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The time has come: Scott Satterfield is ready to lead UC in its first game as a Big 12 team

Cincinnati is expecting a sellout at Nippert Stadium for its season opener against Eastern Kentucky
Scott Satterfield
Posted at 6:41 PM, Aug 29, 2023

CINCINNATI — Scott Satterfield will lead the Cincinnati Bearcats out of the tunnel at Nippert Stadium for the first time as a Big 12 team, almost nine months to the day after Satterfield was named head coach.

"We feel settled in, we can’t wait to play that first game at Nippert," Satterfield said.

Satterfield has experience as both a winner and an underdog. As a player, Satterfield was quarterback at Appalachian State. His senior year, he led the Mountaineers to an undefeated season.

"When I got my first start as a player, I had a terrible game — I mean a terrible game. I think five turnovers maybe," Satterfield said. "I went from first string to last string … then you had to battle your way back up ... I worked my way back to the starting lineup, I started my senior year. ... You are going to have some setbacks but you have to keep fighting. You have to keep putting the work in."

As a coach, Satterfield was the play-caller for his alma mater when Appalachian State pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college football history. The Mountaineers defeated fifth-ranked Michigan in Ann Arbor.

"Anybody can beat anybody on any given day," he said. "Michigan was No. 5 in the country. We were not supposed to go to The Big House and win that game … it just proves that if you have a bunch of guys playing for each other and going out with a great plan, execute that plan, you got a great chance to win…I don’t care who we are playing, put the ball down, let’s go win."

After an extremely successful run at Appalachian State, Satterfield accepted the head coaching gig at the University of Louisville. In his first season, Satterfield took over a team that was 2-10. Under Satterfield, the Cardinals won eight games in a row.

"That was some of the best coaching that I have ever been a part of," Satterfield said.

Cincinnati is nowhere near as big of a fixer-upper as Louisville was.

"The DNA of this program is really, really good, but it still comes down to players … we’ve lost a lot of really good players," Satterfield said.

Some of those players include All-American linebacker Ivan Pace, now with the Minnesota Vikings. On offense, the Bearcats lost three of their biggest pass-catching weapons, Tre Tucker (Las Vegas Raiders), Tyler Scott (Chicago Bears) and Josh Whyle (Tenessee Titans).

Besides losing players to the NFL, Satterfield has spoken out many times about how the transfer portal has changed coaching college football.

"That’s one of the most challenging things we have as coaches," Satterfield said. "We need (chemistry) more now than ever."

Going into Week 1, personnel remains the biggest challenge.

"It’s the depth," Satterfield said. "I feel like our ones have come out and competed at a high level, to me it’s the next guys. Who’s the twos, the threes, that are going to have to come out and help you win football games?"

When asked what players he’s expecting to make the biggest impact, Satterfield did not hesitate, naming two defensive linemen — Dontay Corleone and Jowon Briggs — as well as Deshawn Pace who will be playing the "star" position this season.

On offense, Satterfield praised wide receiver Braden Smith.

Saturday’s first non-conference game of the season is expected to be a sellout at Nippert Stadium. Cincinnati hosts Eastern Kentucky University at 3:30 p.m.

"We want to belong in the Big 12," said Satterfield.