LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (0-1) vs. EASTERN KENTUCKY COLONELS (1-0)
Game Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Cardinal Stadium: Louisville, Ky.
Television: ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN app
Announcers: Roy Philpott (play-by-play) and Forrest Conoly (analyst)
Favorite: Louisville by 30
All-Time Series: Louisville leads, 19-8-1
Last Meeting: Louisville won 42-0 on Sept. 7, 2019
Louisville Depth Chart:
Game Day Guide:
Excitement Level: 3.5
Look, I’m down. There’s no point in lying about it. Louisville has little to gain tonight and a ton to lose, which is always the worst dynamic to go into a game with.
Take care of business tonight and everyone will be back up for a monster swing game Friday night.
Game Attire: Old school grey Cardinal bird shirt
The football gear simply hasn’t been getting the job done, so let’s go with something sport-neutral.
Pregame Meal: Ribs and spicy cheese balls
I love you, FABD
Bold Prediction: EKU scores first and the crowd inside Cardinal Stadium makes their restlessness known
Justin Marshall TD Alert Level: Light Chrome Green (it’s happening)
The Alert Level knows.
Predicted Star of the Game: Justin Marshall
Ball out, CC fave.
About Eastern Kentucky:
Walt Wells is familiar with Louisville football after coaching in the state of Kentucky for most of his career. He brings his team into this weekend’s matchup on a high note after a 3-point win over Western Carolina last weekend. His offense has some young talent mixed in with a few veteran players at key positions.
Parker McKinney is the key returnee for the Colonels after putting up 12 touchdown passes last year and completing 64% of his passes. He started off this year with a good performance with a 71% completion rate and a very nice touchdown pass in the red zone. McKinney is a pocket passer but has the ability to run when needed. His accuracy is a strong point for the offense as they like to get the ball out quickly and complete short passes.
The Colonels broke in a new Running Back last week and he put up 3 touchdowns in his debut. Da’Juon Hewitt finished the game with 78 yards and 3.5 yards per carry. He has good size at 5-10/205 and he runs tough between the tackles. EKU runs a bit of zone read so Louisville’s second-level players have to plug the running lanes this week.
The EKU Receivers had a solid game last week with Mo Edwards making an impressive touchdown catch in the corner of the end zone. Edwards has great size while Matt Wilcox and Jaden Smith are smaller and more agile targets. Wilcox is a veteran player who some will remember from Last Chance U. He is one of the few players that played in the game two years ago.
EKU will not give up a lot of sacks as they typically get the ball out very quickly. However, Louisville could have some success if they take away those short throws and force McKinney to hold onto the ball. What will be interesting is how the line handles run blocking this week. They didn’t make a lot of room for the running game last week but did look good on goal-line runs.
Eastern Kentucky will come to Louisville this week with the hopes of improving on their overall defensive performance from last week. The Colonels were outgained but a good amount last week but they were able to keep Western Carolina from running away with the game. EKU also did a good job of forcing WCU to kick field goals instead of scoring touchdowns.
The defensive front for EKU has some veteran players as well as a couple of SEC transfers. The group didn’t do much to stop the run last week as WCU averaged 5.9 yards per carry and only lost 7 total yards on the day. The Colonels run a 4-3/3-4 hybrid type of defense with 3 down linemen and an edge player typically standing up on the end.
Matthew Jackson and Kyle Bailey are the key players for the defense. Jackson led the team in tackles, sacks, and tackles for loss last season and he’s off to a good start this year with 11 tackles last week. Bailey is a transfer from Western Kentucky where he started for two seasons and put up over 100 tackles in 2019. These guys are legit players who will likely make a play or two on Saturday.
Roy Baker made the biggest play for the defense last week with an interception and 78-yard return. At 6-2/200, he is a big corner with good length. He is also another one of the transfers EKU got from a FBS school after playing at Buffalo. He and John Blunt ma the corner spots along with Josh Hayes who is a Purdue transfer. Lousiville should have an opportunity to get the passing game going against this group.
The Safety spots are manned by veteran players. Josepsh Sayles and Jaden Woods didn’t show great speed from what I saw but both have been with EKU for a while and seemed to be in the right spots all the time. How they handle UofL’s slot receivers will be interesting. Louisville has some speed there and they may look to focus the passing attack there.
—Louisville is 67-32-3 all-time in home openers.
—Louisville has won six of its last seven home openers, with the lone loss coming in 2019 to Notre Dame.
—Louisville has won 19 consecutive games against FCS opponents. Eastern Kentucky was the last FCS squad to defeat the Cardinals, beating U of L 45-21 back in 1985.
—Louisville tight end Marshon Ford caught two touchdown passes in Louisville’s 42-0 win over Eastern Kentucky in 2019. Ford’s 13 career touchdowns are the fourth-most in U of L history for a tight end.
—Louisville has won four consecutive games against Eastern Kentucky, the last two (2013 and 2019) coming by a combined score of 86-7.
—Under Scott Satterfield, Louisville is 10-0 when winning the turnover battle, and just 1-12 when losing it. The Cards won the turnover battle just twice last season, occurrences which happened in comfortable wins over Syracuse and Wake Forest.
—In eight seasons as a head coach, Scott Satterfield’s teams are 52-5 when scoring 30 or more points. Louisville is 11-2 in such games under Satterfield, with the two losses coming last season against Miami and Virginia Tech.
—Louisville kicker James Turner has made nine consecutive field goals. For his career, Turner is 14-for-14 on field goal attempts from less than 50 yards out. Turner’s only two career misses both came from 52 yards away.
—Rebel QB Matt Corral is the returning SEC leader in eight separate categories.
—Louisville is 0-6 under Scott Satterfield when being held to 21 points or fewer.
—Eastern Kentucky was the preseason pick to finish third in the Atlantic Sun Conference this season. It’s the Colonels first year as a member of the league.
—Louisville is 94-51-3 all-time versus FCS schools, including a 35-17-1 record versus current members of the Ohio Valley Conference.
—Louisville is 4-3 in non-conference games under Satterfield, going 3-2 in 2019 and 1-0 last season.
—Louisville will honor former head coach Howard Schnellenberger, who died on March 27, with a helmet sticker that will be worn for the entirety of the 2021 season.
—Louisville is 139-104-6 all-time during the month of September, including 3-5 in the month under Scott Satterfield.
—Louisville is 9-1 under Scott Satterfield when leading at halftime, and 11-1 when leading at the end of the 3rd quarter.
—Louisville is currently riding a consecutive game scoring streak that spans 262 games dating back to a 31-0 loss to Florida State during the 2000 season. The streak ranks as the second longest in the ACC behind only Virginia Tech, and the 11th-longest nationally.
—Louisville is 192-14 all-time when scoring 35 or more points in a game. The Cards are also 6-120 all-time when allowing opponents to score 40 or more points.
—”The fact that it was a game that was going on at midnight on Monday, and you got to play five days later, it’s hard to spin it in a positive way, because our guys are still a little bit tired today. That’s a quick turnaround. But, they are anxious to get this taste out of their mouth, and get back out on the field, and prove that they are a good football team, and they can play.” —Scott Satterfield
—“I think you’ll see a different Louisville team. You’ll see a team that corrected the mistakes they made. They’ll fast and they’ll play physical, and we have to match that.” —EKU head coach Walt Wells
—“We’re not going to sit here and say we forgot about that feeling of losing because that’s not what we want to do. We still got that thought in our heads of what happened. We’ve got this extra edge to go play this Saturday and just go all in.” —Kenderick Duncan
—“They are an athletic, good football team. Scott Scatterfield is a good football coach and has had a lot of success.” —EKU head coach Walt Wells
Card Chronicle Prediction: Louisville 42, Eastern Kentucky 17