--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
Next Monday, the Louisville Cardinals will kick off their 2019 college football campaign; and will hope to wipe away the terrible 2018 campaign that saw a coaching change and lackluster performance.
With Scott Satterfield at the helm, 2019 already has a different field than last year. Louisville will *probably* win more than two games this season, but how many will they win?
Here’s a game by game breakdown of the season:
Week One: Louisville vs. Notre Dame, September 2nd, 8:00 pm.
Notre Dame lost two of their top four receivers, multiple defensive starters, and it took a while for their offense to get going last year. This game will still be very tough for Louisville to win.
The Irish were in the College Football Playoff last year, losing to Clemson 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl. QB Ian Book stepped in for Brandon Wimbush last year, and the season took off. Book is very accurate, and completed 68% of passes.
Louisville will need to hold Notre Dame on third down, and many times to have a chance at winning. The Cardinals will also need to take advantage of the fresh interior defense for Notre Dame, after Jerry Tillery and Jonathan Bonner both departed.
Prediction: Notre Dame 45, Louisville 14
Week Two: Louisville vs. Eastern Kentucky, September 7th, 7:00 pm.
Eastern Kentucky finished 7-4 last year, but their defense was not good against Marshall and Bowling Green. EKU is an FCS school, which are typically shoe-in victories. It should help Louisville get one win under their belt entering week three.
Prediction: Louisville 38, EKU 10
Week Three: Louisville vs. Western Kentucky, September 14th, 4:00 pm *NASHVILLE*
WKU’s offense disappointed last year, but they have 10 starters returning. Their line did well with pass protection, but not rushing. Their defense returns six starters, but the Hilltoppers allowed 422 yards and 28 points per game.
Louisville will need to prepare for a strong passing game, and keep pressure on their offense. The Cardinals are about to go 2-1 to start 2019.
Prediction: Louisville 35, WKU 17
Week Four: Louisville at Florida State, September 21st, TBA, Tallahassee
Last year was a late-game disappointment against the Seminoles. Louisville had the lead late in the fourth, but surrendered a score in the final minutes of the game.
The Seminoles are coming off an equally disappointing 5-7 campaign, which ended the ‘Noles 36-year bowl streak. Wille Taggart has a new-look offense, and returns multiple defensive stars. James Blackman will most likely take over at quarterback, after only appearing in four games last year. They also bring in former Baylor head coach Art Briles’ son, Kendal; as offensive coordinator. Briles spent stints at Baylor, FAU, and Houston.
It will be tough for Louisville to win this game, especially on the road.
Prediction: Florida State 38, Louisville 21
Week Six: Louisville vs. Boston College, October 5th, TBA
The Eagles had a lacking offense last year, that sputtered down the stretch. QB Anthony Brown only completed 55% of passes, the offensive line lost three key players, and AJ Dillon is most of BC’s rushing game. They also lost a lot on defense.
Boston College is expected to have won their previous four games before this matchup. With the game at Louisville, the Cardinals could take advantage of all the losses to BC’s defense, hope the offensive inefficiencies continue, and that Jawon Pass can hit Dez Fitzpatrick and Seth Dawkins for decent yardage and score.
Prediction: Louisville 27, Boston College 24
Week Seven: Louisvills at Wake Forest, October 12th, TBA
Wake Forest started a freshman at quarterback, and a sophomore after Sam Hartman broke his leg. The Demon Deacons won two of their last three games, became bowl eligible, and won the Birmingham Bowl.
They lost wide receiver Greg Dortch to the NFL, and the core of their offensive line. Wake also picked up three of their top five highest-rated prospects in school history. Because of injuries on the defense, they will not be the deepest team.
If the game was in Louisville, the Cardinals may have an easier time of winning. Since it’s in Winston-Salem, the game may be complicated a little. The big key to this game is going to be the injury report, and how each team adapts.
Prediction: Wake Forest 33, Louisville 27
Week Eight: Louisville vs. Clemson, October 19th, TBA
Clemson is No. 1 in the preseason rankings, and is coming off a national championship where they destroyed Alabama. They obliterated Louisville 77-16 in 2018, and finished the season undefeated.
Not much is expected to change this year. Louisville is just going to fight to not make it a total blowout.
Prediction: Clemson 60, Louisville 21
Week Nine: Louisville vs. Virginia, October 26th, TBA
Virginia scored the most points since 2002, played a similar speed to their basketball team, and featured a spectacular QB in Bryce Perkins. They also have a ton of talent coming back on defense.
The key to the game will be to shell the defense, if possible, and keep Virginia from scoring in the red zone. Before losing 27-3 against the Cavaliers last year, the Cardinals defeated Virginia three years in a row. It will be tough, but Louisville could take advantage of the slow offensive play.
Prediction: Louisville 31, Virginia 27
Week Eleven: Louisville at Miami, November 9th, TBA, Miami Gardens
Miami brings a new offensive coordinator, Dan Enos, from Alabama; into Miami. Enos was the quarterbacks coach for the Tide, and he can help teach Mark Richt’s young QB corps, including Tate Martell, N’Kosi Perry, and Jarren Williams. They’ll be forced to deal with a newer offensive line, as five linemen left last year.
Miami ranked first in havoc rate last year, and kept offenses honest on run and pass plays. They also had a few transfers in on the defensive side of the ball.
This may be a defensive game. The key will be to keep the ball moving, and to not turn the ball over. Louisville may struggle more, since this is a road game.
Prediction: Miami 24, Louisville 13
Week Twelve: Louisville at NC State, November 16th, TBA, Raleigh
NC State will look like a brand new team. They have changes at quarterback, running back, receivers, and three new starting offensive linemen. All of this will lead to a rebuild year, albeit a different type than Louisville’s.
Ryan Finley is gone. So is Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers. For a team that relied on their offense last year, these are huge blows.
There are a few defensive prospects coming up, and the defense may be decent.
Prediction: NC State 28, Louisville 24
Week Thirteen: Louisville vs. Syracuse, November 23rd, TBA
Dino Babers runs a quick offense, and they have a manageable schedule. They switch from Eric Dungey to a pocket-passing quarterback. It will lead to a few questions on offense. They’re loaded on the defensive line, experienced in the secondary, but aren’t as concrete from linebacker.
After a 10-win season, the Orange are definitely expected to do more than years ago. It finished 2018 with its highest AP ranking since 1998.
Their high-tempo offense will test Louisville’s defense, who are missing more than a few pieces. Some of the long-term players are also going through with their fourth coordinator in as many years.
Prediction: Syracuse 35, Louisville 21
Week Fourteen: Louisville vs. Kenutcky, November 30th, TBA
Kentucky is coming off one of their best campaigns in football history-especially recently. Benny Snell and Josh Allen are both gone, which will make an impact on both sides of the ball.
The Wildcats are projected to have five wins at this point in the season, according to ESPN’s FPI. Louisville fans (myself included) would love nothing more than to win the Governor’s Cup in Lexington, and keep the rival school from going to a bowl game.
Unfortunately, Kentucky has a decent amount of talent, and may make a bowl game this year. Louisville may lose this game, but we will get them next year, and in both basketball seasons.
Prediction: Kentucky 24, Louisville 21
Final Record: 4-8
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
Louisville football: Three questions for the new year
Happy New Year, Louisville Cardinals fans. Today was Louisville football’s media day; giving the media opportunities to get to know the new team. This year, there is a new coach at the helm, an all-new staff, and different feel to the program.
Scott Satterfield took the reins in December, and has began the process of rebuilding the team after last year’s abysmal season.
How much damage did Bobby Petrino do?
Nothing went right last year. The year after Lamar Jackson’s departure led to Louisville’s worst season since 1997. Much blame could be placed on former coach Bobby Petrino, who couldn’t seem to keep a decent defensive coordinator, and whose offensive mindset apparently ran out.
16 players entered the transfer portal and left the program, or intend to leave, after last year. Notable players include running backs Trey Smith and Malik Staples, Defensive end Michael Boykin, Linebacker Jonathan Greenard, and defensive back Jairus Brents.
Those players will leave a hole in the team. Combined with the last recruiting class in the Atlantic Coast Conference, a significant amount of damage happened. Time will tell how quickly the team can recover.
How long will it take Satterfield to rebuild?
Scott Satterfield is a winner. At Appalachian State, Satterfield led the Mountaineers to three consecutive Sun Belt championships, and did not finish worse than third in the conference in his five years there. He also oversaw Appalachian State’s move to the Sun Belt from the FCS.
It may take time for him to build the team. Satterfield’s second season was his first with a winning record. Then, he led the Mountaineers to 10 or more wins three of four seasons.
Satterfield already has made some good coaching hires. Offensive Coordinator/Offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford spent three seasons with NC State, and helped construct one of the best offensive lines in the ACC.
Defensive Coordinator Bryan Brown followed Satterfield, and led the Mountaineers to the sixth total defense in the nation last year. Frank Ponce is one of the top Florida recruiters, and tutored some of the best Sun Belt offensive quarterbacks.
One of the best moves was the return of Cort Dennison, who was one of Louisville’s top recruiters before he left for Oregon in 2018.
Currently, Louisville has the 30th overall recruiting class in 2020. Dual-threat four-star QB Chubba Purdy leads the class. In the meantime, however, Louisville is ranked 69th for the 2019 class. It is the worst in the ACC.
If the stars align, it may not take too many years for the team to recover.
What should we expect from the 2019 Cardinals?
2019 is a rebuild year. The ceiling is low, but is above two wins. According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, the Cardinals are projected to go 4-8. Louisville has a 97.6% chance of beating Eastern Kentucky, 66.8% against Western Kentucky, and 61.6% against Boston College. They have a more than 35% change against Virginia, and Syracuse.
Five wins may be a stretch. Four wins are more realistic.
One major determinant is how the existing players adapt to the new coaching staff. Jawon Pass was a four-star when recruited, and is listed as co-starting QB alongside Malik Cunningham. Hassan Hall, who was a bright spot last year, returns for his second season. Seth Dawkins and Dez Fitzpatrick both return to the wide-receiver slots.
There will be growing pains for the Cardinals, but fans should trust the process, and know that Louisville will not be down forever.
But soon, there will be football at Cardinal Stadium. Which is almost always an exciting time. The first game is Monday, September 2nd, at 8:00 pm against Notre Dame.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
It appears the Louisville Cardinals have a new football coach.
Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield will take over as Louisville’s football coach, according to multiple sports. Satterfield is expected to be announced at a press conference tomorrow at 4:30. The University of Louisville Athletic Association will meet tomorrow.
Satterfield has led the Mountaineers to five consecutive winning seasons, four bowl games, and three straight Sun Belt Championships. Since 2015, his team has finished with at least nine wins. He has led Appalachian State to three seasons with more than 10 wins. In 2018, Satterfield was named Sun Belt coach of the year.
Satterfield graduated from Appalachian State, and started 27 games at quarterback. In 1995, he led the Mountaineers to an undefeated regular season in NCAA Division I-AA.
He spent nearly his entire career at Appalachian State. He coached various offensive units from 1998-2008, before becoming the quarterbacks coach for the 5-7 Toledo Rockets. From 2010-2011, he was the offensive coordinator at Florida International, before returning to Appalachian State as the offensive coordinator in 2012.
Satterfield took over for long-time head coach Jerry Moore in 2013. He led the Mountaineers to a 51-24 overall record.
His buyout is roughly $1.2 million. Details of Satterfield’s contract have not been released.
Louisville opens the 2019 season on September 2nd against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The game will be at Cardinal Stadium.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
The nightmare is over. The Louisville Cardinals 2018 football season is in the books.
While the Cardinals lost 56-10 to their arch-rival, Kentucky; they kept it closer than they did against other ranked opponents. It was arguably the best game Louisville has had in the last half of the season, for at least the first three quarters.
Kentucky running back Benny Snell scored the first touchdown of the game. He rushed from seven yards out for the score. The score was assisted by a questionable facemask call two plays before, that would have led to a loss of three yards on second down.
Terry Wilson rushed for three yards and Kentucky’s next touchdown with 2:05 left in the first quarter.
Malik Cunningham put life into the Cardinals. On the first play after Wilson’s touchdown, the Louisville QB rushed 75 yards for the score. He beat out Kentucky defenders, and waltzed into the end zone uncontested. He did get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play. The play tied a record set by former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson- longest yards from scrimmage by a quarterback.
Kentucky responded with Snell’s second touchdown of the night. It was a 24-yard rush; and came with 13:03 in the second. The WIldcats added another touchdown after Asim Rose rushed 75 yards for the end zone.
Blanton Creque hit an 32-yard field goal at the 8:51 mark in the second. Louisville had the ball at Kentucky’s 5-yard line, but a penalty flag and a pair of incompletions led to the Louisville kicker’s appearance.
Lynn Bowden caught a 28-yard touchdown pass with 4:08 before halftime. It gave the wildcats the 28-10 lead.
Bowden caught a 13-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds left.
The Cardinals played well defensively in the fourth. Louisville caught a pair of interceptions in key spots to keep Kentucky off the board in the third. First, Cornelius Sturghill intercepted a ball at Louisville’s 14. Then, CJ Avery intercepted Lynn Bowden in the end zone.
The score was 35-10 entering the fourth. Then, the wheels fell off the bus completely.
Less than a minute into the quarter, Kentucky scored a touchdown. Josh Ali caught a 32-yard pass with 14:04 left in the game. Then, Kavosiey Smoke scored a 37-yard rushing touchdown with 4:40 left in the game.
The Cardinals finish 2018 with an abysmal record of 2-10. Now, the Cardinals enter the off-season with a coaching search.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photos by Jared Anderson
In case you haven’t heard- the Louisville Cardinals fired head coach Bobby Petrino last week. The move opened a torrent of speculation about who the next football coach will be.
Last week, River City Cards gave our top five potential coaching candidates. While this list doesn’t include every name on the rumor mill, and is more than likely wrong; it gives a few takes.
Here’s an update on our top five:
5- Les Miles, out of the running
Miles would have been a stretch to hire in the first place. He had won a national championship, two SEC titles, and 3 SEC West championships.
A guy with that hardware would have taken a brinks truck to hire. And Kansas swept Miles off the board on Sunday. Miles even took a pay cut to coach the Jayhawks. He will make just $2.75 million per season; which is roughly $2 million less than he made at LSU.
4- Ryan Day, even stock
Day, the offensive coordinator of Ohio State; led the high-power Buckeyes offense to a 52-point attack in overtime on Saturday. It was against Maryland; a team that shouldn’t have taken the game to overtime.
The Buckeyes were forced to claw from behind, after being down 17-3 after the first quarter. Ohio State made up the deficit by scoring seven more points in the second and fourth quarters.
Ohio State’s defense is the one to blame for the grueling bout. While Maryland doesn’t have a terrible offense, and scores 30.8 points per game; Ohio State gives up just 24 points.
And much like the 49-20 loss to Purdue, the defense is mostly at fault. Day did his job.
3- Matt Campbell, stock down
The Iowa State head coach and the cyclones travelled to Austin on Saturday; and lost to Tom Herman’s Texas Longhorns, 24-10.
While the defense did its job, the offense was non-existent. Texas doesn’t have the best defense in the league- the Longhorns surrender nearly 26 points per game and more than 42 percent of third-down tries to convert. The Cyclones had to settle for a field goal, and extra point.
If Iowa State was to win, it would have shot Campbell’s stock up significantly. Campbell does still have a signature win against then- No. 12 West Virginia; which should get him some looks from Louisville or other larger programs;
But the Texas loss may sway open jobs in other directions.
2- Mike Leach, even stock
Leach led the Washington State Cougars to a 69-28 rout of Arizona. The Cougars had 482 yards through the air, and only committed three penalties for the entire game.
Washington State is still No. 8 in the college football playoff rankings. They take on Washington in the Apple Cup on Friday. Washington is ranked 18th, and were in the college football playoff two years ago.
The only negative with Leach was off-the field. Leach tweeted a fake video of former President Barack Obama in June. The tweet cost the school roughly $1.6 million in gifts to the university.
Leach made a mistake, and that could have very minimum impact on his hire. If Jeff Brohm turns down the job; Leach may be the No. 2 selection.
1-Jeff Brohm, stock down?
ESPN college basketball analyst Dan Dakich tweeted about Louisville again last week. He said that Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm will take over the head coaching job at Louisville; and will be announced as the head coach on November 26th.
Brohm shot down the rumors. He said they were completely false.
What Brohm said was to be expected. He still has one game left, and is focusing on beating Indiana to become bowl eligible.
Whether or not Dakich has information; anyone could predict Brohm heading to Louisville. Brohm is the top choice for head coach. The job will most likely be Jeff Brohm’s, unless he turns it down.
After Purdue’s season ends, Brohm’s message may change. Or he may opt to remain in West Lafayette.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photos by Jared Anderson
Louisville football played their first game in the post-Bobby Petrino era Saturday.
With interim head coach Lorenzo Ward at the helm, They were defeated by the NC State Wolfpack, 52-10. While the game was a blowout loss, Louisville looked better at points in the game; especially in the first half, but Louisville couldn't stop the Wolfpack in the second half.
The Cardinals held NC State to a three-and-out on the Wolfpack’s first drive of the game. The Cardinals opened their first drive with great field position, at their own 45; but settled for a 32-yard field goal. The kick moved Blanton Creque into 6th place on Louisville’s all-time scoring list.
It was also the only score Louisville had for much of the game. The offense stalled on numerous drives.
NC State responded with a touchdown. Ryan Finley found Kelvin Harmon in the corner of the end zone from 25-yards out. The score came with 5:50 remaining in the first quarter.
The Pack were gifted a red zone opportunity in the second quarter. After a lengthy review on a backwards-pass play; NC State had the ball at Louisville’s six; and were forced to settle for a field goal. Christopher Dunn connected on a 23-yard attempt with 9:31 left until halftime.
Louisville nearly tied the game with about six minutes left. Malik Cunningham had a 22-yard rushing touchdown on a third and 19; but a holding penalty moved the ball back. Cunningham completed a screen to Hassan Hall; who was tackled at the 18. Creque missed the field goal attempt.
NC State scored with 56 seconds before halftime. Reggie Gallaspy dove over Louisville’s defensive line to score the one-yard touchdown. It put the game at the 17-3 halftime score.
The third was not good. For one, Brian VanGorder's defense allowed 21 points, more than the previous two quarters combined. NC State managed to gain 194 yards; and had 10 first downs.
Almost right out of the gate, Cunningham fumbled the hall at Louisville’s 22. NC State recovered; and Gallaspy had his second touchdown of the game. This time, it was an 18-yard rushing touchdown with 13:31 in the third.
Finley added six points with a 12-yard pass to Emeka Emezie. The touchdown came with 9:10 left in the third.
Gallaspy made his first touchdown reception of the game with 5:49 in the third. It was a six-yard throw from Finley.
With 13:45 left in the game, Jakobi Meyers caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Finley.
Louisville *finally* scored a touchdown with 10:44 in the fourth. Cunningham found a hole in NC State's defensive front, and rushed up the middle for 20 yards and the end zone.
NC State's Brady Bodine swept to the outside for the Wolfpack's seventh touchdown. He received the handoff, and scored the one-yard rush. It put the score at 52-10. It also solidified the sixth time the Cardinals allowed more than 50 points.
In the previous 20 seasons, Louisville allowed more than 50 points just five times.
On the last play of the game, Louisville couldn't make the game any closer. The Cardinals were stopped at the one yard-line.
Louisville moves to 2-9. The Cardinals conclude the abysmal 2018 season next week- hosting rival Kentucky. The Bourbon Bowl, or battle for the Governor’s Cup, will be held on Saturday, November 24th, at 7pm.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Seth Spalding
With the firing of Bobby Petrino on Sunday; the Louisville Cardinals are in the midst of a coaching search. While one name is far ahead of the rest; there are still a few names that should be on the list.
5- Les Miles, former LSU head coach
The former coach of LSU; Miles led the Tigers to five separate BCS bowl games; and two national championship bouts. The Tigers won the 2007 National Championship game, beating the Ohio State Buckeyes 38-24. His second trip to the promise land in 2011 didn’t go as well- Nick Saban and Alabama defeated LSU 21-0.
LSU hadn’t had nearly as much success his last three seasons. The Tigers won 8 in 2014, 9 in 2015, and just 2 in 2016; before his departure.
It won’t be easy to get Miles. The coach is already on the shortlist at Kansas. And he won’t come cheap. Getting Miles could end in a bidding war; with the victor needing to back up the brinks truck to pay Miles.
4- Ryan Day, offensive coordinator, Ohio State
Day leads the high-power Buckeye offense. He had his first taste of leading an entire team this season- taking over for Urban Meyer during Meyer’s three-game suspension.
In those games, OSU defeated Oregon State 77-31, Rutgers 52-3, and TCU 40-28. While all three don’t have a winning record, the games weren’t close. At all.
Louisville would be taking a risk if Tyra were to offer Day a head coaching position- while Day has been an assistant for many years, he hasn’t proved himself for an entire season.
Day also may leave after two or three years if he has success with the Cardinals. He is a hot name on a few various coaching lists, and will pop up in conversations as bigger programs change leadership.
3- Matt Campbell, head coach, Iowa State
Campbell was the head coach at two schools: Toledo and Iowa State. He proved that he can handle a high-level of play. He led the Toledo Rockets to two MAC West division titles, and four bowl games. In Iowa State, Campbell turned a bad Cyclone team into a winning program.
In his first year, the Cyclones were 3-9. In his second year, he finished 8-5. And this year, the Cyclones are currently 6-3; and are currently ranked 16th.
Campbell has proven he can turn a program around. The problem, however; is that Campbell has a buyout of $7 million if he leaves before Feb. 1st, 2019.
Athletic director Vince Tyra has made it seem like money isn’t an issue. If the no. 1 guy doesn’t work out, Campbell will work well.
2- Mike Leach, head coach, Washington State
Much like Campbell, Mike Leach turned around an abysmal team. After going 84-43 in ten seasons at Texas Tech, Leach took a bad Washington State team back to relevance. During his first three seasons, the Cougars finished under .500. After that, they have won at least eight games.
And so far this season, the Cougars are 9-1; and ranked 8th overall. The Cougars score 37.6 points per game, and give up 22.1.
Another reason Leach is the go-to if No. 1 doesn’t work out is his buyout- Leach is owed about $2 million. That is significantly more economical than Campbell.
1- Jeff Brohm, head coach, Purdue
No one saw this coming.
All season long, fans and media have been speculating about the next coach if Bobby Petrino goes south. And the name that keeps appearing is Jeff Brohm; a member of Louisville’s first family of football.
The connections are everywhere- Brohm played for the Cardinals under Howard Schnellenberger. He has a connection with Tyra through Trinity. Brohm was an assistant under Petrino from 2003-2007, and under Steve Kragthorpe in 2008.
And he has a thing for winning. Brohm won two Conference USA titles with Western Kentucky, and turned around a 3-9 Purdue Boilermaker team.
Much like the Chris Mack hire, Brohm seems to be the only name on everyone’s list. He’s the favorite; by far. He may also stay at Louisville for a long period of time.
It’s Jeff Brohm, then everyone else.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra is not messing around.
Sunday’s decision to fire Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino is the latest example of how Tyra is improving the athletic department. And the decision helped prove that Tyra was the right hire to take over from long-time AD Tom Jurich.
After Friday’s abysmal 54-23 loss to the Syracuse Orange; whom the Cardinals had beaten 56-10 a year prior; Petrino was impossible to defend- his defense has surrendered 50 or more points on five separate occasions; and the offense has barely managed to score 21 points on a regular basis. The season is so bad, 20 players had requested transfer paperwork, and multiple high-profile recruits had reopened their recruitment.
It wasn’t a question of whether to fire Petrino. It was a question of when. The timing just happened to be on Sunday.
The decision seems to already show benefits- Russ Yeast, who announced his transfer on Tuesday last week, reported back to the football team earlier this week. Much of the fan base seems re-energized.
When the time comes, Tyra will have a difficult decision to make. All season long, fans and media have been speculating on who the next head coach should be. The name in the wide lead is Purdue football coach Jeff Brohm.
And a few hours after firing Petrino, Tyra spoke about Brohm.
“I know all the tie-ins that Jeff [Brohm] has with Louisville and that he and I have with Trinity,” Tyra said. “But I don’t even know if he wants to be here. I don't think it's worth even speculating until it gets to the end of the season.”
While the answer was glorified coach-talk, and in no way gave a definite yes or no; it still mentioned Brohm. Tyra could have went with a more generic answer. But the fact he mentioned the fan favorite by name proves he is in-touch with the fan base.
And when the time comes, Tyra’s track record proves he will hire the right coach. Last year, Tyra fired lacrosse coach Kelly Young- after problems with the program and many players transferring out. Tyra hired Scott Teeter; who was the winningest coach in MAAC history, and the head coach of the Canadian under-19 national team.
Chris Mack and Holly Aprile were also hired under Tyra. Mack, the men's basketball coach, has performed an admirable job at recruiting; with Louisville having the No. 4 recruiting class for 2019, currently. Mack won three conference championships at Xavier, and led the Musketeers to the Sweet-16 or deeper on four ocaisions. Aprile was the 2018 ACC softball coach of the year, and spent 10 seasons leading the Pittsburgh Panthers.
Tyra and UofL’s athletic association personnel committee also revised contracts for baseball coach Dan McDonnell and women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz. Walz was given a raise of $50,000; and McDonnell’s contract had a salary and bonus structure shift.
Tyra will hire the right person for the football coaching job. His track record proved he is the right person for the athletic director position.
--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
It’s official. The Bobby Petrino era has concluded. Louisville Cardinals athletic director Vince Tyra announced the firing of the two-time football on Sunday morning.
But while Petrino’s tenure ended at a low point; the question needs to be asked: How will Petrino’s career be remembered?
Before this season, the team never finished under .500 with Petrino at the helm. The Cardinals had their first Heisman award winner under Petrino. The Louisville coach also led them to some of their best rankings. On the other hand, Louisville went 1-13 vs. Top-25 opponents during his second stint; and never made it to a New Year’s Six bowl or better.
Here’s a short history lesson.
Petrino got his start at Louisville; taking over in 2003; after John L. Smith left the program to coach Michigan State. The team disappointed in 2002, beginning with a 22-17 loss to Kentucky. The Cardinals, which were No. 17 in the preseason rankings; only managed to win seven games, and lost three of their last five.
Then, in 2003, Petrino and the Cardinals opened the season 4-0, and finished 9-4. The Cardinals went 11-1 in 2004, won the Liberty Bowl, and were ranked sixth in the final AP poll.
Petrino’s best season was 2006. The Cardinals had a change at playing in a National Championship, but lost to Rutgers by a field goal late in the season. Louisville finished 12-1, after winning both the Big East and Orange Bowl against No. 15 Wake Forest. The 2006 Cardinals finished fifth in the AP poll.
Louisville went 41-9 in Petrino’s first stint, when Petrino left for a brief stint in the NFL.
The program dipped significantly under Steve Kragthorpe. It was revived by Charlie Strong.
After spending less than a season in the NFL, Petrino coached at Arkansas, and Western Kentucky; before returning to Louisville, just as the Cardinals joined the ACC. His hire was risky; partially due to a scandal involving an affair with an assistant half his age that happened while he coached Arkansas.
From 2014-2017, Louisville finished every season with at least eight wins. 2018 is the only year Louisville finished with a sub-.500 record. But during that time, Louisville went through three defensive coordinators, each worse than the previous.
Their best season, 2016, included Louisville’s first and only victory against a top-25 opponent (Florida State), and Heisman-award winner (Lamar Jackson). The Cardinals were on track to make their first college football playoff appearance, but lost to unranked Houston; while ranked third, and then lost to Kentucky. In a span of three weeks, the Cardinals went from being a playoff contender, to an Orange Bowl participant, to coming up short, and settling for the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.
Louisville dropped to 8-5 in 2017; and an abysmal 2-8 this season. The worst part was what it could have done to the future: 20 players requested transfer paperwork; with some already transferring out, and Petrino lost an unacceptable number of commitments.
Time will tell how much damage had been done. While 2018 was Petrino’s first truly awful season; his second stint may go down as mediocre, at best.
But for his entire Louisville career, Petrino should be remembered as a coach that gave Louisville both extremes. The Cardinals did win the 2006 Orange Bowl, two conference championships, and had their highest program ranking. Petrino also gave Louisville one of their worst seasons, and a lackluster-looking future.
Whatever happens, fans will need to decide how Bobby Petrino will be remembered overall.
--By Jared Anderson
--Photo by Jared Anderson
Bobby Petrino has been fired as the head coach of Louisville. effective immediately.
Louisville is 2-8 this season and has lost seven in a row while remaining winless in the ACC. Petrino's buyout is approximately $14 million.
Since his return in 2014, Petrino was 1-11 vs Top 25 ranked opponents. He was 12 -21 against teams that finished that season with a winning record. He was 1-3 in bowl games with the only victory coming in the Music City Bowl against Texas A&M.
Louisville has given up 319 points in the past six games. They have allowed an average of 53.1 points per game this year (2nd closest is UConn at 47.9 points per game).
"We want to thank Bobby for guiding our football program to some of the better seasons we have had historicslly at UofL during his two separate tenures here," said Louisville athletic director Vince Tyra. "However, at this time we feel the program needs different leadership and we owe it to our student-athletes and fans to get this turned around. I did not have the confidence that it was going to happen next season without a change and it needs to start happening now. We expect to determine a new head coach soon to restore our football program to national prominence."
It has not been announced who will fill in as interim head coach to close out the season. Louisville's search for a new head coach has begun although nothing is expected to be announced until the conclusion of the 2018 season. Fans had voiced their opinion in favor of current Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm.