Preview: Louisville Cardinals vs. Eastern Kentucky Colonels

The Cardinals return home from Atlanta for their home-opener against the Colonels.

Eastern Kentucky Colonels (1-0, 0-0 ASUN) at Louisville Cardinals (0-1, 0-0 ACC)

- Kickoff: Saturday, September 11 at 7:00 p.m. EST
- Location: Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky.
- Weather Conditions: A few passing clouds, otherwise generally sunny. High 85F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.
- How To Watch: ACC Network Extra
- How To Listen: WHAS 840/790 WKRD
- Betting Favorite: Louisville -30.0
- All-Time Series: Louisville leads 19-8-1
- Last Meeting: Louisville won 42-0 on Sept. 7, 2019 (Cardinal Stadium - Louisville, Ky.)

Game Notes


  • Louisville fell to 0-1 on the season after a 43-24 loss to Mississippi in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta, Ga. It was the second time in the last three seasons that the Cardinals dropped their season opener under head coach Scott Satterfield.
  • The Cardinals were held scoreless in the first half on Monday, just the second time UofL has not scored in the first half under Scott Satterfield (Notre Dame, 10/17/20).
  • Quarterback Malik Cunningham registered 270 yards of total offense and three touchdowns in the loss to Ole Miss last Monday. Cunningham completed 22-of-37 passes for 191 yards and one touchdown, while running for 79 yards and a pair of scores.
    • Cunningham is the second UofL quarterback to rush for multiple touchdowns in three or more games. The junior has 20 rushing touchdowns in 34 career games. He moved into sixth place on Louisville’s all-time passing touchdown list with 44, tied with Jay Gruden.
  • There was a lot of preseason talk about the emergence of safety Kenderick Duncan — a transfer from Georgia Southern. The junior recorded 11 tackles in his first game with the Cardinals — a 43-24 loss to Mississippi.
    • Duncan also registered his first career sack as a member of the Cardinals and the first of his entire collegiate career.
  • Monday was the 11th game in which Cunningham has accounted for both a passing and rushing touchdown.
  • WR Braden Smith caught his first career touchdown, a four-yard reception in the third quarter.
  • WR Josh Johnson finished with a career-high six receptions for 40 yards. Johnson had eight career receptions entering the season.
  • K James Turner hit from 38 yards out in the third quarter, marking his ninth consecutive made field goal attempt. The nine consecutive makes are tied for the fifth-longest streak in program history and the seventh-longest active streak in the country
  • The Cardinals take on Eastern Kentucky on Saturday, looking to extend their winning streak over FCS schools to 19 games. The Colonels were the last FCS squad to defeat the Cardinals, beating UofL 45-21 in 1985.

Eastern Kentucky

  • Taking part in their first game as a member of the ASUN (formerly Atlantic Sun) Conference, Eastern Kentucky held off a fourth quarter rally from Western Carolina, and claimed a 31-28 road victory.
  • Running back Da’Joun Hewitt rushed for 78 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries in his first career start, and linebacker Matthew Jackson recorded a game-high 11 tackles, including eight solo tackles, in the victory at Western Carolina.
  • EKU picked up three of the ASUN’s first weekly conference football accolades. Hewitt was tabbed as the ASUN Offensive Player and Freshman of the Week, while kicker Patrick Nations earned ASUN Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
  • Quarterback Parker McKinney returned to the field last Saturday after missing the final three games of the 2020 campaign with an injury. The redshirt sophomore finished the day 20-of-28 for 233 yards through the air with one touchdown and one interception.
  • Dating back to last season, the Colonels have scored on each of their previous 12 trips inside their opponent’s red zone. EKU’s offense has not come up scoreless on a red zone opportunity since a failed fourth-down attempt against Central Arkansas in the first quarter on Nov. 14, 2020.
  • Linebacker Matthew Jackson was named to the Stats Perform FCS Preseason All-America Team. He was a third-team selection. Jackson had a breakout season in 2020, earning Stats Perform FCS second team All-America honors. The redshirt junior from Nashville led EKU with 79 tackles, including 8.0 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks.
  • Five players were voted to the 2021 ASUN Preseason All-Conference Team. The five Colonels named Preseason All-ASUN were Payton Collins (offensive line), Jyran Mitchell (all-purpose), Quinten Floyd (defensive line), Matthew Jackson (linebacker) and Joseph Sayles (defensive back).

Depth Charts

Here are the depth charts for both teams ahead of their matchup: Louisville vs. Eastern Kentucky


See how the Cardinals stack up against the Colonels, and who the statistical models favor: Tale of the Tape, Predictions: Louisville vs. Eastern Kentucky

Uniform Report

Louisville will be wearing white helmets and pants with red jerseys. The helmet will feature an American Flag-patterned Cardinal in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks.

Additional Coverage

(Photo of Malik Cunningham: Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports)

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