Malik Cunningham went 15-of-23 passing for 183 yards and a touchdown to lead Louisville to a 30-3 win over FCS opponent Eastern Kentucky in its home opener on Saturday.
Cunningham also had two touchdown runs for Louisville, which responded from a lopsided loss to Ole Miss in its season opener just five days earlier on Monday.
Jalen Mitchell ran for 90 yards on 18 carries for Louisville (1-1).
Parker McKinney went 21-of-32 passing for 129 yards and Matt Wilcox Jr. caught seven passes for 66 yards in defeat for Eastern Kentucky (1-1).
McKinney was also his team’s leading rusher, running for 44 yards on eight carries.
Louisville took a 7-0 lead with 4:27 remaining in the first quarter on a 10-yard touchdown run by Cunningham.
Louisville’s special teams then made an impact in the second quarter, as Braden Smith returned a punt 49 yards for a touchdown to give the Cardinals a 13-0 lead — the PAT failed — with 10:15 remaining in the second quarter.
Eastern Kentucky got on the scoreboard with 5:48 left in the second quarter, cutting Louisville’s lead to 13-3 on a 39-yard field goal by Patrick Nations.
Just before halftime, Louisville extended its lead to 20-3 on a 3-yard touchdown run by Cunningham with 47 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
With 5:32 left in the third quarter, Louisville extended its lead to 27-3 on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Cunningham to Justin Marshall.
Louisville then made it 30-3 with 14:56 remaining on a 28-yard field goal by James Turner.
Louisville collected 347 yards of offense (189 passing, 158 rushing) and won the turnover battle, with Eastern Kentucky committing three turnovers to none for Louisville.
Both Cunningham and McKinney were effective in spreading the ball around to multiple receivers.
Cunningham completed passes to seven different receivers, while nine different players caught passes for Eastern Kentucky.
–Field Level Media
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