What is happening to Louisville football?
So, I guess the first question is what the hell is happening? How did Louisville go from a team with so much forward momentum to possibly the worst team in the conference in less than a month?
A coaching disconnect
Unfortunately, this probably starts at the top for the Cardinals.
I’m not talking about the coordinators either. This is an issue at the very top and head coach Scott Satterfield.
Louisville football fans love using coordinators as a scape goat. Of recent, Sean Watson, Garrick McGee, Todd Grantham, Peter Sirmon, and Brian Van Gorder have shouldered the blame for units underperforming.
While a couple of those names probably deserved a bit of criticism as well, what the fan base often failed to do was point the bulk of the criticism in the right direction. Let’s learn from that lesson in this instance.
Yes, the entire coaching staff shares some sort of blame for either regression or lack of progress at their respective positions. Ultimately, however, these shortcomings fall on Satterfield.
It was Satterfield, after all, who made the hires of current Louisville football staffers. It was Satterfield who received all the credit for a fantastic 2019 turnaround. It should be Satterfield who receives the majority of the criticism.
Louisville’s game management has been shotty so far in 2020. Satterfield has shown poor clock management in critical game situations and has not put his team in good positions to win.
After a 2019 season where Louisville pulled out a one-point victory over Boston College, a four-point win at Wake Forest, and held one the final possession of a one-point game against Virginia, the Cardinals have folded like a cheap table under pressure against two lesser opponents in Pitt and Georgia Tech.
There are positives to take away- even from a horrendous start- but it’s Satterfield who should be the one to answer to what has been an overall failure at every level.
Louisville lacks talent at important positions
Maybe the biggest reason Louisville football is in rebuild mode more now than ever is just the overall lack of talent on the Cardinals roster.
From my view, Louisville is at a very uncomfortable juncture right now where many experienced starters lack the talent and skill set to start on this level and play in Louisville’s scheme, but some more talented youngsters are not ready to be thrown into the fire.
Louisville’s defensive line is still another recruiting class away from developing anything resembling what would be competitive at the power five level.
The offensive line, after the departure of Mekhi Becton from last season, still appears a step behind. What we do know about the offensive line is that it is veteran heavy up the middle, yet has looked overwhelmed in pass protection.
Louisville’s safety group starts two vets, but is still a disaster. Among the safeties who have seen action this season, none of them look like they fit on the power five level, let alone as starters.
There are issues in other areas too, but you get the gist. We praised the staff, rightfully so, last season for the development of some former walk-ons and lesser-known recruits. However, in 2020, we are seeing the down side of awarding heavy playing time to players that didn’t sniff the two deep under the previous staff. That will be a major issue going forward this season.