When Louisville football fell behind by 14 points in the first half in the Music City Bowl, the team could have given up. The Cardinals trailed Mississippi State 14-0 early in the second quarter, but Louisville is a different team under first-year head coach Scott Satterfield.
After losing 10 games last year by an average of 24 points, Louisville has been a different team this season. The Cardinals proved it once again Dec. 30 in Nashville.
Receiver Tutu Atwell started the comeback when he found Marshon Ford for a 33-yard touchdown pass on a trick play. The Cardinals added a field goal as time expired in the first half to cut their deficit to 14-10.
Louisville took the lead for good on a 24-yard touchdown throw by Micale Cunningham to Devante Peete with five minutes left in the third quarter.
“Really proud of our guys, the way they fought,” Satterfield said. “We got down 14 points early in the game, and the kids didn’t flinch. I mean, they kept playing, kept battling. Next thing you know, you’re right back in the game, and then we grabbed the momentum and then we pour it on.”
Louisville scored 31 unanswered points to take complete control. Khane Pass returned a fumble for a touchdown and Cunningham found Ford for another touchdown catch.
The Cardinals sealed their first bowl win since 2015 with a strong answer after falling behind.
Satterfield said Louisville’s bowl win and eight-win season shows what is possible when the coaching staff and players have belief in one another.
“When you have a season like this, you win eight games, you overcome so much, when no one thought we were going to win any games this year, picked dead last in our conference this year, and all the things that we were able to accomplish,” Satterfield said.