Louisville gets first win for Satterfield, beats EKU 42-0
They turned to the fans and raised their arms in exaltation. Scott Satterfield even threw up an "L'' to the crowd as he ran into the locker room after the Cardinals 42-0 victory over Eastern Kentucky, his first win as Louisville's coach.
The victory may be special in many ways. However, Satterfield made it clear afterward that what's special now will become expected soon enough.
"We're in this business to win football games, and we want to do it the right way," he said. "I think that it just validates what we've been doing, as I said before. These guys have been in a long drought, and haven't been able to celebrate, haven't really been able to pull for each other."
Jawon Pass threw for a career-high four touchdowns to lead Louisville. The junior quarterback completed 12 of 19 passes for 196 yards as the Cardinals (1-1) broke a losing streak that dated to nearly a year ago. Javian Hawkins, a redshirt freshman, ran 11 times for 123 yards.
Yes, the Cardinals faced a Football Championship Series foe, but they were also coming off a short week after hosting Notre Dame on Labor Day. Despite that, Louisville posted its first shutout since beating Florida International 72-0 on Sept. 21, 2013.
Louisville led just 14-0 at halftime, but the Cardinals got a 66-yard run from Hawkins on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter to set the tone.
"At halftime, we're a play away from this being real and then a couple plays later it wasn't, and they started to pull away from us," Colonels coach Mark Elder said.
Louisville had 542 total yards while limiting the Colonels (1-1) to 172. It marked just the second time in the post-Lamar Jackson era that Louisville had at least 500 yards.
Louisville last won on Sept. 15, 2018, beating Western Kentucky 20-17. The Cardinals then lost the last nine games to close out the season. Satterfield was hired from Appalachian State in December to replace Bobby Petrino, who was fired with two games remaining last year.
Last year was a far cry from what Louisville enjoyed just two years before that, when Jackson won the Heisman Trophy thanks to a slew of highlight reel plays and the Cardinals were in the top five of the college football playoff rankings as late as mid-November.
In the throes of last year's season-ending losing streak, Louisville was rudderless as it allowed six of its last seven opponents to score 50 or more points. In the preseason, Satterfield and the players talked about moving in a new direction.
Some of that showed Monday against Notre Dame, and on Saturday, the Cardinals took another step in getting their first victory in 358 days.
"We just want to make it normal to win and get back to being how we know we can be," Pass said.
Eastern Kentucky: The Colonels struggled against a speedier, more athletic Louisville squad. They gave up four plays to Louisville's offense that went for more than 30 yards and a 33-yard punt return that gave the Cardinals a short field on a scoring drive. They also allowed the Louisville defense to get 10 tackles for loss, including five sacks.
Louisville: After a shaky performance against the Fighting Irish on Monday, Pass struggled at times in the first half. However, he seemed to find his groove in the second, as he completed all six of his attempts for 95 yards and two TDs before giving way to Malik Cunningham with 7:40 remaining in the game.
Cunningham, who injured his knee in preseason practice, saw his first action. On his first play, he hit Justin Marshall for a 24-yard gain, and then two plays later, scored on a 38-yard touchdown run. He finished with 73 yards rushing on four carries.
Cunningham and Pass split quarterbacking duties last season. However, it's uncertain how much he'll get to play for now as Pass has been named the starter. He's listed as second on the depth chart, which Satterfield said limits his chances to get practice snaps at other positions. And trying to play him and Pass in the same game could disrupt the rhythm of the offense.
"But he is a weapon, and there may be sometimes where you just want to get him in the game and let him go to work," he said.
Eastern Kentucky: plays next Saturday at Indiana State, which was ranked No. 15 in the FCS coaches' poll but lost to Dayton on Saturday.
Louisville: will travel to Nashville next Saturday to face Western Kentucky.