The University of Louisville football team got back to practice Monday, with Coach Scott Satterfield again reminding his team to finish strong. No half-ass effort acceptable.
Last season the Cardinals lost four close games — Wake Forest, Virginia, Clemson, North Carolina State and Air Force. Those narrow losses kept Louisville from having a great season to average.
“To know that we are close, I think it gave our guys a little bit of a confidence to know that we can compete with anybody in this (Atlantic Coast Conference) with anybody in this league,” said Satterfield.
The Cards were in most every game last season. A last second interception for a touchdown provided an early season win over Central Florida. A total of 17 starters return gives the Cardinals optimism for this team. It won’t be easy in a loaded ACC. But that doesn’t deter quarterback Malik Cunningham. He wants more and more victories.
“This season I want 10 wins for sure,” said Cunningham. “Just being consistent. That’s the biggest thing coach Sat has been preaching to me and all the other coaches.”
Cunningham put up big numbers last season completing over 60 percent of his passes and was responsible for 39 touchdowns. The eenior had only six interceptions. “I feel like I am a lot more patient,” he said. “That just goes back to the guys upfront and having confidence in them. They’ve been around me for three years, and we’re to make this thing work this year.”
The offensive line should be a strengthen for the Cardinals. Caleb Chandler is a second team All-American, Adonis Boone, Renato Brown and Trevor Reid have all started at one time or another.
“We’ve really tried to push the guys to a point where you hit a wall but then you’ve got to push through the wall,” said Satterfield. “The guys have not slowed down at all. They’ve kept goi g in a lot of different scenarios, a lot of different situations. It’s good to see the work the guys have put in.”
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On Monday, Cunningham was named to the All State Sugar Bowl Manning Award Watchlist. The award was created by the Manning family, Archie, Payton and Eli. The family will vote as will the national sports media. It is the only award that includes candidates bowl game performances.
Cunningham, a four year starter, has thrown for 7,889 yards and 68 touchdowns. He has seven passing touchdowns of 75 yards or more which is a UofL record. He ranks second in rushing touchdowns scored with 38. “I think he’s going to run it when he wants to and take off with it,” said Satterfield. “But I think with this group he’s going to dump it off to some of our guys.”