--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
Many player had an impact for the Louisville Cardinals on Saturday; in their rain-soaked victory over the Indiana State Sycamores.
Here are a few that stood out:
Offense: RB Jeremy Smith
Smith got his first taste of action for the 2018 season Saturday, after coming back to school despite announcing his availability on the transfer market.
His first game back went well. He had six touches, and 56 rushing yards, including a 21-yard rush on third down and three in the third quarter.
Smith could have had a better impact, but primarily only played in the third. He had one touch in the first, nothing in the second, and nothing in the fourth.
Despite this, he will almost certainly have an impact against Western Kentucky on Saturday.
Defense: DE Tabarius Peterson
Louisville’s tackles leader on Saturday had a big performance. The redshirt sophomore brought eight down, five of which were solo, tackled one for a loss, and had one pass breakup in the win.
The 53rd WDE was a three-star when recruited, and was the 50th player in Georgia.
Also having a stellar impact on defense was CB Rodjay Burns; last week’s player of the week.
Special Teams: PR Rodjay Burns
In two games, Burns has proved to be a capable player on both defense and special teams. While he had a good defensive performance (5 tackles, 1.5 TFL), his punt returning was impressive.
Burns scored Louisville’s first TD in the first quarter. He returned a punt 55-yards to the end zone, giving Louisville the 7-0 lead before the rains came and washed the game into a delay.
He had three total returns for 86 yards, averaging 29 yards. His longest was the 55-yard TD return.
Overall: QB Malik Cunningham
Cunningham was probably going to play in this game anyways. But he replaced Jawon Pass midways through the third, and was responsible for two of Louisville’s TDs. In fact, he sparked the offense. Three of Louisville’s touchdowns, and the Creque Field Goal, came while Cunningham was under center.
Cunningham completed six of seven for 75 yards passing and a TD, while rushing 12 times for 54 yards and a rushing TD.
While the starting job still belongs to Pass, and Cunningham’s entrance into the game was perhaps to prove a point; there may be a QB battle brewing on Floyd Street.
It can be almost expected both QBs will play in Week 3.