Cameron Teague Robinson, Louisville Courier Journal Published 8:17 a.m. ET Dec. 1, 2019 | Updated 3:17 p.m. ET Dec. 1, 2019
Louisville lost 45-13 to Kentucky, its second straight Governor’s Cup loss. Coach Scott Satterfield discusses that loss. Louisville Courier Journal
The Governor’s Cup was supposed to be the cap to an impressive and quick turnaround for the Louisville football team.
It’s the game G.G. Robinson wanted to win most of all.
“We were 7-4 going into this game and I felt like it didn’t even matter. I wanted to win this one really bad,” Robinson said.
Instead the 45-13 loss to Kentucky, the Cardinals’ second-largest loss of the season, was an emotional one. The Cardinals gave up 517 rushing yards to the Wildcats and tallied just 318 total yards themselves. It was an all-around bad performance for Louisville.
But it has more to play for, so the 24-hour rule is still in play, even if the Cardinals don’t know when, where or whom they will play in the bowl game just yet.
“Just have to let it go and 14 or 15 bowl practices, have to work hard and get the win vs them,” Robinson said.
So the message from Louisville coach Scott Satterfield was simple, “One game doesn’t define us for the season,” he said.
To his point, his message is the truth.
The Governor’s Cup often acts as the end-all-be-all for many fans at Louisville and Kentucky, but for the Cardinals there’s more to this season than the loss.
Albeit the loss to the Wildcats was a beatdown, the turnaround Satterfield and his staff have orchestrated is unmatched in the ACC. It has Satterfield firmly in the ACC Coach of the Year race and is highlighted by wins over Virginia at home and a ranked Wake Forest team on the road.
The Kentucky loss puts a damper on the season, but doesn’t entirely ruin it.
It’s a bad loss, one that exposed Louisville’s lack of depth on defense and that is still has a ways to go before returning to its true form. Depth and strength are things Louisville plans to address this offseason, once again.
But the season is also something to build on.
Louisville is going to a bowl game; the loss to Kentucky doesn’t change that. It does give the Cardinals a bad taste in their mouth, one that usually doesn’t last long.
Despite all five losses coming by double figures, and two coming by more than 25 points, Louisville has yet to lose back-to-back games this season. Being able to put poor performances behind it is something Satterfield is banking on his team being able to do once again.
“We will put this one to bed and now for us the next three-to-four weeks, it’s work, fundamentals, try to heal up and get better as a football team,” Satterfield said. “And get ready to go win a bowl game and carry it into the offseason. We have a lot of promise to build off of.”
Although the bowl game will count toward the 2019 record, Satterfield looks at it as a new season.
“You get so many days and so many weeks of preparation for one team, it’s almost like the first day of the season again,” wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick said.
Between Saturday and the announcement of the bowl game, which is expected to come on Dec. 8, the Cardinals will be busy. Satterfield and many of the coaches will leave to recruit for the days leading up to conference championship games, hoping to finish the 2020 class before signing day on Dec. 18.
The players will have about five days off to heal up and take their final exams before bowl practice will begin.
In the process, the time off will give Louisville a chance to correct its mistakes against Kentucky and move on from the loss.
And the bowl game will give the program an opportunity to end the 2019 season on the right note and springboard it into Year 2 under Satterfield.
“I told them also, when you go through tough time, or adversity, like this you have to learn from it,” Satterfield said. “This taste that is in their mouth, they have to carry that on, particularly the young guys who are going to be back. You will have those days when you don’t want to go to weights, or you don’t want to do this. What it feels like in this locker room you have to let it propel you to work harder next year. I hate it for the seniors, but for the young guys have to learn from this.”