By Spencer Laws

In what now accounts for a 4-game win streak, the Louisville Cardinals rolled past not only previously No. 10 Wake Forest in a 48-21 win, but now the James Madison Dukes 34-10. Currently sitting at 6-3 for the first time since 2014, this means that Louisville has now secured a bowl game berth with three games left in the season. 

Down Goes Wake…

The third-quarter performance by the Cards on both sides of the ball is something that caught the eyes of a lot of people. 

The Demon Deacons were outscored 35-0 in part due to the defense forcing six turnovers in that quarter alone. Two of those turnovers were returned interceptions by Quincy Riley and Kei’Trel Clark. This is the second week in a row Clark has had a defensive score, making it the first time a Louisville player has had back-to-back defensive scores since A.J. Jacobs in 1974. 

Such a dominating display showed the nation the potential this team has when both sides of the ball come to play. 

The Cards finished with 410 total yards- 211 rushing, and 199 passing. Surprisingly, Wake Forest only finished with eight fewer total yards of offense.

Quarterback Malik Cunningham again used his running ability to add two more touchdowns on the ground. 

Head coach Scott Satterfield and company picked up their first-ranked win, and a big one at that. This is also the first time in the Satterfield era the Cards have won three consecutive ACC games. 

And Down Go the Dukes!

Many considered this game to be a fabled “trap game”, especially coming off the top 10 upset the week prior. At one point this season, the Dukes were 5-0 and ranked in the top 25 nationally.

The Cardinal defense (once again) allowed only 10 points throughout the game, producing (once again) another stellar performance. The team is among the top 10 in the country in sacks, tackles for loss, red zone defense, and interceptions. Additionally, the Cardinals rank among the top 20 scoring defenses.

This is the second game since Pittsburgh this year that quarterback Malik Cunningham has thrown for multiple touchdowns in a single game.

Cunningham connected with tight end Isaac Martin in the first half, then found two of his favorite receivers in junior Tyler Hudson and sophomore Ahmari Huggins-Bruce in the second half for scores.

With 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Cunningham began scrambling and picking up yards only to be pulled out of bounds after an altercation broke out as the play ended. He and JMU linebacker Taurus Jones picked up offsetting personal foul penalties. It seems that Cunningham hurt his hand as a result of the play, too.

In a November 8th press conference, Satterfield said “Malik did ding his hand, his non-throwing hand but he’s fine. He’ll be out there practicing this week, and will be out there today.”

The coaching staff is adamant that Cunningham will play Saturday against Clemson.

What Comes Next

Currently, CBS projects Louisville to face Oregon State in the Sun Bowl on Dec 30th. This is the team’s best record through nine games since an 8-1 start in 2016.

The Cardinals face ACC powerhouse Clemson away this Saturday at 3:30 P.M, who slid from 5 to 12 in the week 9 AP Poll. Could Satterfield and crew pick up another ranked win? 

File Photo //Jamie Rhodes – USA TODAY Sports //