CHARLOTTE – Louisville will kick off the 2021 season in front of the entire Nation on Labor Day in Atlanta, GA, at Mercedes Benz Stadium as they take on Ole Miss.
This Cardinals team relies heavily on the ground game. From both the backfield and from their quarterback Malik Cunningham. The Cards were 4th in the ACC, averaging 200 yards per game on the ground.
“I think one of the differences from last year was that we didn’t have many of those big plays.” says head coach Scott Satterfield.
Last season, the team went 4-7. However, three of those losses came by a touchdown or less. With that in mind, coach Satterfield says they have two goals for the defense this year. Get more pressure on the quarterback and create more turnovers.
The turnover margin for the Cards was dismal, to say the least. Something that their quarterback addressed immediately at ACC Kickoff, “We are going to focus on the turnover margin,” said Cunningham. “I’ve been spending a lot of time in the film room and focusing on improving from my mistakes.”
They ranked 119th in the country with a -12 turnover margin. On 3rd downs, the Cards allowed conversions 39.6% of the time.
In year three of the Satterfield era, the Cards are confident that they continue to grow and improve on the defensive front. As linebacker C.J. Avery explains, “I think this defense trusts each other and betters each other.”
They look forward to showcasing these improvements in week one against Ole Miss.
“I’m very happy that we get to do that,” said tight end Marshon Ford. “We get a chance to showcase the work we have been putting in week in and week out.”
Things don’t get any easier for the Cards after week one, as they return home to face Eastern Kentucky on six days’ rest before welcoming non-power fiver powerhouse UCF into town. They will then start ACC play on the road against Florida State.