A scary opponent for the University of Louisville football team on a pre-Halloween weekend, facing the best Duke football team in decades. The Blue Devils fifth in the nation defensively against a strong schedule, allowing the opposition only 13.8 points per game. Winner of five of its first seven games, ranked 20th in the latest Associated Press poll.
UofL still haunted by a 17-point loss, its only loss of the season, two weeks ago to Pittsburgh. The doubters pointing to a weak schedule, suggesting that the Cardinals were the beneficiaries of a weak schedule. Maybe the No. 18 ranking was a bit too generous for Louisville? Coach Jeff Brohm’s team, coming off an embarrassing loss to Pittsburgh, badly needing to prove itself against a solid opponent.
Louisville did just that on Saturday before a crowd of 52,319 at the L&N Stadium. In perhaps the most impressive performance this season, yes, including that recent win over Notre Dame. Louisville defeated Duke 23-0. Dominating the Blue Devils in all phases of the game. The visitors could manage only 202 yards offensively, and a measly 51 yards of rushing. Brohm’s team, meanwhile, was piling up 340 yards of offense, including 223 on the ground.
“Very proud of our team today, we rose to the challenge,” said Brohm. “It is never fun to go into a bye week with a tough loss. I hate it and our players hate it and I think in order to be a good winner, you have to really hate losing … We were really efficient on offense, be really physical up front, run the football at them and take advantage of what the defense was giving us. We set the tone early with two touchdowns early, had a 14-point lead against a team that doesn’t like to be down like that allowed our defense to go out there and dominate.”
UofL concerns about Jawhar Jordan’s hamstring injury were alleviated quickly. He would score from 15 yards out on Louisville’s opening drive and again from on 23 yards out to put the Cardinals up 14-0 in the first half. He rushed for a career-high 163 yards on 21 carries. It was the fifth 100-yard rushing game in his career for the red shirt junior.
Jamari Thrash, another red shirt junior had seven receptions for 71 yards, taking him over 700 yards on the season.
Senior quarterback Jack Plummer completed 69% of his passes, 11-16 for 127 yards. No interceptions, no touchdowns but one of his most impressive outings of the season.
Senior defensive lineback Ashton Gillotte had two sacks to raise his season total to 8.5.
Junior kicker Brock Travelstead had three field goals.
The Cards improved their record to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in conference play, both marks last achieved in 2016. Louisville’s home winning streak stretches to nine games.