Louisville football: 3 things to watch against Wake Forest

Malik Cunningham #3 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Malik Cunningham #3 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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The Louisville football team has one game left in 2020. Coming off of a bye, the Cardinals will have a young nucleus taking the field against Wake Forest.

It has been one heck of a week for the Louisville football program. The season will mercifully come to an end after Saturday’s matchup against Wake Forest.

The drama surrounding this program has been significant recently. Most of that is in due part to head coach Scott Satterfield‘s dealings with coaching rumors surrounding his name. This development has led to a large divide between the fan base and players with the season winding down.

It did not feel like a week off amidst the Scott Satterfield situation. But, the team themselves last played on Nov. 28 in a one-score loss to Boston College that ultimately moved their record to 3-7 on the season that includes a gaudy 0-5 on the road.

On Tuesday afternoon, Louisville star receiver Tutu Atwell announced he would be declaring for the draft and not playing this weekend signaling an unlikely end to his journey as a Louisville Cardinal.

Later in the day, Dez Fitzpatrick had some interesting comments about his future as well.

Fitzpatrick is a redshirt senior that would have been eligible for another season because of the odd season in college football this season. However, it appears one of the Cardinals’ best players will be moving on to the NFL (or somewhere else) after the game this weekend.

Big changes are soon to come in 2021.

With all of this being said, let’s look for three things to watch for when Louisville takes the field this weekend against Wake Forest.

Will the players want to compete?

This is far and away the biggest storyline that fans and media alike will want to be watching.

Scott Satterfield flirted with the idea of joining another program in South Carolina over the last couple of weeks. While he did not choose to leave the Louisville program, players begin to lose faith in a coach who may be looking to leave.

It was important for Satterfield to win back the locker room after the situation ensued that left many players confused and frustrated on social media.

Players did end up tweeting out their support for their head coach early this week, but that does not mean that they have not had some wind taken out of their sails with the news.

It will be blatantly obvious if the players are disinterested in staying competitive in this football game on Saturday. If you need to remember what a disinterested player looks like, you should look no further than the middle of the 2018 season when Bobby Petrino at the helm.

Petrino had lost the locker room completely and Louisville got blown out in nearly every single game because of it.

If something similar happens with Satterfield, do not be surprised. Despite the players tweeting out their support this week, some of the guys in the locker room may have a hard time wanting to buy in and compete for their coach so quickly. Louisville getting blown out should not shock anyone.

One of the things that Satterfield has been so good at in his time in Louisville has been getting players to compete in every game. Through 10 games, the team has competed despite their abysmal record. That does speak volumes. But, now, that process is a completely new ball game with the events that have transpired.

Keep an eye on effort and tenacity from the team in the season finale this weekend.