Special teams not an afterthought for Cardinals

samdraut

Louisville football doesn’t treat special teams as an afterthought.

The Cardinals proved as much in their 62-59 victory over 19-ranked Wake Forest Oct. 12. Hassan Hall and Tutu Atwell made some of the biggest plays on special teams in Louisville’s first road victory over a ranked opponent since 2011.

Hall, who is averaging 38.7 yards per kick return this season, broke free for his career long in the first quarter against Wake Forest. Hall caught a kick just inside the end zone, hesitating before going untouched for 100 yards for a touchdown that gave Louisville a 21-7 lead.

Atwell had his turn on Louisville’s next special teams return. He caught a punt and went 50 yards to the 13-yard-line to set up a Cardinal touchdown.

Hall had an 80-yard return on the opening kick of the second half that helped Louisville take a 38-21 lead in the third quarter against Wake Forest. Hall was named the ACC Special Teams Player of the Week following his performance in the Louisville win.

Louisville coach Scott Satterfield says a complete football team clicks on all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams.

“We don’t treat special teams as an afterthought,” Satterfield said. “We don’t shy away from putting starters on those teams.”

The Cardinals did lose a fumble on an onside kick in the fourth quarter that led to a Wake Forest touchdown, but Atwell recovered Wake Forest’s final onside attempt with 1:05 left to seal the win.

“Special teams have been really good for us this year and it has to continue to be good in order for us to win,” Satterfield said. 

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