Despite the regular season ending with a 26-13 loss to the Kentucky Wildcats, Scott Satterfield has led his team to bowl eligibilty for the third time in the four years he has been at Louisville.
Satterfield’s tenure began on the headset for the Louisville Cardinals in the 2019 season, but that very headset had some history lingering on it. The very history that belongs to the Cardinal alumni and former coaching staffs that have paved the way for this current team and staff.
Let’s look at how Louisville got to this point in the bowl era:
1958 Sun Bowl: Louisville 34, Drake 20
In the 1957 season, Head Coach Frank Camp led the Cardinals to a 9-1 record, which gave them a berth in the Sun Bowl that was held on January 1, 1958. Louisville dominated Drake for a 14 point victory. Tailback Ken Porco led the way with 119 rushing yards and one touchdown.
1970 Pasadena Bowl: Louisville 24, Long Beach State 24
Head Coach Lee Corso led the Cardinals to an 8-3-1 record, which gave them a berth in the Pasadena Bowl that was held on December 19, 1970. Linebacker Paul Mattingly ultimately won the Defensive Player of the Game with a game-high 17 tackles and blocking a 32-yard field goal attempt in the fourth quarter.
Louisville was unable to score in the fourth quarter and Long Beach State notched a safety and a touchdown in the second half and evened them out at 24. With an overtime rule not coming to college football until 1996, the score was left to be tied at the end of regulation.
1977 Independence Bowl: Louisiana Tech 24, Louisville 14
Head Coach Vince Gibson could not get the Cardinals over the hump for their third straight postseason bowl victory. He was able to get them a berth in the Independence Bowl with a 7-4-1 record, but was not able to overcome the Bulldogs.
Louisiana Tech QB Keith Thibodeaux finished with 287 yards on 19 completions and two scores. This performance led Louisville Head Coach Vince Gibson to utter these words:
“They throw the ball better than anyone we’ve ever played,” he said. “Louisiana Tech has an outstanding pass offense.”
1991 Fiesta Bowl: Louisville 34, Alabama 7
With a 10-1-1 record, Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger led the Cardinals to a berth in the Fiesta Bowl which was held on January 1, 1991. Coach Schnellenberger accomplished two milestone achievements during this season. He not only led the Cardinals to their first 10-win season in school history, but he also garnered Louisville’s only win over the Crimson Tide even to this day.
1993 Liberty Bowl: Louisville 18, Michigan State 7
On December 28, 1993, Head Coach Howard Schnellenberger led the Cardinals into Memphis, Tennessee to take on the Michigan State Spartans. Finishing the regular season with a 9-3 record, Louisville was set to take on a much more inferior Spartan team at 6-6.
Louisville quarterback Jeff Brohm finished as the game’s MVP in which he completed 19 passes for 197 yards.
1998 Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl: Marshall 48, Louisville 29
The Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl was known as the Motor City Bowl until 2009. Held in Pontiac, Michigan on December 23, 1998, the Thundering Herd were led by quarterback Chad Pennington who threw for 411 yards and four touchdowns. Louisville’s offense held them in the game in the first half, but the Thundering Herd were too much for Louisville in the second half scoring 24 unanswered points.
1999 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl: Boise State 34, Louisville 31
Also known as the Humanitarian Bowl, the 1999 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl was held in Boise, Idaho on December 30, 1999. Head Coach John L. Smith led the Cardinals to a 7-5 record garnering Louisville a berth in this postseason bowl.
Quarterback Chris Redman finished the game throwing for 314 yards on 26 completions and a pair of touchdowns. However, it was his three interceptions and lack of corraling the Cardinal offense that ultimately led to a three point defeat.
2000 Liberty Bowl: Colorado State 22, Louisville 17
Head Coach John L. Smith led Louisville to their third straight bowl game, but also their third straight bowl loss. Colorado State running back Cecil Sapp was too much for the Cardinals defense as he ran all over them for 160 yards and a touchdown.
Louisville wide receiver Deion Branch caught 10 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown but his offense was not enough as the Cardinals chopped their season points average in half as they finished with a mere 17 points.