UH fires football coach Major Applewhite – Chron


Updated


The University of Houston has fired football coach Major Applewhite after just two seasons.

Applewhite was 15-11 with three bowl losses, his final game a 70-14 loss to Army in the Armed Forces Bowl.

“We’d like to thank Coach Applewhite and his family for their commitment to the success of the Houston football program over the last four seasons including the last two as our head coach,” UH athletic director Chris Pezman said. “After a thorough evaluation of our football program, it is my assessment our future opportunities for success are better addressed by making this very difficult decision now.


“While the immediate future may be challenging, our future at UH is very bright. We’ve made many sizable improvements over the past five years, and I look forward to enhancing our future success through the hiring of our next head coach. At this time we have already begun the search process for our next head coach and will not comment further until the search is concluded.”


Early reports suggests West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen could be the leading candidate.

After becoming a head coach for the first time, Applewhite was unable to sustain momentum UH built during a two-year run under his predecessor Tom Herman.

Applewhite made several questionable hires, among them offensive coordinator Brian Johnson and defensive coordinator Mark D’Onofrio. He also made the controversial decision to hire Kendal Briles, a former member of the Baylor staff during a sexual-assault scandal that rocked the university. With Briles’ up-tempo system, UH had one of the most explosive offenses in the nation that featured star quarterback D’Eriq King. Briles was a candidate for the Texas State head coaching job and ultimately left to become offensive coordinator at Florida State.

UH began 7-1 and was No. 17 in early November when a rash of injuries and struggling defense finally caught up. The Cougars lost four of the final games, blowing a two-game division lead that cost them a spot in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

Along the way, UH lost several key starters to injuries, including four on the defensive line. All-American defensive tackle Ed Oliver missed most of the final five games with a knee injury.

As part of the buyout, UH will owe Applewhite $1.95 million for the final three years of his contract.



In 238 seconds, Clemson dropped Notre Dame and flexed on college football – The Washington Post


The little slice of time lasted just 238 seconds from a season that began in August and now will extend into January. In that space, Clemson’s football team wedged 12 plays that covered 165 yards. The Tigers showed everything that football coaches spend hours in film rooms and practice sessions trying to mine from their players: precision, athleticism, discipline, ­attention to detail. Add to that something more: They were ruthless.

“Just wanting to score,” Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence said, “every time we get the ball.”

In those 238 seconds, Clemson closed out Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl, which served as the first College Football Playoff semifinal. There was the foundation of a 30-3 mauling of the Fighting Irish that was complete, thorough, unarguable. Yes, that timespan covered just the closing drives of the first half, and sure, the huge blocks of Fighting Irish fans who filled more than half the stadium could have discussed, at halftime, ways to rally. Watch both marching bands go through their routines, have a beverage, and you could maybe figure out a way for the Irish to come back.

But not if you were being real and assessing why Clemson is in the playoff for the fourth straight year. Of Coach Dabo Swinney’s pregame talk, sophomore wide receiver Tee Higgins said: “We’re not playing Notre Dame. We’re playing Clemson. We don’t want to allow Clemson to beat Clemson.”

That’s the standard now. There are big-picture reasons for that. “Just the culture and the people we have at Clemson,” defensive tackle Christian Wilkins said.

But those 238 seconds. It’s worth reliving them because they represent what the Tigers have become and what they can be at any moment. They were, on Saturday, two drives that transformed a competitive-if-unattractive contest into a beatdown. They show the potential that’s possible against any opponent, including Alabama, which Clemson lost to at the end of the 2015 season, beat to close 2016 and lost to in last year’s semifinals.

What Clemson has is explosiveness and depth at every position, a claim Notre Dame cannot quite make. Where to start? Perhaps with Lawrence — who, it’s worth reminding yourself when you consider what just played out, is a true freshman who just turned 19.

“I never see Trevor nervous,” said another freshman, wide receiver Justyn Ross. “I don’t know how he does it.”

Lawrence’s work on the day: 27 of 39 throws for 327 yards and three touchdowns. But his work on those two drives is what buckled Notre Dame. With the Irish facing a manageable 9-3 deficit, Lawrence got the ball with just under five minutes remaining in the half and 85 yards to go for a touchdown. By the time the Irish figured out what was happening, Lawrence had dissected a secondary that was without key cornerback Julian Love — out temporarily with an injury — and turned a third-and-14 trouble spot into a 42-yard touchdown pass to Ross.

In that exchange is a key difference between these programs. Clemson endured the suspension of standout defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, suspended due to a positive test for ostarine, a banned muscle-growth supplement. The Tigers’ response: get the next wide body from the depth chart and hold Notre Dame to 248 yards.

The Irish, though, couldn’t overcome Love’s head injury for even a few series. Those 238 seconds spanned the time it took Love to pass Notre Dame’s concussion protocol. He returned in the second half. By then, it was too late.

“We have to be good enough to overcome the loss of one really good player,” Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly said.

The Irish couldn’t. And Clemson keeps coming with more really good players.

Take Ross. Three Tigers caught more balls than he did this season. But he is — and hide your eyes, fans of opposing ACC teams — another true freshman. More than that: He’s a true freshman from Alabama, a true measure of how deep and enduring Clemson’s pull has become. More than that, even: Saturday, he caught Lawrence’s first touchdown pass of the day — a 52-yarder — and then the beautiful ball Lawrence delivered on this seam route for those 42 yards and a 16-3 lead. Those two players — two players who were in high school last year — connected six times for 148 yards.

“Every ball he throws is perfect,” Ross said of Lawrence. “You have to try to drop his ball.”

That Lawrence-to-Ross strike would have been enough for the Tigers to establish momentum. But under Swinney, Clemson has developed such an alpha personality that if the door’s open a crack, the Tigers will hop in a bulldozer and barrel through. Their average margin of victory this season was nearly 32 points, and that didn’t happen because Swinney and his staff eased into halftimes by taking a knee.

Rather, when Notre Dame failed to convert on its next possession, Clemson called a timeout. Lawrence got the ball back at his own 20 with 48 seconds left. One game-changer: a 32-yard completion to veteran Hunter Renfrow, whose eligibility may someday actually expire. That killer became worse for Notre Dame when senior defensive tackle Jerry Tillery obviously and stupidly roughed Lawrence.

All that was left to suck the suspense from Texas and have the Tigers thinking to next week in California was Lawrence’s final throw of the half. On this one, from 19 yards out, he got help from Higgins, who concentrated on a tipped ball and hauled it in as he stumbled out of the back of the end zone.

Another salient fact: Higgins, Clemson’s leading receiver, is a sophomore.

These guys aren’t going away. On those two drives that changed the game, Lawrence completed 7 of 8 throws for 125 yards and the two scores.

“Poise,” Swinney called it. That’s part of it, sure. But Lawrence is now part of what has become a Clemson machine. The Tigers seniors won the 54th game of their careers Saturday. Dexter Lawrence’s suspension didn’t magically take defensive ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant and defensive tackle Wilkins and out of action, too. Sure, Lawrence is a load at 350 pounds. But Albert Huggins, who started in his stead, is a senior who’s hardly a fragile flower at 315 pounds. The Notre Dame offense revolves around back Dexter Williams. His total Saturday: 16 carries, 54 yards. The Tigers, they swallowed him whole.

And so the second half — particularly after Irish quarterback Ian Book threw his only interception of the day, near the end of the third quarter — devolved into a debate that has marred the five years of the College Football Playoff’s existence: Should the committee take the team with the best résumé — and Notre Dame, with a spotless 12-0 record — over a team that was playing better ball late in the year.

That team, in this case, would be Georgia — which lost at LSU, mysteriously, and to Alabama in the SEC championship game, understandably. Would the Bulldogs have given Clemson a better game Saturday evening? Possibly. Maybe even probably.

But that debate shouldn’t matter much. Look at those 238 seconds. What’s revealed there is what Clemson is: a national power that is now a national program, recruiting whatever players it wants from wherever they’re raised. And every year, it is a threat to win the national championship. Watch the end of the first half Saturday, and try to think otherwise.



Virginia Tech football team explores African American history, culture in Washington – WDBJ7


WASHINGTON (WDBJ) — With a collection of displays and artifacts nearing 37,000, it’s easy to get lost among the history.

“It’s an amazing building. I’ve been too busy taking pictures for my mom back at home. She made me take a bunch of pictures,” said redshirt sophomore defensive back Divine Deablo.

The Hokies took a break from football Friday to check out the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

With displays featuring icons like Jackie Robinson, Jimi Hendrix and even a helmet from former Hokie Bruce Smith, there was something for everyone to learn.

“It’s amazing to see all this history of African Americans over the years and the course of the establishment of America,” said senior offensive lineman Yosuah Nijman. “I think it’s very broad, and there’s like different varieties of different things, and how these people came together throughout the years of being oppressed.”

The trip was a chance for the team to exhale while preparing for Monday’s Military Bowl against Cincinnati.

“I feel like the team always gets closer. You know, we get serious a lot during practice and stuff, but besides that, we have fun all the other times,” Deablo said.

Besides just getting a break, though, the players said the museum visit helped teammates, both black and white, to experience something new.

“We get to spend time together outside of football where we can talk and socialize and kind of reflect on this kind of stuff coming from different backgrounds – some of us are white, some of us are black, some of us are Spanish – coming from different backgrounds so, I think it’s important,” Nijman said.



Hong Kong football’s fresh farce as new coach leaves after a week – South China Morning Post


Michael Boris, the newly appointed development coach of the Hong Kong Football Association, has left the role after just one week.

Boris took the role on December 13, according to German football website Transfermarkt, having previously managed Hungary’s under-21 team and several lower-league teams in his native Germany.

The 43-year-old was set to take charge of the Hong Kong team in the upcoming Interport Cup double-header against Guangdong in the new year.

Boris’ departure was revealed at the first training session for the Hong Kong side ahead of the 41st edition of the cross-border tournament.

Gary White departs Hong Kong with warm praise for HKFA saying he would have only left for Tokyo job

Kenneth Kwok Kar-lok was in charge of the session instead of the German, and told assembled media the new arrival had left after just a week, possibly because he could not acclimatise to the Hong Kong weather.

Kwok, now head coach at Hong Kong Premier League side Best Union Yuen Long and seconded by the HKFA, is in interim charge of the side, just as he was for last year’s Interport Cup.

He was also in charge of the under-23 side during the Asian Games in Indonesia in August, as the HKFA had not then appointed a replacement for South Korean coach Kim Pan-gon, who left as head coach in December 2017.

‘Laughing stock’ Hong Kong football referee suspended for three months after Sapling Cup match error

The rapid retreat by Boris is the latest recruitment farce for the HKFA after head coach Gary White left for J. League side Tokyo Verdy just 92 days into his tenure.

Both the head coach and elite development coach roles are advertised on the HKFA website, with application deadlines of January 11 for the former and January 2 for the latter.

The recruitment process for the head coach role was questioned at the Legislative Council earlier this month.

Hong Kong take on Guangdong in Guangdong People’s Provincial Stadium in Guangzhou on January 6, before the return leg at Hong Kong Stadium on January 9.

Hong Kong football needs to look past Gary White’s short (but successful) reign and continue to be brave



The Joy of Six: Norwegians in English football – The Guardian


1) Jostein Flo

Just as Belgians were à la mode for the early and middle parts of this decade, for a while in the 1990s there was hardly a Premier League club that would dare be seen in public without a Norwegian. The most significant influx was sparked by one of English football’s darker nights of the soul, a 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat in Oslo that saw Egil Olsen’s Norway provide live ammunition for cult documentary makers.

Erik Thorstvedt, Stig Inge Bjornebye and Gunnar Halle – playing for Spurs, Liverpool and Oldham respectively – had blazed the trail to England and six of their teammates would cross the North Sea soon enough. Among those to have caused particular interest was Jostein Flo, a beanpole 28-year-old strikerwho caught the eye of Sheffield United. He was integral to Olsen’s no-nonsense style at international level, cutting an unorthodox figure on the right flank with the sole purpose of nodding raking crossfield balls down to onrushing teammates (the “Flo Pass” even has its own Wikipedia entry). It was not hard, then, to see how Dave Bassett’s appetite might have been whetted and within weeks of England’s humiliation he had paid Sogndal £400,000 for their target man.

Flo was a replacement for Brian Deane and looked cut out for the task when he scored on his home debut against Wimbledon. He ended the season as the Blades’ top scorer; the problem was he only managed nine league goals and it was not enough to save them from relegation. Nor was it enough to make him popular at Bramall Lane; moments of brilliance such as a spectacular volley against Leeds and a winning pair at Anfield were far between and, in a division whose technical level was improving, his more rudimentary offerings seemed out of step. Flo hung around in the second tier to moderate effect before returning to his homeland with Stromsgodset in 1996. There, he would enjoy an astonishingly prolific Indian summer; meanwhile two of his clan, brother Tore Andre and cousin Havard, would continue the family’s English presence.

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2) Jan Åge Fjørtoft

A few yards from the County Ground, a mural displays three of Swindon Town’s best ever players. Alongside Charlie Austin and Don Rogers, in trademark “aeroplane” celebration mode, is Jan Åge Fjørtoft.

Fjørtoft, who had played up front against England, joined the newly promoted Robins in 1993, at the peak of his powers after a prolific four years at Rapid Vienna. He cost a club-record £500,000, the idea being that – at 6ft 3in – he would provide the focal point around which the minnows pinned their survival bid.

It says something for Fjørtoft’s impact that his aviation-themed cavortings were as much a signature image of their season as Gorman’s exasperation on the touchline. Swindon finished bottom of the division by 10 points and never really had a prayer; Fjørtoft managed a dozen goals, all of them after Christmas, and fared well in the second tier, scoring 25 goals in all competitions the following year.





Fjørtoft celebrates in signature style while with Sheffield United



Fjørtoft celebrates in signature style while with Sheffield United. Photograph: Allsport, Uk/ALLSPORT

Further nibbles at the Premier League brought mixed results. Middlesbrough, who signed him for £1.3m in March 1995, had big ambitions and after a respectable first season he was moved aside for Fabrizio Ravanelli. Two more high-scoring seasons in Division One followed with Sheffield United, before one final tilt at the big time with Barnsley in 1997-98. In a callback to that salvage attempt with Swindon, he scored six times in the season’s latter stages but was unable to pull off the miracle.

3) Lars Bohinen

Olsen’s teams were not all blood, thunder and long balls. The side that beat England would have been hugely diminished without the promptings of its diminutive playmaker, Erik Mykland, and could always rely on Bohinen, a delightfully creative showman whose goal against Graham Taylor’s team completed a sweeping counterattack that would not look out of place from today’s top sides.

It took five months for the English game to witness those gifts more regularly. Nottingham Forest, recently relegated to the second tier, took the plunge and shelled out £450,000. They were 16th and going nowhere but Bohinen helped spark a 14-game unbeaten run, automatic promotion and a remarkable continuation of that form in 1994-95. Forest finished third in their first season back at the top and, while Stan Collymore’s goals took most of the headlines, Bohinen was brilliant throughout.

That was enough to attract the reigning champions and, in October 1995, Blackburn activated an insultingly low £700,000 release clause. A spell that began promisingly – and with two goals against his previous employers in a 7-0 shellacking – fizzled out, although the memory still burns brightly of a sensational solo goal at Old Trafford in August 1996. That put Rovers 2-1 up and required Manchester United to throw on an unproven debutant, who rifled in an equaliser. The player’s name? Ole Gunnar Solskjær.





Lars Bohinen in action for Derby County in September 1998.



Lars Bohinen in action for Derby County in September 1998. Photograph: David Davies/Sportsphoto Ltd.

4) Alf-Inge Håland

Football tends only to receive a fleeting mention when it comes to Håland, still synonymous with the tackle from Roy Keane that he believes hastened the end of his career. That challenge put the other flashpoint that brought him renown, a training-ground bust up with Stan Collymore while at Nottingham Forest, in the shade and meant the bulk of eight active years in the English leagues was all but forgotten.

Håland joined Forest in 1993, having not played for his country. He was 20 and had started out with little-known Bryne. Essentially his time in England was spent as a utility man – a midfield stopper who could also operate at the back – and his best moments probably came at Leeds, where he began strongly before playing a less prominent role in the run to the Uefa Cup semi-finals of 1999-2000.





Alf-Inge Håland battles with Roy Keane at Maine Road in November 2000.



Alf-Inge Håland battles with Roy Keane at Maine Road in November 2000. Photograph: Phil Noble/PA

Yet it was an incident while at Leeds that sowed the seeds for later dramas. Keane had been deeply unhappy about the reaction of Håland, who was no angel, to his own ligament injury in a match at Elland Road in 1997. That enmity crystallised four years later in that tackle during a Manchester derby. Håland already had issues with his left knee; this challenge hurt his right but, whatever the final straw was, he never played a full game of professional football again.

There is every chance that his son, the Leeds-born Erling Braut, will enjoy a more positive legacy: at 18 he scored 18 times for Molde last season.

5) Eirik Bakke

The memory of Bakke still comes with a tinge of regret. Like Flo, he arrived in the Premier League from Sogndal, David O’Leary shelling out a hefty £1.75m to add him, at 21, to the young side that would fly too close to the sun. Bakke, a rangy midfielder with an eye for goal, made an impact straightaway. He would later recall the punishing pre-season, led by Eddie Gray, that got him up to speed and set him up for a 1999-00 campaign that brought eight goals.

Leeds were fast becoming the nation’s darlings and playing some bewitching football. Bakke was heavily involved the following season in that improbable Champions League last-four run, and remained an important member of the squad in 2001-02, when they topped the league at new year before tailing off badly. As Leeds slid , Bakke’s form wavered and then injury struck.

He played a handful of games in 2003-04, Leeds’ relegation season, with knee troubles taking hold. They limited him to a single Championship appearance in 2004-05 and, while there would be a return to the top flight on loan with Aston Villa the following season, he was not the same. Leeds let him depart two seasons later; one of the last vestiges of a bygone conflicting era.

6) Morten Gamst Pedersen

Few Premier League players have hailed from anywhere as remote as Vadso, the tiny town in Norway’s far north that spawned one of the finest left feet the division’s modern era has seen. He was playing on the wing for Tromso when Blackburn picked him up in 2004 and it took the then 22-year-old a little time to find his range. When he finally did, the results were spectacular.





Morten Gamst Pedersen celebrates scoring against Fulham in August 2005.



Morten Gamst Pedersen celebrates scoring against Fulham in August 2005. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Pedersen’s highlights reel can make a gloomy winter evening fly by. He stuck around at Ewood Park for nine years despite frequent links elsewhere and the rewards for Rovers were rich. Few could strike a ball more cleanly: Pedersen’s free-kicks whipped, swirled, dipped around walls and under crossbars; his volleys – the most memorable a crashing effort against Fulham – could all but rip the net out and his precision was surgical.

None of it brought silverware but it did bring top-flight finishes of sixth and seventh. Pedersen, unmistakable for his boyish looks and blonde highlights, left in 2013, a year after Rovers’ relegation. Now 37, he can still be found teasing Norwegian defences with his beloved Tromso.



Scott Satterfield's best offenses have been built around reinvention – Courier Journal


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Louisville football coach Scott Satterfield spoke with media members Wednesday after his first early signing day with the Cardinals. Dec. 19, 2018
Matt Stone, Louisville Courier Journal

As Scott Satterfield has hit the ground running as Louisville’s new head football coach, we close the year with a three-part series examining how Satterfield’s team will look, beginning with the offense.

One of the more innovative offensive minds in college football started his coaching career in 1998 — and then essentially started over in 2004, and again in 2014.

Scott Satterfield has always been searching for the next tactic in offensive football. The offense he ran as a player at Appalachian State was different than the one he ran as an assistant coach, which was different than the one he ran when he became a head coach.

“I think you got to stay ahead of the curve in this game and kind of reinvent yourself,” Satterfield told the Courier Journal earlier this month. “Fundamentally, do the things that are going to keep you successful, but also keep guys off balance.”

Related: Satterfield, Louisville football coaches know what a rebuild will take

David Jackson, formerly Appalachian State’s radio announcer, said he used to watch Appalachian State trot out new offensive concepts and think, “Scott was up all night again.”

“He’s a tinkerer,” Jackson said.

As a quarterback, Satterfield ran a fairly straightforward, pro-style offense between the tackles. The team’s two main run plays were called 18 G Load and 19 G Load. “We were Nebraska,” said Jerry Moore, Appalachian State’s head coach from 1989-2012 and a disciple of legendary coach Tom Osborne.

The Mountaineers remained Nebraska until 2004, when Moore, Satterfield and the other coaches hatched the idea for a new scheme. They would throw out their old-school, power-I ground game and replace it with a dizzying, no-huddle, spread-option attack.

It took two seasons for them to start on a run of three Division I-AA national championships in a row.

“When we started the spread in 2004, it was a gimmick offense at that time, and we did not run it well that first year,” Jackson said. “We had little glimpses here and there, but this was an I-formation, fullback-dominant, power-running-game type football program. And here comes this guy calling plays and slinging the ball all over the field, and people thought he was crazy.”

The Mountaineers scored 22.9 points per game in 2004, 33.3 in 2005, then 30.3, 35.2 and 42.7. They starred Richie Williams and then Armanti Edwards at quarterback.

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Louisville quarterbacks coach Frank Ponce talks about recruiting in Florida
Matt Stone, Louisville Courier Journal

Satterfield’s days of putting the quarterback under center were over.

Opinion: Louisville coach Scott Satterfield taking his time in recruiting

When he returned to Appalachian State in 2012 and became the head coach in 2013, he reinvented himself again. This was a different time, one in which lots of schools were running the same spread attack, and the Mountaineers were moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision level to play more talented teams.

“We went more to the pistol, some outside-zone stuff, inside zone, play-action, quick game, taking shots, because nobody was really doing that either,” Satterfield said.

If you hear Satterfield talk about his offense at Louisville, you’re going to hear a lot of the term “outside zone.”

The coaches can tweak that term from scheme to scheme, but it’s largely a run-first offense that relies on the offensive linemen reading the defensive front and blocking based on where the defenders are, and on the running backs reading the blocks and cutting inside or bouncing outside.

When Satterfield called plays at Appalachian State from 2003-08, the offense varied, but it was most successful when it depended on the run. The Mountaineers ran the ball between 48.5 percent (2004) and 69.3 percent (2007) of the time from season to season. That trend continued after Satterfield became the head coach.

Previously: Scott Satterfield flips quarterback Evan Conley from Appalachian State

The run game involves the quarterback. Taylor Lamb, Appalachian State’s starting quarterback from 2014-17, rushed between six and seven times per game each of his four seasons. Zac Thomas was around the same mark this season.

Satterfield’s offense from Appalachian State can even run a variation of the triple option out of the shotgun.

Those concepts are important, because Satterfield and his coaches have expressed their desire to run the same scheme at Louisville.

“The bread and butter of the offense is something that we’ll hang our hat on,” quarterbacks coach Frank Ponce said. “We’ll continue to do it. We’ll get really good at it. Because the kids know. They don’t think. They’re just reacting and they’re running and they’re rolling with the offense. They understand the concepts. Whether it’s run game or pass game, they’re going to know it like the back of their hand.”

The outside-zone plays depend on a workhorse running back. In each of Satterfield’s first four seasons at Appalachian State, the Mountaineers had a back carry at least 18 times per game. (Louisville has not had a running back at that mark since Bilal Powell in 2010.)

Marcus Cox, one of the best running backs in the country, carried 245 times in 2013, 255 in 2014, 243 in 2015 and 158 in 2016 — when Appalachian State also had Jalin Moore with 237.

Satterfield’s offense also counts on complementary backs behind the starter. Its second running back has finished the season with at least 75 carries each of the past five years. This season, the Mountaineers excelled with two backs totaling more than 100 carries.

Check out: It’s in: Manual senior Aidan Robbins signs with Louisville football

Satterfield said he respects Army’s triple-option offense (89.1 percent runs) and Mike Leach’s Air Raid (29.6 percent) for how devoted they are to their main philosophy. His best Appalachian State’s teams were the same way.

“I just think you have to believe in something,” Satterfield said. “… I’ve seen and been a part of offenses and/or defenses where they do a little bit of everything and can’t hang their hat on anything. To me, (then) you’re average, because I think once you get good at something and your kids believe in it and your staff believes in it, it doesn’t matter how you line up over there on defense, this is going to work.”

So how will Satterfield’s offense look at Louisville?

The short answer: however he wants it to look, all the time.

Read this: Dwayne Ledford, Stu Holt accept Louisville football coaching positions

Jake Lourim: 502-582-4168; jlourim@courierjournal.com; Twitter: @jakelourim. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/jakel.