Nov 26, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (24) falls forward on a run during the first quarter against the Louisville Cardinals at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky defeats Louisville for fourth straight time

Kentucky’s Will Levis tossed two touchdown passes, Chris Rodriguez Jr. set a record for 100-yard games, and the Wildcats beat No. 25 Louisville 26-13 for the fourth straight time in the state rivalry on Saturday in Lexington, Ky.

Levis was 11-for-19 for 188 yards with touchdown passes to Dane Key and Barion Brown. Rodriguez notched his program-best 20th 100-yard game by rushing 24 times for 120 yards, breaking the mark of 19 held by Benny Snell Jr. (2016-18).

Matt Ruffolo kicked four field goals as the Wildcats (7-5) moved to 19-15 overall in the series and evened their home record at 10-10 against Louisville (7-5).

Cardinals quarterback Brock Domann started but struggled, going 14-for-21 for 129 yards with a TD and interception. Malik Cunningham replaced him and went 3-for-6 for 16 yards and one interception overall, but Domann returned in the second half for the game’s remainder.

Cunningham ran for the squad’s first score, giving him 50 career TDs on the ground and eclipsing the record-setting career tally of former Louisville star Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner.

Jawhar Jordan rushed for a game-high 145 yards on 22 carries, and Tyler Hudson caught a TD pass.

In the first quarter, Levis, a senior, produced the game’s first score when he hit Key on an 8-yard strike to end a five-play, 86-yard drive.

The Cardinals’ ensuing series was successful until the Wildcats stuffed Jordan on fourth-and-1. The home side capitalized by going 62 yards, culminating with Ruffolo’s 43-yard boot.

Kentucky linebacker J.J. Weaver sacked Domann, forced a fumble, recovered it and ran 14 yards to the Louisville 6-yard line. Ruffolo then tacked on another field goal, from 29 yards, for a 13-0 advantage.

After failing to score on its first three drives, Louisville replaced Domann with Cunningham. The senior perked up the offense and sent it on its first scoring drive late in the second quarter. His scramble for 6 yards gave him the milestone mark and left the Cardinals down 13-7 at halftime.

Following Ruffolo’s third boot, a 35-yarder, Trevin Wallace intercepted Cunningham to set up Levis’ 3-yard lob to Brown for a 23-7 lead at 6:35.

In the fourth quarter, Ruffolo made it 4-for-4 with a 40-yarder, but Domann found Hudson from 27 yards with 7:03 left.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Kentucky Wildcats running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. (24) during the game at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

No. 25 Louisville rolls into Governor’s Cup vs. Kentucky

The 34th version of the Governor’s Cup will have the Bluegrass State enthralled Saturday afternoon when No. 25 Louisville faces Kentucky at Lexington, Ky.

Winners of five of its past six outings, Louisville (7-4) is coming off a 25-10 win over N.C. State, which the Cardinals achieved without the services of star quarterback Malik Cunningham (shoulder).

If the senior can’t play this Saturday, coach Scott Satterfield will count on junior Brock Domann, who has defeated both N.C. State and Virginia.

“Brock is 2-0 as a starter,” Satterfield said. “He runs the operation. He runs our offense. We will see where Malik is at. … He has gotten better as the week’s gone on so we will see where he is at.”

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said the Wildcats (6-5) would game-plan for Cunningham, a dangerous, dual-threat weapon.

“We have to prepare for Malik,” said Stoops, who signed an extension this week that runs through the 2030 season. “And they do the same with Brock, as far as some of the quarterback run game — designed. Just with the zone-read keeps and things with the gun runs, you have to be prepared for.”

The Wildcats are just 2-5 since starting the season with four straight wins and moving up as high as No. 7 in the rankings. Then they lost at Ole Miss 22-19 on Oct. 1.

With a school-record seventh consecutive bowl appearance locked down, they hope their injury concern along their offensive line — shaky for most of the season — will be resolved.

Starting left tackle Kenneth Horsey didn’t play against top-ranked Georgia in Kentucky’s 16-6 home loss Saturday. The senior from Sanford, Fla., was injured in pregame warmups and is questionable against Louisville.

The Wildcats have won the last three meetings in the series by an average margin of victory of 36.3 points per game.

Kentucky holds an 18-15 edge in the series that dates back 110 years, with the Wildcats triumphant in the first seven meetings for the longest streak in the matchup.

Improvement on defense has been key for the Cardinals. In 2021, they ranked 83rd in total defense, while improving to 37th this season. They also forced eight turnovers in a 48-21 win over Wake Forest.

Louisville, which owns the nation’s No. 54 run defense at 139 yards per game, will face a serious task in slowing down Kentucky’s Chris Rodriguez Jr., a 5-foot-11, 224-pound juggernaut.

Despite missing the first four games due to suspension, the senior from McDonough, Ga., has 784 rushing yards on 151 carries (5.2 per attempt) to go along with six TDs and no fumbles.

“I think defensively, we’ve been really good,” said Satterfield. “The negatives from some of those early losses was just the big plays. We were still playing good defense, what we call havoc defense: tackles for loss, sacks, turnovers. It’s been really, really good this year.

“We’re No. 1 in the country in sacks. We’re No. 2 in takeaways. It’s hard to get any better than that.”

On Monday, Louisville kicker James Turner was named the ACC Co-Specialist of the Week after tying a school record with four field goals against the Wolfpack.

Turner, a native of Saline, Mich., has drilled 19 of 21 field goals this season, just two off the school mark for total in a season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Louisville Cardinals linebacker Yasir Abdullah (22) sacks North Carolina State Wolfpack quarterback Ben Finley (10) during the second quarter at Cardinal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Jawhar Jordan helps Louisville down No. 24 North Carolina State

Jawhar Jordan scored on a kickoff return and a short run from scrimmage as host Louisville overcame offensive shortcomings to defeat No. 24 North Carolina State 25-10 in Atlantic Coast Conference play on Saturday.

Both teams had changes at quarterback because of injuries and the Cardinals adjusted better to win for the fifth time in their last six games.

Jordan rushed for 105 yards on 16 carries

Brock Domann, making his second career start for Louisville, completed 12 of 25 passes for 153 yards.

James Turner kicked four field goals for the Cardinals (7-4, 4-4 ACC)

NC State (7-4, 3-4) has lost consecutive games for the first time since 2020.

Quarterback Malik Cunningham of Louisville missed the game because of a shoulder injury sustained a week earlier at Clemson.

Ben Finley, younger brother of former NC State quarterback Ryan Finley, got most of the work in a reserve role for the Wolfpack. He completed 16 of 35 throws for 201 yards and a touchdown and one interception.

NC State went back to Jack Chambers as its starting quarterback after MJ Morris, who was the team’s third starter of the season, was still ailing from a week earlier. Then Finley came in later in the first half. So it has been a scramble at the quarterback position since ACC Preseason Player of the Year Devin Leary went down with a season-ending injury in early October.

NC State opened the second-half scoring on Finley’s 34-yard pass play to Michael Allen. The Wolfpack covered 87 in five plays to pull within 13-10.

Louisville began the scoring on Turner’s 26-yard field goal. Christopher Dunn matched it for NC State with a 30-yarder for his 21st consecutive made on what has been a perfect season.

But it wasn’t tied for long because Jordan returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. The wind knocked down the kick and Jordan picked up the ball after it rolled past him.

Turner’s 22-yarder on the last play of the first half made it 13-3.

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2022; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Clemson safety Jalyn Phillips (25) celebrates a fumble recovery defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro (33)  playing Louisville during the third quarter at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, South Carolina Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022.     Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

DJ Uiagalelei powers No. 10 Clemson past Louisville

DJ Uiagalelei threw for a touchdown and ran for another to help No. 10 Clemson record a 31-16 victory over visiting Louisville on Saturday.

The Tigers (9-1, 7-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their 39th consecutive game at home and locked up a spot in the ACC championship game.

Uiagalelei completed 19 of 27 passes for 185 yards and connected with Antonio Williams for his lone touchdown strike in the second quarter. Williams caught 10 passes for 83 yards.

Phil Mafah rushed for 106 yards on 10 carries and Will Shipley Jr. had 97 yards on 19 totes for Clemson.

Louisville (6-3, 3-3 ACC) had its four-game winning streak snapped.

But that loss didn’t hurt as much as the one the Cardinals endured just before halftime when starting quarterback Malik Cunningham exited the game with an apparent shoulder injury.

Cunningham, who already entered Saturday’s game with an injured left hand, went down after a 26-yard run to end the first half. Cunningham suffered the hand injury last week in Louisville’s win over James Madison and had his hand taped up.

Brock Domann entered in the second half and completed 13 for 23 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown on the game’s final play to Braden Smith from 31 yards out. But Domann was intercepted once by Barrett Carter and could only muster one field goal drive before Clemson put it out of reach.

Louisville gained possession with just under four minutes left after a Shipley fumble but was stopped on downs.

Mafah put the game away with a 39-yard touchdown run with 2:13 to play in the fourth quarter.

Louisville kept itself in the game thanks to three Clemson fumbles but yielded 439 total yards to the Tigers offense.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2022; Charlottesville, Virginia, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Brock Domann (19) passes the ball as Virginia Cavaliers linebacker Nick Jackson (6) chases during the second quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville, Pittsburgh meet coming off of successful stretches

Pittsburgh and host Louisville bring plenty of momentum into play when they square off on Saturday evening.

Both the Panthers (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) and the Cardinals (3-3, 1-3) had last weekend off after producing solid wins on Oct. 8. Pittsburgh last visited Louisville in 2011 when the teams played in the Big East. The Panthers won that contest 21-14.

Pittsburgh was the talk of the conference after a 45-29 win at home over hapless Virginia Tech two weeks ago. Israel Abanikanda led that chatter after rushing for 320 yards and scoring six touchdowns, including an 80-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to ice the game.

Abanikanda’s performance broke the program’s single-game rushing record set by Tony Dorsett in 1975 and tied the school and ACC records for touchdowns in a contest. Abanikanda leads the FBS with an average of 186.2 all-purpose yards per game.

Pittsburgh’s two losses, in OT at now-No. 3 Tennessee and to Georgia Tech, are by a combined 12 points.

“Probably the best 60 minutes we’ve put together as a team,” Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said after the win over Virginia Tech. “I just love the way our kids hang in there, continue to fight and believe. … We’ve got more ACC games to go, and we’ve got to take them one at a time.”

Louisville heads home after ambushing Virginia 34-17 in Charlottesville, Va., in the Cardinals’ most recent outing. Junior Brock Domann made his first career start for the Cardinals, throwing for 275 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 71 yards and another score, racking up his first career passing and rushing TDs.

The Cardinals trailed 10-0 eight minutes into the game but answered with the ensuing 20 points. The Louisville defense shrugged off a ragged start and held Virginia to just 6 rushing yards.

“Our guys settled down in the second quarter, we started making some plays,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said. You can’t say enough about the resiliency of our guys, and I’m really proud of them and the way they came out and finished this game.”

Quarterback Malik Cunningham was held out of the Virginia game because of “concussion-like symptoms.” Cunningham’s availability for the Pitt game is to be determined.

–Field Level Media

Sep 24, 2022; Louisville, Kentucky, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham (3) celebrates a touchdown with teammates during the second quarter against the South Florida Bulls at Cardinal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

After impressive bounce-back win, Louisville faces Boston College

Two teams coming off opposite performances will meet on Saturday as Boston College hosts Louisville in an Atlantic Coast Conference clash at Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Louisville (2-2, 0-2) bounced back from a loss to now-No. 23 Florida State and dominated USF 41-3 on Saturday, never turning back after the Cardinals’ Malik Cunningham accounted for the first of his four touchdowns (three rushing) on the team’s second series.

The dynamic quarterback led the way in what coach Scott Satterfield described as Louisville’s most complete win this season.

“The thing that we did last week was play off each other … where the offense was feeding off the defense and vice versa,” Satterfield said.

Cunningham, who threw for 186 yards and rushed for 113 against the Bulls, became only the eighth quarterback in NCAA history to eclipse 8,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards in a career.

“When he is dialed in, (our offense is) working, and he is as good as anyone in the country with the pressure that he can put on defenses,” Satterfield said.

Boston College (1-3, 0-2) will look to start much faster. The Eagles have been outscored by a 48-3 combined margin in the first half of two ACC games, at Virginia Tech and Florida State.

“Right now, we’re not good when we go down,” BC coach Jeff Hafley said. “I think it affects us, and we need to fix that.”

The trend continued as BC faced a 37-0 halftime deficit in last week’s 44-14 loss to the Seminoles before Phil Jurkovec and Emmett Morehead managed second-half touchdown passes to freshmen Alex Broome and Joe Griffin, respectively.

BC, which is 6-8 all-time against Louisville, has consecutive home wins in a series that resumed annually in 2014.

The Cardinals won 28-14 in last October’s meeting. Cunningham rushed for 133 yards and three touchdowns while throwing for 107 yards.

“You have to play with relentless effort against him,” Hafley said. “You have to play with your hair on fire like you never have before. … I think he’s one of the most dynamic players in all of college football.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 24, 2022; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  South Florida Bulls receiver Yusuf Terry (9) catches a pass under the pressure of Louisville Cardinals defensive back Kei'Trel Clark (13) during the second quarter at Cardinal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Cunningham’s dual attack leads Louisville past USF

Malik Cunningham rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 186 yards and a score as Louisville dominated South Florida 41-3 Saturday afternoon in Louisville, Ky.

The Cardinals (2-2) amassed 542 yards in total offense with 283 rushing while holding the Bulls (1-3) to 158 in total yardage and a meager 48 on the ground. That’s the lowest rushing total for an opponent since Louisville held Virginia to 35 yards last year.

Cunningham’s output moved the senior into a tie for second in program history in career touchdowns with 20 and into third place among Cardinal rushers with 3,014 yards. He is fifth in career passing yards with 8,629 yards.

The loss extended USF’s road losing streak to 14 games as its offense never got in gear. Gerry Bohanon Jr. was only 9-of-17 passing for 62 yards before turning game over to Katravis Marsh early in the third quarter. Marsh finished 4-of-11 for 48 yards in his first action of the season.

After punting on the opening series, the Cardinals scored touchdowns on their next four possessions with Cunningham scoring on rushes of 40, 35, and 8 yards and throwing a 26-yard pass to Jaelin Carter to take a 28-0 lead into the break.

Cunning had more rushing yards (106) than passing (100) in the first half as the Cardinals amassed 329 yards in total offense to just 84 for the Bulls.

South Florida managed 22 yards on the ground and had three turnovers, two on Bohanon’s fifth and sixth interceptions of the season, through the first half.

The Bulls foiled Louisville’s shutout bid on Spencer Shrader’s 37-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the Cardinals responded with Tyler Evans’ 3-yard scoring run to make it 38-3 and James Turner added a second field goal to round out the scoring.

–Field Level Media

South Florida Bulls quarterback Gerry Bohanon (11) tries to elude Florida Gators in the second half against the Bulls at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, September 17, 2022. Florida won 31-28 [Doug Engle/Gainesville Sun]

Ncaa Football Florida Gators Vs Usf Bulls

USF, Louisville face off as both look to rebound

Two teams coming off disheartening losses and striving to get back to .500 will clash when South Florida visits Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

Critical mistakes by both teams in the final minute of their respective losses cost them last week. The Bulls (1-2) lost 31-28 at No. 20 Florida and the Cardinals (1-2) dropped a 35-31 decision at home to Florida State.

For USF, it was a case of errant center snaps deep in Florida territory on its final drive that proved costly. For Louisville, it was a late interception that ended its last possession near midfield.

“Obviously got to come back strong this week,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said at his weekly press briefing. “It’s still early in the season.”

The Bulls seemed to have things going well in Gainesville until the late mistakes.

“There’s about eight plays on offense, defense, and special teams combined that really were self-inflicted mistakes and kept us from finishing the game in the right way,” USF coach Jeff Scott said.

This will be the first meeting of the two teams since 2013 but the series has been competitive with Louisville holding a 6-5 advantage. It will feature two quarterbacks who can make plays with their feet as well as their arms.

The Bulls’ Gerry Bohanon rushed for 102 yards against the Gators last week and Louisville’s Malik Cunningham has rushed for a team-high 282 yards in three games. Scott likens Cunningham to former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, who set the numerous school records Cunningham is chasing.

“Honestly, whenever I watch him play, I just see Lamar,” Scott said. “I feel like they’ve had the same quarterback for like the last eight or nine years.”

–Field Level Media

Sep 9, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham (3) runs the ball during the first quarter against the UCF Knights at FBC Mortgage Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State, seeking best start since ’15, visits Louisville

The Florida State Seminoles are one win away from their best start since 2015.

OK, that’s just three wins, but they will try to make it happen Friday night when they travel to Louisville, Ky., to face the Cardinals. It’s the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for Florida State; Louisville already has one conference loss.

The Seminoles (2-0, 0-0 ACC) are coming off a bye week, which followed one of their biggest wins in recent memory when they beat LSU, 24-23, in New Orleans on Sept. 4. That, on the heels of a 47-7 rout of Duquesne, gave Florida State back-to-back victories to open a season for the first time in coach Mike Norvell’s three seasons in Tallahassee.

Florida State lost its first six September games under Norvell — two in 2020 and four in 2021.

Louisville (1-1, 0-1 ACC) will be playing its home opener after recording a 20-14 victory at UCF following a 31-7 season-opening loss at Syracuse. The Cardinals’ defense came up with three clutch stops in the final six minutes to hold off the Knights.

“I mean, you think about it, if you go into the Florida State game sitting there 0-2, I mean, that’s not going to be good at all,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said. “But to have some confidence to know, ‘Hey, we played well and the way we wanted and now we’ve got to go have a good week.’”

Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham has yet to throw a touchdown pass this season but ran for one last week against UCF, when he posted 121 yards rushing and 195 passing. Against Syracuse, Cunningham threw two interceptions and was held to only 34 yards rushing.

Last season against Florida State, Cunningham completed 25 of 39 passes for 264 yards and accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two rushing) as the Cardinals built a 24-point lead and held on for a 31-23 victory.

“He’s such an electric player,” Norvell said. “He’s got a great arm, he can push the ball down the field, and very accurate in the vertical passing game.”

Florida State’s defense has allowed 256 yards per game, which ranks second in the ACC and 19th in the nation.

On offense, the Seminoles lost starting right tackle Bless Harris to a season-ending undisclosed injury. He is the second Florida State offensive lineman to be lost for the season after Kayden Lyles was injured during the preseason.

–Field Level Media

Malik Cunningham watches from the sidelines during practice at Cardinal Stadium on Sunday, April 3, 2021


Louisville looks to continue dominance of ’Cuse

Louisville and Syracuse, two teams looking to break through in the ACC Atlantic Division, square off Saturday night in the season opener for both teams.

The host Orange feature Sean Tucker, the top rusher in the ACC last season. Even with Tucker’s school-record 1,496 yards, Syracuse won just five games last season in a rebound campaign from the forgettable 2020 (1-10).

“It really runs through that running back,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said of Tucker, who has gained 188 yards in two career games against Louisville.

Syracuse is 29-43 in six seasons under Dino Babers, with just 11 wins in the past three years. Last year, the Orange had the ACC’s worst passing offense. Garrett Shrader struggled at times after taking the starting job late in the season. He’s back, but the team is thin at quarterback after former starter Tommy DeVito left and won the starting job at Illinois and springtime standout Justin Lamson sustained a season-ending knee injury.

Louisville’s 41-3 victory over Syracuse in November helped the Cardinals secure a 6-6 regular-season record before they were edged by Air Force in a bowl game. The Cardinals are further heartened that three of their six losses came by one score.

The Cardinals are led by dynamic Malik Cunningham, the ACC’s top rushing quarterback, who will be trying to further balance up an offense that ranked eighth in the league in passing last season.

Cunningham returns after becoming the second quarterback in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards. He ranked fourth nationally and led the ACC with 20 rushing touchdowns while ranking 14th nationally in total offense.

Against Syracuse, Cunningham had five touchdowns in the first half last season.

“He’s an electrifying player,” Babers said of Cunningham. “When he steps on the field, traditionally he’s the best football player on the field on both sides.”

Despite being outscored by Louisville 71-3 in the past two meetings, Syracuse is showing a measure of outward confidence. At the ACC media day gathering in July, Syracuse linebacker Mikel Jones offered: “We see it as a good opportunity. We don’t think it’s going to be a tough challenge.”

–Field Level Media