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Hawkins becomes Cardinals work horse

Running back rushes for 136 yards on 28 carries

Javian Hawkins proved he can be a “work horse” for Louisville football.

The running back finished with 136 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries in the Cardinals’ 28-21 victory over Virginia Oct. 26. Hawkins, a redshirt freshman, became the first player in program history to rush for 100 yards or more in five consecutive home games in Louisville’s win.

Hawkins set a new career high out of necessity. Hassan Hall, the Cardinals’ backup running back that averages 10.6 carries per game, was nursing an injury suffered against Clemson. Hall had four carries for nine yards.

Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said in a perfect world, Hawkins gets around 20 carries while Hall tallies around 15. The first-year Cardinal head coach thought Hawkins had his best moments in the game-clinching drive in the fourth quarter.

Hawkins had four straight carries on Louisville’s touchdown drive that extended its lead to 28-14. He had runs for seven and five yards before taking a carry 19 yards. Hawkins capped the four-play, 63-yard drive with a 17-yard run for a score.

“He loves it, that last drive he was feeling it,” Satterfield said. “As a running back sometimes they get in those grooves.”

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Hawkins rushed for 71 yards in the fourth quarter after averaging 3.2 yards per carry through the first three quarters. Satterfield said the offense made an adjustment to its running game in the second half after rushing for just 89 yards in the first half.

Quarterback Malik Cunningham said the offense has confidence in Hawkins and the offensive line. The Cardinals outscored Virginia by 14 points in the second half thanks to a stronger rushing attack.

“It’s trust in each other, I know my brothers trust in me and we trust in each other,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins rushed for 122 yards in Louisville’s season opener against Notre Dame while posting his career high of 172 yards against Boston College Oct. 5. Hawkins broke Clemson’s 22-game streak of holding runners to less than 100 yards last week.

Satterfield says Hawkins doesn’t say a word, but comes to work every day.

“He is strong, he is not real big,” Satterfield said. “He runs like he is as 210-pound back. It’s hard to tackle him.”