Pass, offense make progress during Cardinals’ second scrimmage

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) -- Louisville football coach Scott Satterfield is feeling better about his team's quarterback situation. Or at least better than he did a week ago when he expressed disappointment following the Cardinals' first scrimmage of fall camp.

After the second scrimmage Saturday morning, Satterfield said he was much happier, and the biggest reason was the play of Jawon Puma Pass, who is expected to be the starter in the season opener against Notre Dame on Sept. 2.

“Puma played a lot better, which was encouraging to see,” Satterfield said after the the hour and a half scrimmage in steamy Cardinal Stadium. "I thought overall the No. 1 offense was good today. We made some plays out of the wide receiver position. Tutu Atwell had a couple touchdown catches and we were also able to run the football."

The 6-foot-4 Pass took all the snaps with the No. 1 unit against the No. 1 defense and connected on two deep throws to Atwell, a 5-9 sophomore.

"Mentally, Puma was a lot better today," Satterfield said. "He was a lot sharper in his decision-making, which is the key. He was a lot more accurate. The ball was there it needed to be, which is a good sign in his development."

Pass, a redshirt junior who started nine games last season but was plagued by inconsistency, said he felt he made major strides in several areas from a week ago.

“Decision-making, taking care of the ball, no turnovers and just having consistent drives,” Pass said. “The main thing I had to do was focus, take it one play at a time and read the defense and go off my reads. I had a pretty good day and impacted my team.”

Pass added that he feels like he now has a "very good grasp" of the different offensive scheme under the new coaching staff and looks to keep improving.

“I am playing a lot more free and having a lot more fun this year,” he said. “I just control what I can control and try to be the best me.”

The Cards will return to practice Sunday night, then take Monday off as the school year officially begins.

ECARMA FIRED AS TENNIS COACH

In a move that wasn't unexpected after he was placed on administrative leave more than 2 1/2 months ago, Kentucky Tennis Hall of Famer Rex Ecarma was fired Friday as UofL's tennis coach after 29 seasons at the school.

UofL athletics director Vince Tyra said that after what he termed an "independent investigation" into Ecarma's program, he determined that a change in leadership is needed. The university had earlier said the suspension was prompted by issues raised by some players.

According to a news release from UofL, the school "has exercised the 10-day notice provision in Ecarma’s agreement to terminate his services without cause, effective Aug. 26."

Ecarma will be compensated for the remainder of his contract with the university, which runs through 2023.

"We have been clear about our roles and expectations in providing our student-athletes an outstanding experience while a part of our program," Tyra said in the release. "The conclusion of an independent investigation into our men’s tennis program determined otherwise."

Assistant coach Jakob Gustafsson will serve as the team's interim coach while UofL conducts a search for Ecarma's replacement.

Since being hired in 1991, Ecarma had a record of 475-317-1 ,leading the Cards to five conference championships and 12 NCAA regional appearances. He also played at UofL from 1984 to 1987.

Ecarma's current contract was set to expire June 30, 2023 and paid him a base salary of $150,000. In his role as director for the Bass Rudd Tennis Center,

Ecarma was also eligible to receive incentive awards for donations he secured for the men's tennis program.

In a statement through his attorney, Ecarma said he is disappointed by the decision and that he "was never presented any allegations, by anyone, against me, despite repeated requests."

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