Louisville football: Why fans should trust Scott Satterfield’s work

Head coach Scott Satterfield of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images)
Head coach Scott Satterfield of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images) /

Louisville football has had a rough season. But do not give up hope for the future.

The Louisville football team sits at 3-6 with just two scheduled games remaining against Boston College and Wake Forest in the 2020 season.

It’s okay to be disappointed with those results so far. It would not be natural if you were not disappointed after the results that the 2019 season yielded.

In 2018, the University of Louisville football program had become the laughing stock of the ACC. With Lamar Jackson leaving for the NFL, many national experts looked at the program as being led by Jackson with nothing else to support him.

That 2018 team, led by Bobby Petrino, was one of the most lifeless college football teams you will ever see. It was a program playing without confidence after they had lost their shining star.

They allowed teams to score 50-plus points in five straight games to end that season. The team completely gave up on Bobby Petrino and his entire staff as the each game wore on. Players were no longer having fun amidst their 2-10 campaign.

It was evident each and every Saturday. Rumors swirled of neglect within and players like Jordan Travis, Russ Yeast, and Jonathan Greenard transferred out of the program during (or after) the season.

Travis has been the starting quarterback periodically for Florida State this year while Yeast was convinced to return to the Louisville program and Greenard ended up at Florida before being drafted by the Houston Texans.

It felt like Louisville football had hit rock bottom just two years after they went toe-to-toe with the  whole world watching against the eventual 2017 National Champion Clemson Tigers.

Louisville fans were forced to watch a team where holding an opponent under 50 points was considered a win.

Petrino was fired with two games remaining on the 2018 slate and the coaching search began for the Cardinals.

They settled on Scott Satterfield who was sought after in the coaching ranks because of his offensive mind and tons of success at Appalachian State.

Satterfield was a winner that led App State to a 51-24 record throughout his tenure from 2013-2018.

Upon his hiring, Satterfield preached early on that he would love his team and fix the culture for the Louisville football program. From day one, he preached his positive approach would be one that would bring energy to the program and help the locker room succeed on the field.

Positivity jolts this football team.

Scott Satterfield has been staying true to his word ever since he arrived. Positivity is the name of the game to a program led by him.

That kind of positivity was the perfect recipe for instant success for the Satterfield-led Cardinals.

Satterfield led the 2019 Cardinals to an 8-5 record that included a Music City Bowl victory over Mississippi State. It was one of the most shocking turnovers in college football in 2019 that had people wondering just how long Satterfield would remain with the program until he got a big-time job.

After each and every victory, the Cardinals were elated in the locker room during the postgame where players and coaches alike played music, danced, and laughed with each other. And why shouldn’t they have been excited? The team had a six win turnaround from just one season ago. They went bowling against a solid SEC program and won. They had every right to have been riding high.

Now, let us insert the 2020 season. Things have been going the wrong direction after there was optimism for a step up from the 8-5 2019 campaign.

The Cardinals are now at 3-6 and, yet, somehow the aura around the program feels much more like the 2019 season than the 2018 one. But why?

The answer is really kind of simple.

This team has lost no confidence in themselves. When dealing with a bunch of 18-23 year-old young men, confidence seemingly holds key to success. But confidence on a football field can be taken away so quickly.

So why is it working for this team despite an extremely disappointing record?

They have the perfect mixture of two key ingredients. For one, they believe in themselves. If you believe in yourself on a football field, you obviously give yourself a much bigger chance of success. A team lacking confidence in the power five will be feasted upon by other teams when they smell blood.

But, two, they hold themselves to a high standard. While not-so-different from believing, accountability is a major ingredient for success. The team admits their faults when they have them and it seems that they legitimately look to get better as games go on. They are disappointed in themselves when they miss opportunities to execute.

The team rewards themselves when they win. That much we can tell through almost two seasons of the Satterfield era. Regardless of record, they will celebrate their wins.

Just this past week, the Cardinals shut out a Syracuse team that was reeling and looking lifeless by a score of 30-0.

They wasted no time in celebrating their victory.

This is the difference between Petrino’s 2018 team and Satterfield’s 2020 team. There is something to be said about a coach that is willing to empower his players and make them feel like they are legitimately good at football (even if they are 3-6) and that their coach cares about them as human beings.

If Louisville is to be a good football team again in the near future, it will have been because the team loves playing for this coach and they believe in themselves because the coach made them feel that way.

It’s very easy to see why players love Scott Satterfield. They will fight for him until the very last whistle in each game no matter the result. In a season without much winning, Satterfield is developing what a winning culture is all about in Louisville, Kentucky.

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