The team took a long time to shake off their rust
After the first game of the year (a win against a now 2-5 Western Kentucky team). there were massive mental lapses on the field by the team. It all started in the Miami game where the Cardinals gave up 485 yards of offense.
In that game, Louisville’s defense allowed two plays of 75 yards, a play of 47 yards, and a play of 31 yards. As fans probably noticed, those massive plays were about as easy as it gets for any team. They were the kinds of plays where players went untouched and were not accounted for.
These plays may have been excusable and understandable for one week as the team acclimates to the playbook and individual assignments. However, it did not stop in the slightest after week two.
The following week against Pittsburgh, the team struggled for different reasons. The offense was to blame for these struggles as they put up just 223 yards, 20 points and Malik Cunningham was sacked seven times. Cunningham also threw three interceptions in the game.
It felt like a game where Louisville was trending backwards. To make matters worse, Cunningham was hit very hard on Louisville’s final offensive play and was stretchered off the field as his teammates kneeled in prayer. Luckily, Cunningham would be just fine for their next game against Georgia Tech.
The next game was Georgia Tech. This one was one of the more embarrassing games in recent memory for Louisville.
Back and forth we go… the defense once again was the culprit of severe mental errors as Georgia Tech’s freshman quarterback Jeff Sims threw for 249 yards on just 11 completions. Not ideal. The secondary mistakes were a nightmare in this game just as they had been against Miami.
The combination of the Cards offense and special teams also lost a combined three fumbles in this game. It was a disastrous performance from start to finish. Through four games, the team was still shaking off their rust while other teams were hitting their stride.
Sure, you could make excuses for the team. However, they still looked severely unprepared compared to other ACC programs.