By Nick Stringer
Photographer: Jared Anderson
Saturday marked the first meeting for Satterfield against a decent Boston College team.
The Eagles continued to rely on a dominant ground game, led by star running back AJ Dillon. They entered the week ranked 13th in FBS play, in yards per game (252), with AJ Dillon leading the charge with about 150 yards in three consecutive games. The junior star had his breakout game two years ago at Louisville with a career-high 272 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-42 win.
The game opened with Boston College taking control. It looked like they were going to have their way with Louisville’s defense, but Louisville stripped the ball from Dillon, who fumbled on the 3-yard line. Poor field position for Louisville but, thanks to two huge plays, they were able to create some breathing room and get into striking distance. Mical (Malik) Cunningham drew first blood and scored a touchdown on a small 5 yd QB keep to the right.
Boston College answered right back with a 72 yd TD pass to their TE. It was as if the linebackers didn’t even see, or cover correctly, on the play. When BC gets it going in the air, they will open the field to operate their run-heavy offense.
Louisville brushed it off and did not take long to get it going again. Cunningham took full control of the offense. He was running at the right times and taking shots down the field with his substantially faster wide-outs. He connected with a very talented Seth Dawkins, who ran for a 45 yd touchdown. Louisville desperately needs someone who can burn the whole secondary defense, and Dawkins did it today.
Boston College attempted to gain momentum by capitalizing on an extra point that should have of been bobbled, but instead turned into a 2-point conversion. They now trailed by 6 at the half. Louisville’s defense needs to step it up, even with stopping a forceful Dillon all half.
The Cards came out hot in the second half. They took to the air to stay in the game, thanks to 3 lead wide-outs with 100+ yds each. Louisville seemed to be playing Chinese fire drill with their QB’s because of an injury to Cunningham. Evan Conley capitalized on the opportunity and Satterfield rode with him for every other drive, resulting in two QB’s putting up career highs today. One positive thing we can take away from this game, it seems any QB can play and adjust to Satterfield, which has been a key issue in the past if one goes down.
Louisville’s defense looks like they may be able to handle their own against any ACC team but as time ticks away, they seem to tire and almost can’t keep the pace. Louisville’s defense is a big concern right now because they have been missing in action ever since the first half of the Notre Dame game.
Louisville got a hard-earned win at home. Louisville’s rushing offense was really clicking. Javian Hawkins did most of the work early. He touched the ball 13 times for 126 yds and one touchdown. He also created huge opportunities for Cunningham to Dawkins, who had 3 receptions for a total of 150 yds and a TD. Dez Fitzpatrick 5 for 108 and a touchdown) and Tutu Atwell (8 for 110) also contributed with big games of their own.
The Cards travel to face a ranked (first time since 2008), undefeated Wake Forest (#22) team. It will be a very good test for this young Cardinal team before facing juggernaut Clemson in Death Valley.