By Brad McGuffin —
Following last weeks victory over Indiana State, football defeated instate rival Western Kentucky 20-17. Louisville overcame a 14-0 deficit with the help of late offensive boosts from redshirt freshman Malik Cunningham and redshirt sophomore Dae Williams.
On WKU’s first drive, quarterback Steven Ducan’s pass was intercepted by sophomore linebacker C. J. Avery. U of L started a drive on the opposing 45-yard line but was unable to capitalize on the turnover.
With 7:26 left in the quarter, redshirt sophomore Rodjay Burns returned a punt for 36 yards. A horse-collar tackle from the Hilltoppers gave the Cardinals the ball on the opposing 25-yard line.
The following play, WKU’s DeAngelo Malone interception a dropped pass intended for sophomore Kemari Averett. It was a big missed opportunity and gave Western Kentucky possession at their own 20-yad line.
The Toppers used 16 plays in seven minutes to drive 80 yards down the field for the opening touchdown and 7-0 lead.
With the start of the next quarter, head coach Bobby Petrino replaced starting quarterback Jawon Pass with redshirt freshman Malik Cunningham.
Cunningham’s opening drive was stopped by WKU on a 4th down play. The Hilltoppers gained possession at the U of L 31-yard line.
WKU’s Davis Stanley found wide receiver Quin Jernighan for a gain of 28 yards. Stanely scrambled into the end zone on the next play for a 14-0 lead.
With 13 seconds left in the first half, redshirt junior Blanton Creque connected on a 23-yard field goal for Louisville’s first score.
Western Kentucky led 14-3 at halftime.
Creque notched another 23-yard field goal on the Cards’ first drive of the half. U of L still lacked a touchdown after the eight-play, 61-yard drive.
Louisville trailed Western Kentucky 14-6.
WKU then drove 60-yards down the field and attempted a field goal. A crowd of Cardinals blocked the punt and recovered the ball at the opposing 31-yard line.
U of L took advantage of the opportunity and finally scored their first touchdown of the game. Williams followed a seven-play, 31-drive with a rushing touchdown.
Louisville cut the deficit to one, making the score 14-13.
The Hilltopper offense continued to produce and responded with a 35-yard field goal. WKU led 17-13 after the score.
With 8:14 left in the game, the Cardinals came up with their most productive drive of the night. Williams capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive with his second rushing touchdown, giving U of L their five lead of the game.
Louisville led Western Kentucky 20-17 with five minutes remaining.
WKU traded possessions with U of L, then received the ball with 16 seconds left. The Hilltoppers attempted a 51-yard field goal to tie the game but fell short, securing the 20-17 victory for Louisville.
The Cardinals begin ACC play next Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Virginia.
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Photos by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal