LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Louisville football program has been far from perfect during during the 2020 season, as their record up to this point would indicate.
Through the first three games of the season the Cardinals are sitting at just 1-2. While they opened up with a victory over Western Kentucky, that was then followed up with back-to-back losses to Miami and then most recently to Pitt.
"To be honest, the guys were hurt and down," head coach Scott Satterfield said Tuesday during his weekly press conference. "It was obviously very disappointing, I mean you lose to what is a very solid Pitt team."
During Louisville's 23-20 loss to the Panthers, the normally high-flying offense was held to just 223 total yards. While the loss was certainly demoralizing, Satterfield and the team were quick to put that game behind them and keep their focus moving forward.
"But you can't let a loss or two losses affect your team," he said. "You've got to continue to look forward and continue to grow and get better."
As the Cardinals head into their first bye week of the season, there is plenty for them to work on. There are, however, some areas that are getting more attention than others.
After having a relatively solid start to the season, some of the offensive line's lingering issues were put on full display against Pitt. While Satterfield credits the Panthers for having an outstanding defensive line, in the same breath he says that they have to do a better job up front.
"What they do is very good, but we did not play like we did the week before against Miami, which we think they had a good defensive line as well, and our guys blocked a lot better against Miami than they did this past week," Satterfield said. "So what we're doing this week, getting back to fundamentals, which starts with stances, starts when you're going to block somebody. Just little things like that adds up to big things."
Quarterback Malik Cunningham was harassed all afternoon by the Pitt defense and was never able to settle in and get comfortable. He was sacked seven times and hit an additional five times, leading him to complete just 9 of his 21 pass attempts and throw just one touchdown to three interceptions.
Satterfield also said that they will putting working vigorously on the kicking game. Punter Logan Lupo continued to struggle, as two of his five punts against the Panthers were less than forty yards and Louisville pinned on their side of the field - leading to easy Pitt points.
"We have to punt the ball better," Satterfield said. "We're not getting the distance on the punts, we're not getting the hang time that we need on the punts. So we have to get a lot more consistent on the punt game."
The Cardinals have lost the field position battle in every game they have played this season. WKU's average starting field position was at their own 41-yard line compared to Louisville at their own 22-yard line. Against Miami, the Canes also won that battle 39 to 25 with Pitt also coming out on top 35 to 30.
Louisville will resume their three-game road trip on Friday, Oct. 9 at 12:00 p.m. vs. Georgia Tech.
(Photo of Malik Cunningham: Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports)
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