Motivation

Re-Energized Louisville Using Bowl Eligibility, Momentum as Motivation vs. Duke – CalBearsMaven

Summary

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – On paper, it seems like most Power Five programs – not just Louisville – would struggle to get hyped up and motivated for a matchup against Duke.

Sporting a 3-7 record on the year, the Blue Devils are the worst team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and it isn’t particularly close. They are winless in league play at 0-6, have lost eleven-straight conference matchups, and head coach David Cutcliffe reportedly has retirement on his mind. On top of that, the Cardinals wi…….

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – On paper, it seems like most Power Five programs – not just Louisville – would struggle to get hyped up and motivated for a matchup against Duke.

Sporting a 3-7 record on the year, the Blue Devils are the worst team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and it isn’t particularly close. They are winless in league play at 0-6, have lost eleven-straight conference matchups, and head coach David Cutcliffe reportedly has retirement on his mind. On top of that, the Cardinals will also be facing Duke on a short week, with kickoff coming on a Thursday night.

However, while it might not appear to be the most appealing matchup for both players and fan alike, Louisville is not short on any motivation whatsoever.

The Cardinals themselves currently sit at 5-5 on the season, meaning they are just one win shy of reaching bowl eligibility. A win against Duke, no matter the score, would propel Louisville to the postseason. With just two games left during the regular season – at Duke and vs. Kentucky at home – Louisville is using that as their main motivational tool against the Blue Devils.

“We know what we have in front of us,” head coach Scott Satterfield said. “We have the opportunity to win our sixth game and get bowl eligibility, and we want that, and our players want that. We’ve got to practice that way for that to happen.”

As previously mentioned, Louisville will have a short week of practice coming up against Duke. Their Monday practice will be a combined version of a Tuesday and Wednesday practice, with walkthroughs coming two days earlier than normal, and Louisville flying into Durham Wednesday night.

Practice might have to be scaled back a bit in order to fir the schedule, but Louisville has already experienced this before. After all, they kicked off this season playing three games in a 12-day span.

Even still, quarterback Malik Cunningham said after their win over Syracuse that they were actually “looking forward” to a quick turnaround and getting back out to play as soon as possible. Why? Well, that is due to the other method of motivation Louisville is using ahead of Duke: momentum.

In their most recent outing against the Orange, the Cardinals put up a dominating performance on both sides of the ball, trouncing Syracuse with a 41-3 blowout. On top of breaking a two-game losing streak, the victory not only served as Louisville’s most complete game of the season, but it was a big first step in helping put to bed a trend that had reared its ugly head many times this season: not being able to close out games.

The 38-point win, Louisville’s largest margin of victory against a Power Five team since 2-17 – when Lamar Jackson was the quarterback – was exactly what the …….

Source: https://www.si.com/college/louisville/football/louisville-motivation-duke