Virginia Football Schedule Preview: Louisville

Grant Misch celebrates the game-winning touchdown at Louisville last season. ~ Photo courtesy of Matt Riley/Virginia Athletics Media Relations

The Virginia football team’s sixth game of the season will bring the team back home to Charlottesville to face the Louisville Cardinals, following a 2 game stint away against Syracuse and Duke. As this year’s Homecomings matchup, Cavalier fans will be looking for a big midseason performance under the new leadership of coach Tony Elliott. However, UVA may have its work cut out for it.

Let’s take a look at how this game is shaping up as The Sabre schedule preview series continues.

Louisville Cardinals

  • Saturday, October 8, 2022 – TBD
  • Scott Stadium – Charlottesville, Virginia (natural grass)
  • 2021 Record: 6-7 | Conference: 4-4
  • Coach: Scott Satterfield (4th Year)
  • Last Meeting: October 9, 2021 – UVA won 34-33
  • Key returners: QB Malik Cunningham, TE Marshon Ford, LB Yasir Abdullah, DE YaYa Diaby,

What To Expect on Game Day

What’s To Like: History tends to repeat itself. The Louisville Cardinals, despite having a strong run through the 2010-2017 season, have suffered three losing records out of the past four seasons with coach Scott Satterfield at the helm. Though he earned ACC Coach of the Year Honors in 2019, Satterfield has now lost three straight rivalry games to Kentucky by a combined 109 points and has seen recruiting drop with classes falling below 50th in the country. Additionally, because of these shortcomings, fan enthusiasm has decreased dramatically as Louisville failed to sell out a single game last season.

As a result of the Cardinal’s turn for the worse, Satterfield, understandably, found himself on the hot seat at the conclusion of the 2021 season. Amidst questions of termination, Athletic Director Vince Tyra announced he would return for the 2022 season. However, just a week after this announcement, Tyra resigned from his role at Louisville. This leaves Satterfield without the protection of the AD that hired him as he heads into the fall.

This is not the only mysterious coaching news from the Cardinals either. Now former offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. announced he would be taking a position at UNC in the middle of spring practices. To replace him, Louisville brought on Nic Cardwell, the former offensive line coach at Appalachian State. This makes Cardwell the third offensive line coach in three seasons, something very unusual for a program hoping to move up the rankings. The Cardinals also lost its wide receiver coach Gunter Brewer, who left Louisville in favor of a job at the University of Maryland.

This internal turmoil, and the pressure that comes with having a head coach on the hot seat, could play in the Cavaliers’ favor as tensions about the uncertainty of Satterfield’s future build in the Cardinal locker room. Additionally, this kind of coaching turnover and the departure of the AD that vouched for Satterfield disrupts the continuity and development of any program. To take advantage of this, though, Virginia will have to remain cool, calm, and collected while adjusting to Coach Elliott’s system throughout the course of the season.

What’s Not To Like: Malik Cunningham. Cardinal starting quarterback Malik Cunningham will be returning for his fourth season at Louisville in 2022 and he’s given UVA fits before. A phenomenal athlete, Cunningham has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC this season. Despite doubts about his throwing ability last season, Cunningham improved his accuracy over the offseason, allowing him to throw for 19 touchdowns while only sacrificing 6 interceptions – half as many as he threw the year before.