By Derek DeBurger

The Louisville Cardinals held on to win a nailbiter against the Indiana Hoosiers in Indianapolis. The program’s first win over Indiana was a tale of two halves.

Louisville’s defense in the first half was far more aggressive than it had been in the first two games, pressuring Indiana quarterback Tayvon Jackson early and often. The young quarterback frequently looked nervous in the first half, too, as the Cards routinely changed the defensive plays pre-snap to keep him confused.

The defense also did a great job containing explosive Hoosiers running back Jaylin Lucas. He finished the game with 29 rushing yards on eight carries.

The offense was just as effective. After a missed field goal in the first quarter by kicker Brock Travelstead, the Cards looked unstoppable. Quarterback Jack Plummer looked excellent. Plummer was seeing the field and driving the ball all game long.

The first score was an 85-yard touchdown to wide receiver Jamari Thrash. Through the first three weeks, Thrash has proven that he is dangerous. He finished the game with 159 yards on just four catches.

Thrash wasn’t the only receiver having their way with the Hoosiers secondary. The Cardinal receivers were getting big-time separation from corners all day.

The Cards also had touchdown runs from running backs Maurice Turner and Jawhar Jordan to give them a 21-0 lead going into halftime. There wasn’t a shred of momentum away from the Cards.

Louisville Marching Band before the game against Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 16.

Back Half Birds?

Louisville would look to build on their first-half momentum as they were set to receive the kickoff in the third quarter.

Unfortunately, they were caught completely off-guard as Indiana’s head coach called a surprise onside kick to start the half. Indiana recovered the onside kick and marched all the way down the field. Jackson hit Lucas for a 30-yard receiving touchdown to cut the lead to 14.

Louisville’s offense looked really good to start the second half, but crucial mistakes hampered any positivity. Plummer managed to find Thrash deep for a huge touchdown, but a holding penalty on guard Renato Brown negated the play.

On the next possession, Plummer did a phenomenal job extending a broken play and slung it deep to find wide receiver Kevin Coleman open. Coleman dropped the pass, however, and it fell right into the hands of the IU defense for an interception.

Off the interception, Indiana marched 97 yards down the field to score a touchdown and bring the lead down to seven.

Late in the fourth quarter, Indiana found themselves right on the goal line with a fourth-and-goal with a chance to tie the game. The Louisville defense, absent most of this half, came up big to stop Indiana behind the line for a turnover on downs.

Plummer then led the offense down the field until the clock hit zeros, sealing the win for the Cards and avoiding the collapse. The final score: 21-14, Louisville.

The Cardinals run out before the game against Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 16.


Louisville is 3-0 for the first time since 2016, but it (again) hasn’t looked pretty. There have been times when the team has looked great, and times when the Cards have looked very much like an unfinished product. Despite the inconsistency, the Cards are undefeated, and head coach Jeff Brohm and company have proven that they can weather any storm.

Jack Plummer, after looking more like a liability in the first two games, looked fantastic in this one despite his numbers.

If Brohm and company continue to make improvements and adjustments like they have all year, this could turn into a special season.

The next contest for the Louisville Cardinals will be at 3:30 P.M. on Saturday, Sept. 23 against Boston College. Louisville will try to keep stacking wins and match the 2016 Cards’ 4-0 start.

Photo Courtesy // Taris Smith, Louisville Athletics