Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham says the brand new offensive scheme “matches me good” due to its reliance on the run-cross choice.
Justin Sayers, Louisville Courier Journal

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U of L QB Malik Cunningham (three) performs a cross drill throughout follow on the Trager Middle.
Feb. eleven, 2019 (Photograph: Sam Upshaw Jr./Courier Journal)

After Frank Ponce was hired as Louisville’s quarterbacks coach, returning Cardinals signal-caller Malik Cunningham decided to do some research on his new coach.

He reached out to one of Ponce’s former players.

“He told me about … how (Ponce) is always dialed in on the little things, which is something that the previous coaches wouldn’t do with us,” Cunningham said.

That attention to detail has rang true through two days, Cunningham said. And it’s paid dividends for the sophomore signal-caller, who is practicing with the starters.

More Cards: 3 things to watch as Cardinals begin spring practice under Satterfield

And as for his new coach, he even went as far as using the word “love.”

“I love Coach Ponce and he’s only been here for a month. He’s a very good coach,” Cunningham said. “He knows what he’s talking about. He’s going to get us right.”

Having Cunningham emerge at the quarterback position would pay dividends as Louisville looks to rebound from a disappointing season under new coach Scott Satterfield.

The Cardinals struggled with their quarterback play in 2018 as Cunningham was one of four players to see time at the position. He shared starting duty with redshirt junior Jawon Pass.

As things stand now, the starting job is believed to be a three-headed race between Cunningham, Pass and freshman Evan Conley, who enrolled early after signing with the Cardinals before the spring semester.

“We’re all just battling,” Cunningham said. “I’ve been going with (the first team) but that doesn’t mean anything. I’ve just been trying to lead the team by example and do everything right.”


Louisville football coach Scott Satterfield talks after the Cards finished their first spring practice.
Dominique Yates, Courier Journal, Louisville Courier Journal

Cunningham said the new scheme “fits me perfect” because it’s similar to what he ran at Park Crossing High School in Montgomery, Alabama. It relies more on run-pass options, which fits his run-first style better than last year’s run-pass balance offense.

“It’s so different, so much easier in my opinion,” Cunningham said. “It’s going to help all of the quarterbacks a lot.”

Wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer said Wednesday that all quarterbacks have handled the offense really well, considering how fast they’ve been going in practice.

“They’ve made some throws that are some tremendous and made some mistakes just like every other person on the team did. … To do what we’ve done in two days, I have really been impressed by the way they’ve handled it.”

Like several other players, Cunningham praised the change in culture brought on by Satterfield and his staff. He said his…