--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
For the first time since September 22nd, 2018, the Louisville Cardinals are at .500. They defeated the Eastern Kentucky Colonels, 42-0, behind a very impressive defensive performance. Louisville’s defense held EKU to under 100 yards in the first half, and 542 in the game. Moreover, the Cardinals recorded nearly half as many sacks as the entire year last year.
It was the first time since FIU in 2013 that Louisville shut out an opponent. It was also the first time Louisville scored more than 40 since the Kentucky game in 2017.
Jawon Pass started for Louisville, and had a good game. He completed 12 of 19 for 196 yards and 4 touchdowns and 1 interception, while rushing four times for 37 yards. One of the stars of the game was Javian Hawkins, who became the first freshman running back to have back-to-back 100 yard rushing games since 2008. He was also the first Louisville RB since 2016 to do that. Freshman Marshon Ford also scored two touchdowns.
Louisville put up 14 in the first quarter. On their first drive, Pass shovel passed to Tutu Atwell for an impressive 50-yard touchdown with 12:34 left. Blanton Creque’s kick was good. Then, Pass connected with redshirt freshman Marshon Ford for a five-yard touchdown on a crossing route, followed by a Creque extra point.
In the second, neither team could get more than 80 yards. Louisville had 79 yards, 33 rushing. EKU had 62, helped by two sacks by the Louisville defense.
Louisville’s offense was better in the second half.
Ford caught another touchdown pass less than 30 seconds after the second half began; from five yards. The play was set up by a 66-yard rush from Javian Hawkins. Hawkins originally was credited with a touchdown, but replay review delayed the score. Then, with 3:58 left, Pass threw on fourth down and connected with Dez Fitzpatrick, giving Louisville a 28-0 lead.
Hassan Hall punched in a touchdown from the one yard-line with 12:05 left in the game. Then, Malik Cunningham entered the game, and ran for a 38-yard touchdown to cap off a four-play, 66 yard drive that took up 1:53.
Louisville’s record now sits at 1-1. They go down to Nashville next week for a matchup with Western Kentucky at Nissan Stadium. The game will be at 4:00 pm. Louisville returns to Cardinal Stadium on Saturday, October 5th, for a game against Boston College.