How could I not start with Tutu Atwell?
For the third straight week, Atwell showed that he is the biggest weapon on the Louisville offense, catching four passes for 141 yards, and an incredible three touchdowns doing so in a variety of ways.
First, it was the nine-yard end-around in the red zone that gave the Cards the first score of the game, setting the tone for what was to come throughout the first half with Malik Cunningham at the helm.
Then came the 46-yard bomb from Cunningham to Atwell, for his second score of the day. This was a huge sign of progress for Cunningham, who struggled last season to show any signs of downfield throwing ability. But as Atwell said in the press game conference, “I told Malik, just air it out. I’m going to go get it. And that’s what I did.”
Cunningham looked to Atwell early and often against the Tops as he tried to settle in and get comfortable in the new Louisville offense. With Atwell continually burning the corner and safety, it made things easier for the redshirt sophomore to make plays down the field and get Louisville into the end zone.
Atwell wasn’t done. The final score of the day came in the second half after a scary hit to Malik Cunningham that popped his helmet off and sent him to the bench, leading to freshman Evan Conley being inserted.
Following the advice of Atwell, Conley aired the ball out as well, hitting Atwell on a DIME of a throw resulting in a 62-yard touchdown. That score came at a much needed time, as Louisville’s offense had become stagnant to start the first half, which really began to wear the defense down on the other side of things. That was the score that ultimately put the game away for good for the Cards, helping them get out to a 2-1 start on the young season.
Atwell’s playmaking was well known, and each week that goes by we’re reminded of the ineptitude of the previous regime who could never seem to figure out how to use their dangerous slot receiver.
With Scott Satterfield now at the helm, you can tell that they feel confident that any time the offense needs a spark, giving the ball to Atwell is their best choice.
Going into Florida State, Louisville will need Atwell more than ever before as they look to get their first “signature” win against the struggling Seminoles.