Louisville Cardinals Preview 2022: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Louisville season with what you need to know and keys to the season.
Louisville Cardinals Preview
Head Coach: Scott Satterfield, 4th year at Louisville, 18-19
10th year overall, 69-43: 2021 Preview
2021 Record: Overall: 6-7, Conference: 4-4
Offense, Defense Breakdown | Keys To The Season
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Louisville Top 10 Players | Louisville Schedule & Analysis
Louisville Cardinals Preview 2022
Louisville might not have been cranking up ACC championships, but it went on a strong run of solid winning seasons from 2010 to 2017 and got the basketball-mad school even more into football.
Three losing seasons in four years just won’t get it done.
Scott Satterfield was able to pull the program up out of the nosedive when he took over in 2019, he deserved more of a break than he got in 2020 for a 4-7 season – it was 2020 – but last year was a problem.
2021 was when the ACC was terrible. Clemson was down, Florida State was still struggling, and there weren’t any superpower players in a year when Pitt and Wake Forest became the stars.
That was the opening. That was the shot Louisville had to rise up and rock, and the 6-7 season was just … meh. To be fair, the Cardinals lost four games by six points or fewer – win just two of those, and it’s a different narrative going into 2022.
The schedule is sneaky-nasty, but this is a veteran team that should be more explosive and more consistent on both sides of the ball.
Satterfield needs a big season after closing out with four losses in the last six games and six losses in the last nine. It all starts with getting even more from …
Louisville Cardinals Preview 2022: Offense
There were a whole lot of positives to the offense. The line was great in pass protection. Malik Cunningham looked and played like a big-time difference-maker, and overall the attack was careful with the ball.
The 446 yards and 32 points per game were fine, but the O failed to come up with more than 28 points in five of the last seven games and struggled to come through late in a few too many tight games.
The passing attack should be far, far better. Cunningham has the ability and experience to rise up and be a superstar among all the great ACC quarterbacks – he ran for over 1,000 yards and 20 scores, and threw for close to 3,000 yards with 19 touchdowns and six picks – and he’s got the receivers.
Braden Smith is back after missing most of last season, and transfers Dee Wiggins from Miami and Tyler Hudson from Central Arkansas are going to be huge playmakers with Jordan Watkins off to Ole Miss and Tyler Harrell leaving for Alabama.
Cunningham is the star of the ground game, but the Cardinals have the backs to take the pressure off. Tiyon Evans from Tennessee is too good to not get the ball on a regular basis, and Jalen Mitchell is a good-sized tough back who led all RBs with 722 yards and five scores.
Star center Cole Bentley is done, but four starters are expected back around First Team All-ACC guard Caleb Chandler. The league’s No. 1 line in pass protection and tackles for loss allowed should be every bit as good for a running game that will average over five yards per pop.
Louisville Cardinals Preview 2022: Defense
The defense had the misfortune of dealing with Ole Miss on national TV to start the season. Overall the group wasn’t great, but that perception from the opener stuck for a D that finished ninth in the ACC.
The pass rush wasn’t bad, but the run defense was gouged a bit too much and bad things happened when the Cardinals allowed over 500 yards of total offense.
There are holes to fill on the defensive front seven, but there’s a good base to work around. OLB Yassir Abdullah is one of the ACC’s better pass rushers, and Ashton Gillette is a good young pass rusher on one end. There isn’t a space-eater inside, but the rotation should be okay for the front three to hold up – getting 305-pound Jermayne Lole from Arizona State will literally be a huge help.
Former Ole Miss Rebel Momo Sanogo will step into an outside linebacking role as a disruptive force, and Monty Montgomery – who missed most of last year after finishing fourth on the team in tackles in 2020 – will try to take over in the middle for three-year leading tackler CJ Avery.
The secondary should be better. Kei’Trel Clark is an All-ACC corner who led the team with three picks, but he missed a chunk of last year. Kenderick Duncan earned all-star honors at safety after finishing third on the team with 76 stops, Chandler Jones is a veteran corner, and on the way are four good transfers – Jalen Alexander (Duke), MJ Griffin (Temple), Quincy Riley (Middle Tennessee), and Jarvis Brownlee (Florida State) – to make a push.