Pure elation are the only words that can describe what happened last night. This Louisville team achieved something nobody expected, and did so in convincing fashion with arguably one of the best quarters in Louisville football history.
Prior to the legendary third quarter, Louisville’s chances of winning looked less than stellar. In the first half, the Cardinals battled more than one opponent. Defensive Coordinator Bryan Brown’s defense could not seem to catch a break against the referees.
The main head-scratching calls in the first half culminated in one drive. With 9:13 to go in the second quarter, Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman was sacked by Louisville defensive lineman Yaya Diaby. Diaby appeared to force a fumble on the quarterback, but the referees did not think so.
As the drive continued, Louisville cornerback Kei’Trel Clark was called for defensive pass interference for the second consecutive drive putting Wake Forest on the Louisville 23-yard line. Then, Hartman “completed” a pass to wide receiver Jahmal Banks, who was blanketed by Kei’Trel Clark, for their second touchdown of the game taking the lead 14-13.
In actuality, Clark poked the ball free just enough to make it touch the ground and cause Banks to lose possession of it. Again, after review, the referees called it a touchdown.
The storyline of the ACC referees has been floating in conversations around the country for weeks and this game only added to it.
ENTER The Third Quarter [SCARY HOURS]
At halftime, Coach Scott Satterfield was interviewed by Taylor Davis, sideline reporter for the ACC Network, and his response foretold what would happen in the third quarter. Coach told Taylor “Hopefully we can create some turnovers…Gotta get turnovers, then score a touchdown.”
Little did he know at the time that this Louisville defense would go on to force SIX third quarter turnovers that would lead to 35 total points!
- The Demon Deacons received the ball to start the second half. In the middle of their opening drive, Kei”Trel Clark picks Sam Hartman off and runs untouched into the endzone.
- Next drive, Louisville linebacker Momo Sanogo sacks Hartman and linebacker Yasir Abdullah sacks him again, strips the ball out, and lineman Mason Reiger recovers it, forcing the second Wake Forest turnover in two drives.
- Louisville turns it back over on downs and Sam Hartman proceeds to get strip sacked again. This time by lineman Jared Dawson and Momo Sanogo with the fumble recovery.
- The Louisville offense capitalized off of this turnover with a 52-yard touchdown run by running back Tiyon Evans.
- Wake Forest receives the kickoff, proceeds to get intercepted by linebacker Monty Montgomery, who laterals it backyard football style to cornerback Josh Minkins who takes it inside the redzone. Cunningham follows it up by rushing it in the endzone.
- Wake Forest receives the kickoff. Hartman proceeds to get sacked by lineman Caleb Banks, he forces the ball out, and it is recovered by KJ Cloyd. This gives the Louisville offense possession of the ball and a few plays later they run a trick play in which Malik pitches the ball to wide receiver Braden Smith who throws a touchdown to fellow receiver Jaelin Carter.
At this point, Louisville is having fun out there. Wake Forest had only recorded five turnovers all year and the Cardinals forced five turnovers in the third quarter. However, they were not done.
- Wake Forest receives the kickoff. We’ve seen this many times before. Hartman drops back in the pocket and throws an interception to Quincy Riley who runs it into the endzone for a pick-six as time expired in the third quarter.
This capped off a historic quarter for the Louisville Cardinals defense, forcing six total turnovers and scoring at ease. The Cardinals went into the third quarter down 13-14. But headed into the fourth quarter up 48-14. The Demon Deacon offense could not breathe and losing their starting left tackle earlier in the game could have been a large reason why. The Cardinals continued to get pressure off the left side and wreaked havoc on quarterback Sam Hartman.
By the time the game was over, Louisville had totaled 8 sacks, 8 turnovers, 11 tackles for loss, and two defensive touchdowns. The last time Louisville scored 35 points in a quarter was on October 18, 1913 when they won 100-0 against Washington, Tennessee.
This was Coach Satterfield’s first win over a Top 10 team and Louisville’s first since 2016, when Lamar Jackson was at the helm and led them to a 63-20 win over the Seminoles. A historic win for the Cardinals and a defensive blueprint for how to contain an explosive offense. This ultimately led to a Conference on the Cardinal.