Win No. 1 for Satterfield, and not your granddad’s UofL fans

Marshon Ford, a redshirt freshman from Ballard, scores his first of two UofL touchdowns on a five-yard pass from Jason Pass(Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Good times coming.

Every game a measuring stick for the University of Louisville football program, even against a third-year rebuilding program like Eastern Kentucky University. No shortcuts in reconstructing a program, but UofL showed undeniable promise in crushing EKU 42-0.

A crowd of 48,808 fans showing up for a game against Eastern Kentucky (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

The win possibly indicating that the road back to respectability may not be quite as difficult as originally anticipated. At least it seemed that way to the many of the optimistic UofL fans in the crowd of 48,808 at Cardinal Stadium on Saturday. The turnout almost as impressive as the margin of victory.

Not the old days for Cardinal fans when five or six straight UofL losses would have been punished with a half-empty stadium. The Louisville faithful obviously seeing something they liked in the loss to Notre Dame, expecting the Cardinals to be ready to handle a lower-tier opponent. Ready for a win and they would not be disappointed.

Jawon Pass needing a game with an FCS opponent to gain some confidence. Getting off to a confusing start, quickly throwing two touchdown passes in the first quarter. But struggling the rest of the first half, including an interception . He would, however, make up for slow start in the third quarter, with two more touchdown passes. He would complete 12 of 19 for the game.

Hassan Hall back in the end zone in the third quarter, giving UofL a 35-0 lead (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

If Pass needed any more motivation, all he needed to see was Malik Cunningham competing his first pass for 35 yards in the third quarter and running for 28-yard touchdown on his fourth play from scrimmage. Clearly still substantial competition for that starting quarterback spot.

Javian Hawkins and Hassan Hall taking up the slack between touchdown passes with 129 and 68 rushing yards, respectively. Seemingly contradictory but Louisville has an exceptional running game between all the touchdown passes.

And how about that UofL defense, giving up only 130 yards rushing and 42 yards through the air. Louisville hasn’t had a defense that motivated since the Charlie Strong days four years ago. Virtually the same defensive people from last season’s team but demonstrating how vital good coaching is to rebuilding a successful program.

Much more to do, but there’s nothing better than a win in the short term. Win No. 1 in the first of many for Scott Satterfield.

UofL sleepwalks past Eastern Kentucky, 44-7

Teddy Bridgewater gets some love from fans. (John Lewis photo)
Teddy Bridgewater gets some love from fans. (John Lewis photo)

Another sweltering day, a lightly-regarded opponent, and an early kickoff.

Players and fans rolling out of bed early, disgruntled by a noon start, going through the motions. How much money does the football program get for an ESPN3 game, one that’s available only on the Internet? Not nearly enough. Noon kickoffs scheduled the next two weeks, and who knows how many more after that.

Give plenty of credit to all the fans who made it, all 53,647 of them, comprising the fifth largest crowd in University of Louisville history.  An impressive showing, hopefully indicating that fans are solidly on board in spite of who UofL may be competing against in a given game, especially impressive so early in the day.

UofL was a 40-point favorite going into the game, which when translated means the odds makers were expecting UofL to win by 50 or 60 points. Charlie Strong could have threatened his players within an inch of their lives but there was no way they weren’t going to have a letdown against Eastern Kentucky.

UofL fan Mike Schmidt cools off from the 90 degrees with a bag of ice.
UofL fan Mike Schmidt cools off from the 90 degrees with a bag of ice.

A great opportunity for EKU, playing one of the nation’s top 10 teams for the first time ever, the adrenaline flowing, every reason to be highly motivated.

EKU was psyched enough to expose a familiar weakness in UofL’s kickoff returns and coverage, the Cardinals gaining only 23 yards on their one return while Eastern Kentucky appeared menacing at times, racking up 176 yards on six returns, the last possible tackler making the stop on a number of them.

Meanwhile, UofL’s running game appeared almost non-existent, with the home team managing only 78 yards while EKU was putting up 107 of them. The longest runs of the game were eight yards each by Senorise Perry and Dominique Brown. Michael Dyer’s best was a six-yard carry.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater sensed some lethargy on the offensive line and, at one point, felt compelled to pull them aside on the sideline, trying to get them motivated, wanting to get the running game going. Still the protection was good enough for him to complete 23 of 32 passes for 397 yards and four touchdowns — two to DaVante Parker, one to Damian Copeland, and another to Gerald Christian.

Another noon start next week at the University of Kentucky, which passed for 413 yards in dismantling Miami of Ohio, 41-7 on Saturday. The Wildcats will be highly motivated and wide awake, with every intention of surprising their highly ranked arch rival.

Louisville had better be wide awake and ready to rumble after still another early wakeup call.

Eastern Kentucky Back On Louisville Football Schedule

[stextbox id=”custom”]“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” — Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, 1808

An opponent that used to give University of Louisville football all it could handle in the really bad old days is back on the schedule for the 2010 season. Eastern Kentucky will be the opponent on September 11 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

Eastern’s last victory over a Division I FBS opponent came against the Cardinals back in 1985. Of course, Eastern Kentucky was a Division II power back then and Louisville was welcoming Howard Schnellenberger in his first season.