LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville sets its sights on consecutive home wins after a season-opening loss to No. 1 Alabama as it hosts Western Kentucky on Saturday evening. The Cardinals are fresh off a 31-7 win over Indiana State where they scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to break a 7-7 halftime tie.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, RSN. LINE: Louisville -22.5.
It took a while for Louisville’s offense to get in a rhythm against Indiana State after lightning delayed the game on three different occasions for a total of 2 hours and 33 minutes in the first quarter alone. "It wasn't a very good game tonight for us except for one thing: we got the win," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino told reporters after the game. Western Kentucky has had a rough start to the season, getting crushed 34-3 at No. 6 Wisconsin in its first game before losing 31-28 to Maine in its home opener last week. The Hilltoppers raced out to a 21-0 lead just over five minutes into the first quarter, but the Black Bears scored the next 31 points and blocked a game-tying field-goal attempt late in the game to hold on for the win.
ABOUT WESTERN KENTUCKY (0-2)
As if losing at home to an FCS school wasn’t bad enough, starting quarterback Drew Eckels suffered an upper-body injury and is questionable to play against Louisville. It would be crushing to the Hilltoppers if he can’t suit up as Eckels has been excellent so far this season, going 38-of-67 for 514 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 135.9. If Eckels sits out, he’ll be replaced by freshman Davis Shanley, who went 2-of-3 for 14 yards and also ran three times for 31 yards in relief of Eckels against Wisconsin.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (1-1)
It was a particularly bad game for starting quarterback Jawon Pass, who struggled with turf toe before being replaced by redshirt freshman Malik Cunningham in the third quarter. Cunningham finished 6-of-7 for 75 yards and a touchdown through the air and added 54 yards and another touchdown on the ground. Petrino wasn’t sure who would start against Western Kentucky, but Pass will be given the opportunity to hold on to the starting job assuming he is healthy.
1. This is the 32nd meeting between the schools in a series that dates back to 1922, although they haven’t met since 1998. They’ll meet again in each of the next two seasons.
2. Petrino is 41-7 all-time at home as coach of the Cardinals.
3. Western Kentucky has just 10 seniors on its roster, third-fewest in the nation.
PREDICTION: Louisville 45, Western Kentucky 17
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