LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Scott Satterfield era begins on Monday night when the UofL football team welcomes Notre Dame to Cardinal Stadium.
Louisville is looking to turn around a program that went from contending for a playoff spot in 2016 to losing nine straight games to finish 2-10 just two years later.
Out went coach Bobby Petrino, and in came Satterfield, who led Appalachian State to three straight Sun Belt Conference championships and three straight bowl wins prior to being named Petrino's successor last December.
Former UofL quarterback Chris Redman, who helped the Cards turn a 1-10 season into a 7-5 record the next year, told WAVE 3 News that low expectations can be a good thing.
“Not having to go out there and put all the pressure on yourself, put it on the other team, you know, and just go out there and play and people around here, they understand that,” he said. “It might take a little while to get going, but it’s a good spot to be in, so I’m excited to go out there and let it loose and they’re not supposed to beat Notre Dame, but you know what, they can make it a good game. They’re at home, it’s gonna be a great atmosphere and you know I’m excited to see, I think their defense has gotten better. I love Coach Satterfield, they’re excited to go to practice and things are looking up for the Cards.”
Added another former Cardinal Deion Branch: “We just want to be able to go out and compete, and I think that’s the most important thing. I think ... the effort wasn’t there last year, for whatever the reason, but I think it’ll be a different team this year.”
Monday’s matchup is considered one of UofL’s biggest home games of all time. The game will be nationally televised, just as UofL’s season opener against Miami at Cardinal Stadium on Labor Day 2014. The Cards won that game, which was also their first game as a member of the ACC. And later that same season, Louisville won at Notre Dame in the last meeting between the teams.
+ Notre Dame has one player on its roster from the state of Kentucky. Freshman defensive tackle Jacob Lacey played at South Warren High School in Bowling Green.
+ Monday morning, the Notre Dame players and coaches traveled to Trinity High School in St. Matthews for their gameday workout.
+ With UofL almost as big of an underdog as 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird was, many Notre Dame fans were expected to visit the Kentucky Derby Museum before the game Monday.
The Notre Dame Alumni Association organized an “Irishfest,” attended by about 1,000 alums from all over America.
“Fans come from all over the country to see the Irish play,” Notre Dame graduate Ellie Kuhns said. “The local clubs help support them and offer hospitality for the weekend.”
Fans were expected to walk from the museum to the Churchill Downs paddock area before kickoff. Four horses and riders will don vintage football helments and outfits, with the “Four Horsemen” leading into the game.