Who earned a game ball after the hard-fought win for Louisville football against Western Kentucky on Saturday in Nashville?
Louisville football got their first taste of a “road” game this season when they traveled to Nashville to play against in-state foe Western Kentucky in a neutral field showdown at Nissan Stadium.
With Jawon Pass being a late scratch, the quarterback position was a bit of a question mark headed into the game with Malik Cunningham getting his first start of the season. With Louisville’s offense showing significant improvement through the first games of the season just about everywhere, except for in the deep passing game under Pass, it gave Cunningham a chance to show he could be the guy going forward.
That’s exactly what Cunningham did, at least during the first half of the game, as the Cards started out a bit slow out of the gates but piled up points towards the end of the first quarter into half time. With the run-first Cunningham at the helm, Louisville scored on four of their five drives of the first half, while absolutely dominating defensively shutting down dangerous runner, Gaej Walker.
Much like what we saw against EKU and Notre Dame, Louisville’s defense limited most big plays while continuing to make things hard for the offense in the run and passing games. Steven Duncan, who had been susceptible to turnovers through the first two games of Western’s schedule, was forced into difficult throws (most of the day) but it was a fumble that resulted in the Cards first turnover of the season and defensive score.
Overall, Louisville showed progress once again. In a unique game environment with a lot of different things happening (travel, new routine, distractions of a new qb, etc.) Louisville showed that once again they could overcome challenges by defeating Western Kentucky 38-21.
The more winning the better for Louisville’s confidence as they get ready to head into the meat of their schedule in ACC play, starting with Florida State.
Before we look ahead to Saturday’s matchup, we hand out our third round of game balls to the Cardinals who shined in Nashville.