jeff Brohm will always be linked to Louisville, his hometown and alma mater. He is from the first family of football in the Derby City, and Brohm himself came close to leaving the Boilers for the Cardinals in 2018.
Ultimately, Brohm said no and Scott Satterfield came in. The Cards were a hit in 2019, going 8-5 as Satterfield won ACC coach of the year honors, but they have gone 10-15 since. The fact that Louisville has a new athletic director in Josh Heird doesn’t help Satterfield’s public perception, either, despite all indications being that the AD and coach have a good working relationship.
Still: 31-7? To Syracuse? We get that the Carrier — er, JMA Wireless — Dome can be a tricky place to play, but Louisville had all offseason to prepare for the Orange, who are tied with Duke and Georgia Tech for the longest active bowl-less streak in the ACC (2018).
Brohm stoked the fires in May with his comments at a local speaking engagement, saying “I love this town, this area. I’m an alumnus of Louisville. So anything can happen in the future.”
That he made those remarks after a nine-win season — Purdue’s best since 2003 — was telling in its own right. Frankly, so, too, was the Purdue fan base giving its team a mock cheer in the fourth quarter of a game in which the Boilers were on the brink of pulling off an upset.
Purdue let Penn State off the hook in the opener, as a program that ranked last in rushing in the Big Ten in each of the past three seasons completely abandoned the run late, throwing it 14 times on 15 plays across its final two possessions, leaving the Nittany Lions enough time to come back and win.
Ironically enough, Purdue plays at Syracuse in two weeks. A Boilers win there would only indirectly put more heat on Satterfield, who, to his credit, has handled the outside speculation extremely well.
But, like Brohm at Purdue, Satterfield has a much-hyped sixth-year quarterback leading the team. He needs Malik Cunningham to play better, and soon. Or else this conversation is only going to pick up steam the rest of the season.
—Cardinal Authority has a Q&A with new Louisville men’s basketball strength and conditioning coach Adam Petway.
—And finally, the Mike Rutherford Show returns this afternoon from 3-6 on 1450/96.1 The Big X. You know what we’re talking about. You can stream the show here.