Quick turnaround as Louisville hosts Eastern Kentucky

Sports

For Louisville, it wants to both forget and remember Monday’s season-opening loss to Ole Miss in Atlanta.

One on hand, the Cardinals want to forget about falling behind 26-0 at halftime. But they also hope to remember and build upon the second half, when they showed some life with four scoring drives in the 43-24 defeat.

Louisville (0-1, 0-0 ACC) hopes that momentum from the second half carries over to its home opener Saturday night against FCS opponent Eastern Kentucky (1-0).

“Offensively in the second half, I thought we came out and did lot of really good things,” Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield said. “Some really nice drives. That’s the kind of offense we want to see.”

After a slow start, the engine that makes Louisville go, quarterback Malik Cunningham, started to produce.

Cunningham finished 22-of-37 passing for 191 yards and touchdown through the air, and also rushed for 79 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.

The big issue for Louisville to fix is its defense, given Ole Miss accumulated 569 yards of total offense (381 passing, 188 rushing) and 31 first downs.

“Defensively, we didn’t play well in the second half,” Satterfield said. “We missed some fits and missed some tackles. We’ve got to get a lot better with that.”

The first step toward getting better defensively will be against Eastern Kentucky, which is coming off a 31-28 win at Western Carolina in its season opener.

Eastern Kentucky is led by quarterback Parker McKinney, who completed 20 of 28 passes for 238 yards and a touchdown. Da’Joun Hewitt rushed for three touchdowns and Patrick Nations kicked a key fourth-quarter field goal.

McKinney’s favorite target against Western Carolina was Mo Edwards, who caught five passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.

“You never saw our kids panic,” Colonels head coach Walt Wells said. “We talk all the time about not looking at the scoreboard, to just keep playing and the game will tell you at the end what the score is. They just kept playing and it impresses me that they had that in them.”

–Field Level Media

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