Offense plagued by penalties and fatigue


A promising start ended in disappointment.

Louisville football scored on its opening possession for the fifth time this season, but only found the endzone one more time in a 45-13 loss to Kentucky in Lexington Nov. 30. The Cardinals were held scoreless in the second half of the rivalry game after scoring on their first and last possession of the first half.

The Cardinals finished with 318 yards of offense, averaging 4.5 yards per play. Javian Hawkins rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown, breaking free for a 56-yard score late in the second quarter to cut Louisville’s deficit to 17-13.

Micale Cunningham completed 6 of 11 throws for 78 yards, but was replaced by Evan Conley in the second half. Louisville lost one fumble and Cunningham threw an interception, but penalties thwarted several drives. Louisville ended the game with seven penalties for 60 yards.

“Offensively for us, we would get something going, we would get a penalty and get called back,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said. “Just negative plays, self-inflicted wounds offensively.”

Satterfield thought Kentucky’s defensive line wore down Louisville’s front five in the second half. The Cardinals finished with 119 yards of offense in the second half.

Left tackle Mekhi Becton agreed with Satterfield that self-inflicted mistakes plagued the Cardinals’ drive. Louisville converted on 6 of 16 third downs and struggled against Kentucky’s defensive line.

Kentucky had 13 tackles for a loss for 52 yards.

“They were real big up front,” Becton said. “We couldn’t really cut off the back side, that’s what affected us the most. Their nose guard made a whole lot of trouble this game.”