LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Momentum is a mysterious and valuable thing. A puff of wind. You can’t see it, but you sure can feel it. In a stadium, you can sense when it shifts. And when it is working against you, look out. Want proof? Look at what happened to the University of Louisville football season.
With wins over Wake Forest and Boston College, Louisville had built the first positive momentum it had experienced since midway through Lamar Jackson’s final season. A 45-10 loss to defending national champion Clemson on Saturday didn’t necessarily derail that momentum, but it could if the team doesn’t react in the right way.
That’s why, when entering the Howard Schnellenberger Complex on Monday, you could see signs taped to the wall everywhere with one dominant word: “RESILIENCE.”
It is the theme of the week for the Cardinals and in some ways has been the theme of the entire season, from when Satterfield first arrived.
He has been preparing his players for times like this all season. Reacting to adversity and negative momentum was very much the motivation for all of the efforts to build team chemistry, for pushing players through extra drills, for the trips to play paintball and laser tag and the times spent together off the field.
It wasn’t so much for the victories that Satterfield and his staff were coaching, but for handling defeats, because they knew some would come.
Those signs in the football complex follow their one-word motto with the definition: “The capacity of a system, enterprise or person to maintain its core purpose in the face of adversity.” Following that sentence are the exhortations: “See it. Say it. Seize it.”
Satterfield said this is a big week for his team, to show it can put that kind of resilience into practice.
“It’s just coming to work every day,” he said at his regular Monday news conference. “I thought the guys did a god job (Sunday) at practice when they came over here. They were very disappointed in not getting the win, but you got to move forward and make quick adjustments. We have seen a bunch of them over here today already on our day off. They know we still have the opportunity to be a great football team this year and we are still growing and learning. That is the encouraging thing about our guys. They come to work every day. They look at what’s in front of us now, it’s Virginia. That’s the key. We got to continue to work hard and tomorrow is a big day for us. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday’s are big days for us, and I feel confident that they will come in ready to go.”
For the first time in a while, Satterfield said both quarterbacks – sophomore Micale Cunningham and freshman Evan Conley – came out of the game with no additional injury issues. He said he’s comfortable using both, unless one proves he alone can move the offense most effectively.
“As I have said all along, I will play the guy that we feel like can move our offense,” Satterfield said. “I don’t care who it is I really and if one is playing better than the other than he’ll be the one. That will be the person that can play because again its who is going to move our offense the best? If it takes both then we will play both of them. There hasn’t really been one that jumps out over the other and they have both done a lot of really great things. We have needed both in our wins this year so I would suspect we will need both throughout the rest of the season.”
On the injury front, Satterfield said that running back/return specialist Hassan Hall is “day to day” with a lower leg injury.
“He didn't practice Sunday,” Satterfield said. “We'll see where he's at toward the middle of the week. A lower half injury, you never know when he will be available. What we're going to do is stay in the training room all week and we'll see where he's at. Now obviously he's a he's a good player for us and not only in the return game but also as a running back. . . . He’s a big loss for us, and it puts a little bit more burden on (running back) Javian Hawkins.”
Louisville will face Virginia at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Cardinal Stadium.
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