About The Cardinals Beak

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House of Payne

It has been a while since I wrote on the website. Part of that has to do with me now spending my days running up and down the road with my son’s sports teams and the other is just lack of inspiration. If there is one thing I’ve learned doing this it’s that I have to be inspired to write.

There has been a lack of inspiration to write anything about Louisville Basketball but today I’ve been inspired and decided to dust off the keyboard and give this writing thing a whirl.

My inspiration comes today as bigtime sports names start dropping the news that Kenny Payne will be the next head basketball coach at the University of Louisville. This news comes during a time of despair for Louisville fans but tells me that the Athletic Department has decided to invest in us again. This is the hire that needed to happen and it appears that it has been done.

For year’s now the Louisville Basketball program has been trying to get back to its roots. Coach Mack will be known for a lot of things he did wrong but the one thing he did right was to start to connect that bridge to the past. We may not be here today without him making that effort.

Watching how far the program had drifted from those guys in the 80s it’s awesome that now one of them will shape the Louisville Basketball program for generations to come.

For it to be Kenny Payne makes it even cooler for me. He was one of my favorite Louisville players. At one point I looked up to and imitated him right down to my socks. He would wear those socks up to his knees. He was such a laid-back/cool player on the court but when he got the ball in the post he took care of his business.

He seems very much like that same guy today. All of his peers and anyone who knows him personally raves about his laid-back and cool demeanor. A quality that some have mentioned makes him a beast on the recruiting trail. We could count on Kenny Payne to deliver when he was a player and we can count on him to do it as a Coach.

With NIL and the transfer portal, the game of college basketball has changed forever. It’s more important than ever to have the right person representing your brand and I can’t think of a better person than Kenny Payne. Regardless of what your UK buddies tell you Kenny is one of us. He represents a time when our program was a giant. A time that we all long for.

The Louisville Basketball program had so much swag and so many characters back then. And they won. I want to see our program get all that back and believe that it will under Coach Payne. I have a renewed sense of pride and enthusiasm again that I haven’t had in a while. I’m going to get myself some tube socks and start wearing them to my knees, I’m going to hang my flag up and throw my L’s up. Can’t wait to watch my first game in the House of Pain with my son. It’s all happening! Enjoy it folks!

Go Cards!

This is the year. Beat Clemson.

This season has been a roller coaster ride for Louisville Football fans. Seems like forever ago that my son and I were in Mercedes Benz Stadium watching this team run onto the field for the first time. They haven’t quite lived up to my expectations but I can respect the fact that they are still playing hard. Just not playing smart at times and don’t think we are deep enough yet.

9… 9 penalties on this Louisville football team last weekend. Couple that with only 17 first downs and a 21 point fourth quarter by the Wolf Pack and it ruined trick or treat for the Cardinals. And it negated another great effort from Malik Cunningham. He had 219 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort. I loved the connection between him and Jordan Watkins last week. Watkins caught two balls for 83 yards and a score to lead the receivers.

The Cardinals are going to need this connection tonight along with a much more solid performance overall if they want to beat Clemson. And for the first time since that Saturday night in 2016, I think we have a chance to beat Clemson.

Still gonna be a tall task as this Clemson team put together a 13 point fourth quarter last week to beat Florida State. Tigers QB DJ Uiagalelei and RB Will Shipley led what looked to be an improving Clemson offense to a solid 377 yards in that matchup. Shipley is just finding his legs and could be a problem.

They are improving and still have tons of talent but are far from the well-oiled machine they usually are. Especially on offense. They went just 4-of-14 on third-down tries, coughed up three turnovers, and committed six penalties in their game against the Noles.

Regardless of their shortcomings on the offensive side of the ball this Clemson team still has a very solid defense especially their front four. Dabo hadn’t been happy with this group and called them out recently. They responded with a season-high five sacks last week. They were initially credited with a sixth sack, but the NCAA removed a sack from Xavier Thomas’ who forced a fumble behind the line of scrimmage.

I think this game will be a tale of the two defensive units involved. Louisville ranks 25th nationally with an average of 5.1 yards per carrying. Can Malik and company keep their defensive unit on the run today while sustaining drives and letting our defense rest?

This is where the Cardinal’s depth issue comes into play. Our defensive guys are worn out in the 4 quarter and haven’t been able to make enough plays to finish games. But they have been making plays. New guys stepping up each week. LB Dorian Jones in his first career start had nine stops and 1.5 tackles for loss last week.

This Louisville defense surpassed their 2020 total for sacks by picking up their 22nd of the season last week. Louisville has recorded a sack in all eight games in 2021. These guys are trying and are getting better. And help is on the way. Four-star DL Selah Brown committed yesterday. Shame he can’t suit up tonight.

I do believe this team puts it all together tonight. What they can put together. At this point, it’s about supporting them and accepting their shortcomings. There are going to be some. Let’s beat Clemson for the first time tonight and get closer to Bowl eligibility. That is the bar for this group. Go Cards!


Cards will need Tricks and Treats tonight…

Our Cardinals will try to build upon their win over Boston College last weekend on this Hallows Eve… It will take a few tricks from the offense and the defense will have to treat us to another solid performance for them to come out of this one with the win. It will be one of the most hostile environments of the season and this NC State team has a few tricks of their own.

Louisville QB1 Malik Cunningham has his bag of treats. How good has he been this season? Thrown for 1,684 yards good for 6 touchdowns on 63.4% passing while also leading the Cardinals in rushing with 480 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns this season.

Sadly his outstanding play has been ghosted this season by how poorly the defense has played at times along with some costly turnovers. Maybe he will break out of the shadows of darkness into a new light tonight by leading his team to a big primetime win.

This Louisville offense is not a skeleton crew and has some playmakers. Jalen Mitchell second on the team in rush yards behind Malik has 424 rushing yards of his own. While Hassan Hall and Trevion Cooley each have 200+ rushing yards on the campaign.

The ball has been flying thru the air like a witch on a broom for Marshon Ford. He leads the Cardinals in receiving with 30 catches for 313 yards. Four other Louisville receivers have joined the party and have at least 200 receiving yards this season.

Don’t think for a minute that this NC State team will be left bobbing for apples. Their offense has also been as hot as a witch’s brew. Devin Leary will be playing the role of gunslinger in this one. He has thrown for 1,844 yards, and 17 touchdowns on 65.6% passing.

He’s got some pretty solid guys catching those bullets. Emeka Emezie leads the Wolfpack’s receiving corps with 37 grabs for 452 yards while Thayer Thomas and Devin Carter each have 300+ receiving yards and another three NC State receivers have at least 100 receiving yards this season. They spread the ball around all over the field like a giant spider’s web.

The Treats… This Louisville defense started the season in quicksand. But has been a hoot to watch in the last few games. The Cardinals added to their interception total by picking off two more passes against BC to give them nine picks on the year.

The defense tallied three more sacks in Saturday’s win, upping its season total to 21 through seven games matching all of last season, and have at least three sacks in three of the last four games.

Trey Franklin picked off his second pass of the season and is just another guy on this defense along with C.J. Avery (46 tackles), Yasir Abdullah (6 sacks), and Kei’Trel Clark (3 interceptions) stepping up this season.

The Tricks…

For the second-straight game, the Cardinals’ offensive line failed to yield a sack, the first time not allowing a sack in back-to-back games since 2008. Leading to a season-high 331 yards on the ground.

Trevion Cooley, who recorded his first career 100-yard rushing game last week averaging 8.6 yards per carry adds a nice little touch to the backfield. Establishing a solid rush attack and being able to sustain drives gives the guys on the other side of the ball a chance to be better.

Hopefully by the end of this one Carter-Finley Stadium will look like a graveyard and the Cardinals will be doing the Thriller dance in the locker room. The biggest game of the season with implications for down the road. And hey it’s Hallows Eve. We need some Tricks and Treats so we can all have a good Halloween…
Go Cards!


Louisville Football has to move forward today

Going into this season I think we all knew this Louisville team was going to score and score a lot. And they have… posting 24 or more points in every game and 30 or more in each of their last five.

Louisville has moved into the top 25 nationally in total offense, averaging 452.0 yards per game. The Cards have totaled more than 500 yards of offense in three of the last four contests. If the story stopped here you’d think this team was rolling and fans were going into today’s game pretty confident about the outcome. But it doesn’t…

The troubLsss… has been on the other side of the ball. Louisville has given up 34 or more points in three of their last four, and the result is the Cardinals going 2-2 in that stretch. In the last quarter of football, this Louisville defense played they gave up 21 points.

Today is where the rubber meets the road for this Louisville Football team and the defense. Defensive coordinator Bryan Brown promised a much tougher brand of defense. At times you can see the light come on for his group. They have made some big plays.

Through the first six games of the season, the cardinals have surpassed their 2020 total of interceptions. The defense picked off two passes versus Virginia to give them seven interceptions on the season. And the big pick to beat UCF.

There is talent on the Louisville defense with young guys stepping up each week. I don’t think players are the issue. I think it’s about Coach Brown getting all of these guys in the right situation to win and finish ballgames. Maybe the 3 man rush, prevent defense should take a back seat.

Linebacker C.J. Avery is attempting to become the fifth player to lead the team in tackles, Linebacker Yasir Abdullah ranks 18th in the country and third in the ACC with 0.8 sacks per game, breakout freshman Ashton Gillotte is second with 3.0 sacks, Kei’Trel Clark leads the team in interceptions with three, and Jack Fagot leads the team in tackles with 42 after recording nine in the loss to Virginia.

Playmakers… Playmakers… Playmakers… too many for the Louisville Defense to be giving away games and that’s what they did two weeks ago. The defensive unit and staff will have all eyes on them today.

They’ve had an extra week to get ready for a Boston College team that hasn’t been an offensive juggernaut this season. They couldn’t do anything after halftime against NC State in their last time out. The Eagles ultimately collected just 291 total yards with 4.2 yards per play and 17 first downs.

No excuses for this Louisville Football team today. None! They must move forward, the defense must move forward and that starts with a win. I think they will. Go Cards!



Ahhhhhhhhh…… Yesterday was a rough day for players and the fans of the University of Louisville football program. I’ve been a fan thru some great days and have been a fan thru some rough ones. I blame staff turnover and the inability to keep a coach here when he does start putting together a great program. Coach Strong and his staff should have been offered the moon to keep them here. Program hasn’t been the same since.

At Louisville, coaches come and they go too often to sustain any real success here. Now we find ourselves in another one of those situations. Sticking it out and letting the cake bake would seem like a sensible option. Give Coach Satterfield time to put this thing together as he wants and give him a chance to get it rolling.

Does he want to do that? That’s what I struggle with. Does this coach want to be here and does he want to build a successful program at the University of Louisville? Is he going to be able to establish that kind of trust with this fanbase and is he going to be able to win the support he needs to do that back? Can he do it?

It hurts watching a program like UC reach that next level as a program and see firsthand what the right kind of hire can do. I mention UC because they are a similar base and situation as us. It just proves that it can be done. Louisville Football has proven it can be done. But can UC sustain that success or will they lose their Coach like we always seem to when things are finally going in the right direction?

That’s the trouble with a program like UC and Louisville. Is being able to keep a coach to ensure the program keeps rolling. If you do lose them to a bigger place then the AD has to make the right hire to replace them. It’s critical at a program like Louisville.

Yesterday hurt. There is going to be a lot of talk surrounding Coach Satt and his staff now. If they can salvage this season, beat UK, and get into a decent bowl game I can live with that. Think most fans move on. If things continue to get worse and we lose again to our arch-rival without making it to a bowl game then I’m ready for a change.

Honestly, I don’t know that a bowl game makes any difference if we get beat by the cayuts again. How far can we let them get ahead? They are already taking recruits from Louisville’s backyard and are gaining control over recruiting in the state.

A great Louisville Coach once said time is the only variable. When he said that I think he had in mind that other Coaches would come along and continue to build towards that National Title and towards establishing a prominent program. We’ve had some great coaches continue us down that path but lately, we’ve been going in the wrong direction.

Will things get better? All we can do as fans are support and cheer for this team. The players have to be put in a situation to win games. I don’t think they were given that opportunity Saturday and that sucks. There is a lot of talent and speed on this team. Too much to blow a 17 point lead in the fourth quarter. It’s troubLing, to say the least. 😩

Hoo you got?

A clever play on words due to the unofficial nickname of Virginia being the Wahoos or hoos for short. But it will be hoo you got with the Louisville secondary today. This Virginia football team is not great but they have been pretty efficient when it comes to slinging the ball around.

The Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong is completing 64.7 percent of his passes for 1,973 yards, 14 touchdowns. And his receivers Dontayvion Wicks and Billy Kemp IV have combined for 897 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while Keytaon Thompson has 20 receptions. This unit is ranked 2nd in the country in passing yards and ranked 7th in total offense.

Defensively, Louisville is allowing 28.2 points and 435.6 yards per game. Our defensive is led by C.J. Avery with 36 tackles, Yasir Abdullah has four sacks and Kei’Trel Clarbk has three interceptions. The Louisville defense has made some big plays just not enough of them and not for a full football game yet. Louisville is 110th in passing yards allowed. Not good especially with the Hoos in town. Have to step up today.

Malik Cunningham is completing 63.8 percent of his passes for 1,307 yards with seven touchdowns and has found himself in a shootout in four of the first 5 games and could find himself in one again today. I like him in that scenario along with the rest of the talent on this team. It’ll be enough to get us by the Hoos today. Hoo you got? I got the Cards!

Remember when it took the entire Wake Forest defense to tackle Brandon Radcliff?


Remember when it took the entire Wake Forest Defense to stop Brandon Radcliff in 2014?

Remember when our Cardinals beat Wake Forest to win the program’s first Orange Bowl?

Remember Coach Satt’s win over Wake Forest during his first season? I’m hoping history repeats itself today as the Cardinals travel to Winston-Salem to play the 4-0 Deamon Deacons. They are 2-0 in the ACC after beating Virginia last week.

Wake has had a solid start and been led by a defense ranked 5th in the country in turnovers gained with 11. The Demon Deacon defense also sees themselves inside of the top-25 in several other categories: Scoring D (9th, 14.2 PPG), Redzone D (5th, .545), TFL/G (7th, 8.5), Turnover Margin (4th, +1.75 per game).

They also have a pretty good QB. Dating back to last season, Sam Hartman has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in eight straight games. Over that stretch he has 18 touchdown passes to seven different receivers. He hung 270 yards and three touchdowns on Virginia last week.

Oh, and did I mention their kicker? Nick Sciba is on his way to becoming the most accurate kicker in NCAA history. During his time at Wake Forest, he is 64-of-71 (.901), the best mark for any kicker in NCAA and ACC history (min. 50 att).

Wake did show some chink in the armor giving up 506 total yards last week against Virginia including 407 through the air and 31 first downs. I think the Cardinals and Malik Cummingham could find similar success on Saturday. But we do have to mention the big red elephant in the room.

After a high octane first half against FSU, the Cardinals went silent in the second half last weekend, finishing on 395 total yards, 4.9 yards per play, and 21 first downs. If the Cardinals can’t get it going on the scoreboard early in this game it could be rough. I’m hoping that Coach Satt just took his foot off the gas last week and that we are going to see a lot of scoring from the Cards in this one throughout.

Cunningham is the leading rusher with 263 yards on the season which is good for 5th in the ACC. He also ranks 7th in the conference with 998 passing yards. He’s starting to spread the ball around thru the air. Louisville had a variety of receivers make contributions last game with Tyler Harrell leading the way with two catches for 61 yards. Meanwhile, team-leading receiver, Marshon Ford hauled in a team-high six catches for 52 yards.

The Louisville defense has stepped it up big time with guys like LB Jack Fagot who made a career-high 10 tackles last week. He now has 25 total tackles on the year and is currently the team leader. His 25 tackles have him ranked 24th in the ACC. The Cardinal defense is right in the thick of things ranking seventh in the ACC (18.5 points). They’ll have to come up big in this one against the very efficient Wake offense.

The game between these teams back in 2019 was the 2nd highest-scoring game in the history of the ACC. I don’t think we can win a shootout here. Just don’t think a high-scoring game gets it done for either side. This game is a tale of two defenses. What side breaks first and breaks the most. I like our defense. They’ve had to stand tough the last few weeks and came thru big and I believe they will today.

Should be a good game. Hope it’s another one of those “remember when”… With a win.

Go Cards!


Cards have more to prove in Tallahassee


Don’t listen to all of the pundits who say Florida State is a wash… Folks, it’s Florida State and I don’t care what their record is or how they’ve looked until today. I will never buy into a narrative that there is an easy win in Tallahassee. It won’t be easy on our Cards today.

This could be an exciting game between two teams that are offense first and we could see a lot of points put up between the two. Speed and more speed will be on full display when both offensive units step on the field. FSU coach Mike Norvell and Nick Saban are the only two FBS coaches to score at least 500 points every season from 2016-19. Despite being 0-3 Norvell has the weapons.

FSU running back Jashaun Corbin has the longest run play in the country this season with his 89-yard trot against the Irish. He ranks 13th nationally with 7.57 yards per carrying. QB Mckenzie Milton has been the starter the past two games for FSU. He ranks 5th nationally among active players with 8,983 passing yards and 10,081 yards of total offense. He ranks 4th with 280 yards of total offense per game. Oh yeah and QB Jordan Travis. Remember him? He leads the team with 11 rushing touchdowns this season. They also have a nice TE in Camren Mcdonald. He leads the team with 6 catches.

They also have plenty of talent on D. They return their top 4 tacklers from 2020 led by linebackers Amari Gainer, Emmett Rice, and Stephen Dix. Georgie transfer Jermaine Johnson ranks #1 in the country with 7 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. He is a monster on that defensive line. No defensive player in the ACC since 2011 has been a single-game stat stuffer like this fella. The Louisville O Line will face one of their biggest challenges of the season today.

FSU had six offensive plays of at least 20+ yards in that opener against the Irish. I think we could end up seeing a game like this today. From both teams. Louisville has the offensive talent to put points up in a hurry and we can see it with the ‘Noles as well.

Our Cards got them a big win last Friday night. One they almost had to win to keep things moving in the right direction. They’ll need to prove something again today. Coach Satt’s teams have stunk it up 2-8 and losing their last 6 on the road. And the Cards are just 2-10 in Tallahassee.

The Seminoles find themselves in a similar position being 0-3. They have something to prove to their rabid fan base. You can bet they will be ready to play. I think this one could turn out to be one of those games that the last team who scores wins.

Not going to make any predictions but I like what I saw out of the Cards last Friday. They rushed for a season-high 191 yards, averaging 5.2 yards a carry with 6 rushes of 10 or more on the then #2 rush defense in the country. Most importantly they were keeping drives alive averaging 9.3 yards on the money down. This offense seems to be coming to life. And the D didn’t look too shabby either with guys like Alderman stepping up.

Hope they keep it going! Go Cards!


Can’t let UCF do it again!

Big… Big… football game tonight for this coaching staff, team and program. It’s pivotal really. UCF has played heartbreaker inside Cardinal Stadium before and when this program was rolling. They beat us and took our BCS hopes back with them to Orlando in 2013.

Our program isn’t rolling but there has been some faith restored. Coach Satt has restored a very good culture at Louisville. A program left lifeless after having the head coach quit on us midseason. We had players walking off the field quitting during the last game that year. So yeah we’ve come a long way. This is just a team struggling to find its identity.

I think a win tonight would go a long way in helping them find some of that and get some good things going. We have talent, athleticism, and speed on both sides of the ball. It just comes down to putting it all together. I think this staff has had to spend so much time working on the culture and off-field stuff they’ve had to overcome especially with covid that they haven’t figured that out yet.

Time waits on nobody. I get the feeling that time is running out for Coach Satt. I know that’s crazy to say in just his third season here but a lot of our fans start getting anxious. When you’ve lived thru Kragthorpe. And while it was a win you just couldn’t help but feel those vibes during the EKU game.

I like Coach Satt and this team. Drove to Atlanta to watch them open the season because I believed in the team they were putting on the field. I still believe… I think a lot of our fans do. Cardinal fans still have hope for this team and program. Can’t let UCF take that back to Orlando with them tonight. A loss tonight could send things in the wrong direction. IMO… Big game! Go Cards!


Young guys are stepping up. Next test WKU

Looking forward to the game tonight… WKU has a very good inside presence with Carson Williams and Charles Bassey. This will be a tough battle for our young frontcourt. But the biggest impact on this game could be whether or not WKU senior guard Taveion Hollingsworth plays or not. He is dealing with some nagging injuries and will be a game-time decision according to their coach. If he can’t go it will be a big blow to WKU.

I couldn’t be more excited about our Cardinals. This is the first time that I can remember a young group catching up to the speed of the college game so quickly. Dre Davis blocked three shots against Evansville and it was the most by a Louisville freshman in his career debut since George Goode blocked five against Morehead State in his debut. Jae’Lyn Withers is averaging 13.0 points and 6.7 rebounds as UofL’s starting center.

We usually get guys that take some time to develop. Maybe it’s because Coach Mack was forced to get these guys more action due to injuries but they have responded very well. Sam Williamson is the fourth key Cardinal player that is out with an injury, joining Malik Williams (foot), Charles Minlend (knee), and Josh Nickelberry (knee). The Cardinals are down to eight scholarship players, seven of them freshmen.

Graduate transfer guard Carlik Jones has lived up to his hype. This dude is a stat sheet stuffer. His scoring total is tied for the fifth-most in program history in a Louisville debut. And Carlik is only going to get better as the year goes on.

When and “if” this Louisville team comes together full and healthy it’s going to be fun. I think tonight will be a fun one. I love watching our young guys play. I think they play well in the post again tonight. Cards in a close one.

Go Cards!