A lot has changed with Louisville football over the past few years. There has been some really good times and some really bad times. The 2019 home and season opener was supposed to be a heavyweight battle and hopefully Louisville’s statement victory on the way to the college football playoffs. Instead, it’s just a blackout game against a top 10 team that most fans don’t expect a win but just want to see improvement and effort.
In October of 2014, it was announced that Notre Dame would open the season at Louisville on Labor Day. Excitement about this game was crazy and the thought of this matchup being the first game in year five of Bobby Petrino’s 2nd stint just sent expectations through the roof.
In August of 2015, Louisville announced the expansion of Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium. It was dubbed the “close the bowl” expansion. The $55 million project to enclose the north end zone, adding 10,000 chairback seats for an increased capacity of approximately 65,000. It was scheduled to be ready for the start of the 2019 season against Notre Dame. As we all know, It was done a year early and the Cards first game in the newly expanded stadium was against Indiana State on September 8th, 2018 in a torrential downpour.
In September of 2015, against Auburn, everyone was introduced to one Lamar Jackson. All he did was win almost every award possible including the schools first ever Heisman Trophy. He also brought Louisville football to another level. Excitement and expectations were at an all time high.
We knew even if Lamar stayed four years, he would be gone for the Notre Dame game. But Louisville had the heir apparent, Jawon Pass (who chose UofL over Alabama), ready to take center stage and continue the Louisville football ascend to the top.
Lamar took his talents to the NFL and Jawon got his chance a year early. Jawon, Bobby and their team had expectations of a 9 or 10 win season culminating in a New Years Day bowl game.
Well, that didn’t exactly work out.
2018 was a season we all want to forget. There are too many things that happened to list and more things that were speculated and not worth mentioning. But we all know our coach stopped coaching and walked away with 14 million thanks to a previous administration.
So the 2019 Opener against Notre Dame isn’t going to be what we thought it would be. We thought it would be a clash of two top ten teams. We thought it would be the opening of the new expansion. We thought it would be the first collegiate game of a possible Heisman Trophy candidate. We thought it would be the start of a special season under a coach who wanted to bring Louisville to greatness.
Instead we are having a Blackout game to raise excitement. This game will be the start of year two in the expanded Cardinal Stadium. It will be the second year for Jawon Pass as quarterback and he hasn’t even been named the starter yet. It’s the first game for new head coach, Scott Satterfield and his staff. The special season we think it can be now might just be judged on winning 5 games instead of a New Years Day bowl game.
It isn’t what we though it would be but it is the start of a new era under coach Satterfield – and despite expectations, I’m really excited to get this season started.
It doesn’t matter the opponent or the circumstances – It’s time for some Cardinal football. And I’m here for it!
As Always, GO CARDS!