Upbeat Cards take aim at Miami and strong finish

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) - Louisville football coach Scott Satterfield figures his team couldn't be in much better shape heading down the stretch of its season. Consider:

The Cardinals (5-3, 3-2) are on a roll, having won three of their last four games to close to within one win of achieving bowl eligibility.

The two remaining players at their most injury-prone position -- quarterbacks Micale Cunningham and Evan Conley -- came out of the Virginia game with no health issues.

The Cards are riding high with confidence and are coming off a bye week that Satterfield was ecstatic about. So they should be primed for their four-game November slate, which will kick off in Miami (5-4, 3-3) Saturday afternoon in Hard Rock Stadium (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

"We had really, really good sessions last week," Satterfield said during his weekly press conference Monday afternoon. "Coming after a big win over Virginia, guys were upbeat, got a lot of confidence. Just a bounce in their step, and I think that's awesome to see.

"And then we got to practice last night and they were flying around, feeling good. That was fun. It was the best Sunday practice we've had all year. I think we're right where we want to be at this point of the season. This is an exciting time for us. We've talked about how we're going to finish and it starts with Miami."

About the only worry Satterfield has concerning his team is how it will overcome the loss of standout placekicker Blanton Creque, who is out for the season after undergoing surgery for an torn ACL suffered late in the 28-21 win over the Cavaliers on Oct. 26.

His replacement is Ryan Chalifoux, a redshirt freshman whose only collegiate experience consists of kicking the extra point on UofL's final touchdown after Creque was hurt.

While Chalifoux will handle field goals and extra points, Satterfield said he doesn't want to overburden him, so freshman James Turner from Saline, Mich., will replace Creque on kickoffs.

"At this point I really wouldn't want to put that much on Ryan," Satterfield said. "I think he could do it, but if we could split it up, I think that would be the best thing for our team."

Miami has won two in a row since being upset by Georgia Tech on Oct. 19. The Canes turned in their best overall performance last weekend in beating Florida State 27-10 in Tallahassee, costing FSU coach Willie Taggart his job. After the loss, Miami fired Taggart, who had been under fire for several weeks.

NEW DEFENDER--Junior cornerback Marlon Character will probably see significant actiona against Miami after making his first career start against Virginia and recording seven tackles and a sack.

"Marlon is probably one of the ost athletic players in the secondary," Satterfield said. "He can run, jump, he's quick. His mental capacity is really what was holding him back. He's another one of those guys who's been putting the work in. He has been a special teams player who is getting better and better."

An Atlanta product, Character played one season at Northwest Mississippi Junior College, where he was rated the NO. 1 JUCO safety, before transferring to Louisville. He appeared in 11 games last season, getting 16 tackles.

CARDS TO MEET A&M--Louisville and Texas A&M have agreed to a home-and-home series for the 2028 and 2029 seasons, UofL Vice-President/Director of Athletics Vince Tyra announced Monday.

The Cards will visit the Aggies on Sept. 2, 2028, marking their first visit to College Station since 1992. They will Cardinals face A&M at Cardinal Stadium on Sept. 2, 2029.

“We're excited to schedule a traditionally strong program with one of the best environments in college football,” Tyra said in a release. “We know our fans will enjoy the series and we're comfortable our future players will as well.”

The two teams have met four previous times, with A&M owning a 3-1
advantage. UofL's only win came in the 2015 Music City Bowl, 27-21.

The Texas A&M series adds to several attractive non-conference games in upcoming seasons. In addition to hosting the Aggies, UofL is set to play UCF in 2021, Notre Dame in 2023 and Indiana in 2024, all in Cardinal Stadium.

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