Takeaways: Louisville vs. EKU
Louisville football defeated Eastern Kentucky (EKU) Sept. 7 for the first win in the Scott Satterfield era. Here are several takeaways from the game.
After Louisville didn’t take any downfield throws against Notre Dame in its season opener, the Cardinals seemed committed to working on the passing game early on. Jawon Pass took three shots downfield on Louisville’s first two drives, but couldn’t connected on any throws.
“We wanted to take a lot of shots and get those reps in,” Pass said. “We didn’t take a lot of shots against Notre Dame so we wanted to come back tonight and take shots and see what it looked like.”
Seth Dawkins was targeted on one of the throws. Dawkins and Dez Fitzpatrick are arguably Louisville’s best outside threats, but the two weren’t targeted much against Notre Dame. That changed against EKU as Fitzpatrick had three receptions for 32 yards and a touchdown.
Pass finally connected with a shot downfield late in the third quarter. Justin Marshall hauled in a 36-yard catch at midfield. Pass completed 12 of 19 throws for 196 yards and four touchdowns.
Hawkins proves himself, again
Javian Hawkins rushed for 122 yards against Notre Dame as Louisville finished with 248 yards on the ground. The red-shirt freshman did it again, rushing for 123 yards against EKU. He busted open runs of 66 yards and 50 yards in the third quarter.
“The EKU defense came out and played well, so we had to start switching it up a little bit,” Hawkins said. “Inside zone opened up some big gaps and I just found it.”
He is the first Cardinal running back with back-to-back 100-yard games since 2016 while being the first freshman running back with back-to-back 100-yard game since Victor Anderson in 2008.
The defense flies around
It’s hard to gauge a defensive performance when an opposing team is overmatched, but the Cardinals did fly around the ball and limit big plays. Louisville finished with five sacks and 10 tackles for a loss in the program’s first shut out since 2013.
“I didn't care how many points we scored. I didn't care if it was 14-0 or 45-0, I just wanted it to be zero (points),” defensive lineman G.G. Robinson said. “I wanted to have a shutout because that means a lot.”
EKU finished with 10 first downs and 172 yards of offense while averaging 2.9 yards per play. The Colonels biggest gain came on a 20-yard carry by quarterback Parker McKinney.
This win means something
The Louisville locker room was noticeably excited and loud after the win. It was almost a calendar year since the program last ended a game with a victory.
“It’s been a long time since they’ve celebrated in the locker room with a victory,” Satterfield said. “All the hard work we put into the offseason, the summer, and all of fall camp. To come out here and get a victory like that was tremendous for our guys. I’m just so happy for them. Because it validates all the things that we’ve been doing, talking about. And I told them I want this to become the norm.”