LEXINGTON, KY– There’s nothing better than red and white in a sea of blue. That is the camera angle for Malik Cunningham’s touchdown that etched his name into NCAA history surpassing his former teammate and current Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
The two Louisville legends have combined for a total of 239 touchdowns as members of the Louisville Cardinals. The insanity of this statistic continues to become more mind-blowing when you hear there has only been four players in FBS (Division I) history to record at least 50 touchdown passes and 50 rushing touchdowns and two of them were Louisville Cardinals.
Louisville has been blessed with dual-threat quarterbacks, with the likes of Lamar Jackson, a brief stint by Jawon Pass, and Malik Cunningham. It appears that this trend will continue with the incoming freshman Pierce Clarkson and there is still Khalib Johnson on the roster currently who has been sitting under Cunningham’s leadership in the quarterback room for a year.
Johnson has been dubbed as Cunningham’s “little brother” and has the potential to battle with Pierce Clarkson for the QB1 position next season. According to reviews, Johnson could be handed the QB1 job and Clarkson could have to battle his way into the competition. Johnson has a very clear upside that fans are excited about.
However, the story yesterday was the instability in the backfield for the Scott Satterfield’s squad. Cunningham was available to play but was very limited on the field completing just three passes on six attempts and finishing with an interception. Cunningham’s backup all season has been junior Brock Domann who was undefeated as a starting QB for Louisville this season.
He could finish the Wildcats off for a 3-0 record as the QB1. Domann finished with 127 yards passing with a touchdown but also threw for an interception. On top of that, his longest completed pass was only 27 yards.
Holes were being poked in Domann’s armor last night and Louisville could not gain any long-standing momentum. Plus, with the Cardinals’ backfield playing down Tiyon Evans before the ball was even kicked off set them at a disadvantage early. Jawhar Jordan played a phenomenal game last week against NC State and followed up that performance with another 145 yards against Kentucky. But it was not quite enough to get the Cardinals over the edge.
Louisville’s defense, which has been otherwordly since the Boston College loss, was unable to stop Will Levis and the Wildcat offense consistently all night. Defensive linemen YaYa Diaby and Ashton Gillotte were able to record a sack a piece, but that was not enough to stop Kentucky, who was able to put points on the board in all four quarters.
Offensive points for the Wildcats included four field goals from their kicker Matt Ruffolo, who has struggled all season long. But he decided to turn it up against Kentucky’s most hated rival and he finished the game going 4-for-4 in field goals, earning himself the Governor’s Cup MVP award.
Combine that misfortune with Louisville’s offensive woes and it is a recipe for a Cardinal loss.
This defeat makes the fourth straight loss to the Wildcats in the series and it continues to leave a bad taste in Cardinal Nation’s mouth.
The moral of the story is that Louisville and Kentucky finished the season with the same record. Plus, Coach Satterfield’s ability to coach his way off the hot seat that he was on ahead of the Virginia game, this season deserves to be celebrated for the Cardinals.