Atwell the focal point of passing game

samdraut

Tutu Atwell had a career day and reached a career mark in Louisville football’s 56-34 victory over Syracuse at Cardinal Stadium Nov. 24.

The sophomore receiver had five receptions for 152 yards, a career high, and two touchdowns to help a Louisville offense that finished with 608 yards of offense. Atwell had a 90-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter as quarterback Micale Cunningham lofted a throw to the receiver in the middle of the field. Atwell did the rest, evading defenders and going down the sideline for a score.

Atwell’s 90-yard reception is the fourth longest completion in program history.

“Our quarterback did a very good job and I think overall the offense did very well,” Atwell said.

Atwell surpassed 1,000 receiving yards in a single season in the first half, becoming the first receiver since Harry Douglas in 2007 to reach the mark. Atwell has 56 receptions for 1,068 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

He had Louisville’s final touchdown against Syracuse, a 14-yard score with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter.

Atwell has been Louisville’s biggest big-play threat in the passing game. With a 5-foot-9, 153-pound frame, Atwell’s speed has been disastrous for opposing defenses this season.

He had a 50-yard touchdown against Eastern Kentucky, a 77-yard touchdown against Virginia, an 80-yard touchdown against Miami and 74-yard score against NC State. Louisville coach Scott Satterfield has made Atwell a focal point of an offense averaging 34.4 points per game.

“When my number gets called, I just take a deep breath, and I know it’s coming to me so I got to take a deep breath and try not to worry about it and when I get it, I go,” Atwell said.

Defenses have tried to slow down Atwell, but the receiver continues to be involved despite seeing a variety of looks.

“Coach Sat [Satterfield] always calls a play for me to get the ball and every time the defense sees me in motion and they shift that way,” Atwell said. “But sometimes I tell Malik [Cunningham], you got to watch it now, I don’t want them to just be blitzing till I get hit. But I just take one play at a time, and I just focus on what I have to do and I just get the job done.”

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