Stock up: Cards’ passing offense
We start with the passing offense for the Cards because, after some frustrations early on in the season, quarterbacks Malik Cunningham and Evan Conley found a bit of a rhythm against WKU.
In the second quarter, Cunningham hit Tutu Atwell for a 46-yard strike over the top, and then in the third, on Conley’s second pass attempt, he connected with Atwell on a very similar play for a 62-yard score.
Prior to that, Louisville’s longest pass play of the year was Jawon Pass’s short toss to Atwell that went to the house from 50 yards out, but that was all thanks to Atwell’s speed and solid play-calling.
Louisville had been lacking a deep attack that could help stretch the field and open things up for the running backs. Atwell and Conley aren’t going to go deep often, but when they did on Saturday, it was pretty.
Stock down: Seth Dawkins and Dez Fitzpatrick
Dawkins finished with three catches against Western, but they only went for 21 yards and Fitzpatrick did not record a catch.
The duo has only combined for 8 catches, 81 yards, and 1 touchdown on the season after coming into 2019 with high expectations.
Louisville’s Scott Satterfield downplayed the star wide receiver duo’s lack of impact against the first quarter of the schedule, citing that the coaching staff has tried to get them the ball, but because of issues with route running, penalties, or lack of execution, Louisville has had a tough time getting their studs the ball.
"“We wanna get them the ball,” Satterfield insisted in his Monday press conference previewing FSU, “and eventually, we will.”"
Despite their impact on the field, Satterfield maintains that the wide receiver tandem have been upstanding citizens off it.
"“I love their attitude,” Satterfield said. “They wanna win. They wanna win, whatever that means. I promise you there’s gonna come a time when they’ll have to make plays for us. And that’s what we tell them all the time is prepare like the ball is comi ng to you… When it happens you’ve got to be ready for it. I love the way they are preparing, and I know we’re gonna have to call there’s a great chance it could be this weekend.”"
Still, if Louisville is going to continue on an upward trajectory offensively, Fitzpatrick and Dawkins have to have the ball in their hands going forward. Coming into the season Fitzpatrick seemed destined for an early exit to the NFL draft after the season, and a candidate to become one of the elite members of the 2,000 yard receiving club.
Meanwhile, Dawkins has been a workmanlike wide-out, whos surehandedness had become a given during his first three seasons in Louisville.
As Satterfield alluded to, they will have more opportunities to excel, and Louisville football will certainly need them when opposing defenses begin stacking the box and forcing the Cards to run.