By Matt Bradshaw —
In a contest that was never close, top ranked Alabama creamed football 51-14. This was the Cards’ second season opening loss against a SEC team since 2015.
Head coach Bobby Petrino said his squad was ready for the matchup, but the statistics said otherwise. Alabama absolutely dominated on the offensive end with 519 yards to Louisville’s 268.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa wasted no time, leading the Crimson Tide offense to their first score in three minutes. The Cardinals followed with a short drive ending in a punt.
Things looked up for Louisville as they caused a fumble during Alabama’s next drive and recovered the ball.
The offense’s next drive, led by quarterback Jawon Pass, ended once again without a first down conversion. Petrino’s squad committed a substitution infraction during the possession, which was the only first of two more.
Tagovailoa ended the quarter with a rushing touchdown, giving ‘Bama the 14-0 lead.
Pass threw his first interception five minutes into the quarter. The Tide answered with another rushing touchdown.
Both sides traded unsuccessful drives until the end of the quarter. Tagovailoa stretched the lead to 28-0 with a 25 yard touchdown pass as the clock ran down.
The Alabama quarterback finished the half with more yardage and touchdowns than the entire Louisville team.
After another failed Louisville drive, the Tide added another rushing touchdown for a 34-0 lead.
Petrino’s offense then began a 10 play, 75 yard drive for their first touchdown of the game. Pass connected with sophomore Kemari Averett in the end zone for a 34-7 score.
Alabama answered with a 77 yard touchdown return, bringing their lead to 41-7.
The Tide piled on a field goal after the Cards lost yardage on a drive. Louisville trailed 44-7 moving into the final quarter.
Pass threw his second interception eight minutes into the quarter, which Alabama returned for a touchdown.
Giving the Cardinals credit, they refused to give up even under a crushing deficit. Pass connected to Averett for the second time in a 52 yard drive, making the score 51-14.
The Crimson Tide maintained possession of the ball for the remainder of the matchup, cementing their victory.
Louisville faces Indiana State for their home opener on Saturday, September 8.
You can follow Matt Bradshaw on Twitter @thecardsports.
Photos by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal