Louisville football and those defensive cliffhangers

Admit it. One was certain if North Carolina State had scored on that fourth and five with 50 seconds to go, the Wolfpack would have been back in teh red zone a couple plays later.

Familiar script. Onside kick, couple of pass plays, back in the red zone. Similar to scary endings in all the University of Louisville football team’s wins in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season.

Except that this UofL defense, which has given up a ton of yards in the final two minutes of, would somehow bat the football away. Specifically, Louisville’s Chandler Jones denying NC State’s Emeka Emezie the ball in the end zone. Giving UofL a 34-20 victory.

The UofL defense has had more than its share of challenges this season, worn out, hanging on for dear life at times, seemingly needing a break to survive. But anyone who kn0ws football, who saw them give up so many times last season, knows that the group has made gigantic strides this year.

All suspense has taken a toll on Louisville football fans. More importantly, however, the defensive unit is learning as it goes, getting smarter if not stronger, somehow overcoming a serious lack of depth. Competing until the very end.

Coach Scott Satterfield has been successful in vastly improving UofL’s won-lost record at 6-4 and the Cardinals eligible for a post season bowl selection. In the process, he is building a strong foundation for success next season and beyond.

But for now, the last-second histrionics will continue to be the norm..

 

Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.