A team picked to finish last in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Atlantic Division is a win away from bowl eligibility.
Louisville football defeated Virginia 28-21 for its fifth win Oct. 26 at Cardinal Stadium. The Cardinals outscored Virginia 21-7 in the second half behind a dominant defensive performance for their third conference victory this season.
With four games remaining following a bye week, Louisville has a legitimately chance at reaching a bowl game after missing postseason play last year. Cardinal first-year head coach Scott Satterfield has continued to say outside expectations don’t influence his team, but bowl eligibility is something that might be on the minds of players during the bye week.
“It’s the elephant in the room,” Satterfield said. “We all know it and we will probably mention that this week.”
Louisville won’t focus on bowl eligibility, even if it has been a byproduct of five wins this fall.
“You focus on our next opponent, on who we play,” Satterfield said. “You focus on Miami and then the next week we go and play them. You go try and beat Miami. You don’t go try and get bowl eligible because if you focus on that you’re not going to get it.”
The Cardinals have road games against Miami and NC State before finishing its conference schedule with Syracuse Nov. 23. Louisville travels to Lexington to face in-state rival Kentucky Nov. 30 in the final game of the regular season.
Louisville sits in sole possession of third place in the Atlantic Division against a schedule that hasn’t been soft. The Cardinals’ eight opponents have a combined 42-20 record and every team has a .500 record or better. The preseason expectations aren’t used as motivational tools for a team that went 2-10 last season.
“We don’t look at that type of stuff,” quarterback Micale Cunningham said. “As a team, we just out there and play hard. And we see the results.”