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Louisville 35, Western Kentucky 21

LOUISVILLE, Ky. Micale Cunningham accounted for four touchdowns and passed for a career-high 343 yards, helping Louisville overcome a mistake-prone start to roll past Western Kentucky 35-21 in Saturday night's season opener for both schools.

Cunningham completed 19 of 34 passes with TDs of 28, 2 and 70 yards to surpass his previous yardage best of 288 last season against Boston College. The junior quarterback also rushed for a 14-yard score after hitting tight end Ean Pfeifer with his first TD pass that tied the game at 7.

A fumbled punt snap on Louisville's opening possession resulted in Gaej Walker's 1-yard TD run for WKU. Louisville regrouped to score on four of the next five drives as Javian Hawkins rushed for a 19-yard TD and Marshon Ford caught a TD pass to make it 28-7. The Cardinals outgained the Hilltoppers 487-248, including 337-120 by halftime on the way to winning their 12th consecutive series meeting.

Tyrrell Pigrome tossed a 12-yard TD to Mitchell Tinsley and finished with 129 yards passing in his WKU debut after transferring from Maryland. Omari Alexander blocked a Logan Lupo punt to set up Malik Staples' 1-yard TD for another Hilltoppers score.

The game was played before 11,179 physically distanced fans at Cardinal Stadium.

THE TAKEAWAY

Western Kentucky: Short touchdowns set up from punt coverage helped the Hilltoppers avoid a shutout, and they managed another score late in the game. They had other opportunities that came up empty, as Jahcour Pearson was stripped after a 50-yard reception before they later turned it over on downs near the goal line. The defense struggled to contain Cunningham.

Louisville: After looking rusty on an opening drive that began with a holding penalty and ended with Lupo's fumbled snap to set up WKU's first score, the Cardinals dialed in on both sides of the ball. Cunningham's 63-yard strike to Braden Smith quickly awakened the offense, which continued to show its knack for rolling up big yardage. Most encouraging for Louisville was a defense that registered 10 tackles for loss and with three sacks.

UP NEXT

Western Kentucky hosts Liberty on Saturday, seeking its first series win in three meetings. The schools are meeting for the first time since 1996.

Louisville hosts Miami (Florida) in an ACC opener Saturday night, looking to avenge last year's 55-27 road loss to the Hurricanes.

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  Western Kentucky Louisville
First downs 16 23
  Rushing 8 10
  Passing 5 12
  Penalty 3 1
3rd Down Efficiency 4-12, 33% 9-16, 56%
4th down efficiency 1-3, 33% 1-3, 33%
Rushes-Yards 35-119 38-144
Passing Yards 129 343
Return Yards 38 24
Completions-Attempts-Int 10-23-0 19-34-1
Sacks-Yards Lost 3-22 1-4
Punts 5 4
Fumbles Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties - Yards 5-23 4-36
Western Kentucky Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
T. Pigrome 10 23 129 1 0
Louisville Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
M. Cunningham 19 34 343 3 1
Western Kentucky Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
T. Pigrome 17 68 4.0 0
G. Walker 9 19 2.1 1
N. Whittington 5 16 3.2 0
J. Moses 1 8 8.0 0
M. Staples 3 8 2.7 1
Louisville Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
J. Hawkins 19 71 3.7 1
H. Hall 6 66 11.0 0
M. Cunningham 12 24 2.0 1
Western Kentucky Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
J. Pearson 5 67 13.4 0
M. Tinsley 3 38 12.7 1
C. Burt Jr. 2 24 12.0 0
Louisville Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
D. Fitzpatrick 4 110 27.5 1
B. Smith 4 110 27.5 0
T. Atwell 7 78 11.1 0
E. Pfeifer 1 28 28.0 1
J. Marshall 1 14 14.0 0
M. Ford 2 3 1.5 1
Western Kentucky Interceptions
Player Int Yards
O. Alexander 1 0
Louisville Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Western Kentucky Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
J. Haggerty 5 231 46.2
Louisville Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
L. Lupo 3 116 38.7
Western Kentucky Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
D. Wade 1 0 0
Louisville Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
R. Burns 1 8 8.0
Western Kentucky Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
B. Bishop 1 18 18.0
D. Wade 1 20 20.0
Louisville Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
H. Hall 1 8 8.0
R. Burns 1 8 8.0
Western Kentucky Missed FG
Player Length
Louisville Missed FG
Player Length


4th Quarter
2nd&5 at WestKy 5 (0:09) Javian Hawkins rush middle for -2 yards to the WestKy7.
1st&4 at WestKy 4 (0:49) Micale Cunningham rush for -1 yard to the WestKy5.
1st&3 at WestKy 3 (1:00) Micale Cunningham rush for -5 yards to the WestKy8. Western Kentucky penalized 4 yards.
3rd&1 at WestKy 5 (1:33) Javian Hawkins rush middle for 2 yards to the WestKy3.
2nd&10 at WestKy 14 (2:17) Micale Cunningham rush for 9 yards to the WestKy5.
1st&10 at WestKy 14 (2:23) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the right.
2nd&1 at WestKy 19 (3:02) Javian Hawkins rush for 5 yards to the WestKy14.
1st&10 at WestKy 28 (3:42) Javian Hawkins rush middle for 9 yards to the WestKy19.
3rd&8 at WestKy 42 (4:14) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the left to Justin Marshall for 14 yards to the WestKy28.
3rd&13 at WestKy 47 (4:39) Western Kentucky penalized 5 yards.
2nd&12 at WestKy 46 (5:07) Micale Cunningham rush for -1 yard to the WestKy47.
1st&10 at WestKy 44 (5:38) Javian Hawkins rush for -2 yards to the WestKy46.
Offensive Penalty (5:40) Onside kick. Recovered by kicking team by Mitchell Tinsley. Western Kentucky penalized 0 yards.
Point AfterLou 35-21 (5:40) Brayden Narveson PAT - GOOD.
2nd&12 at Lou 12Lou 35-20 (5:46) Tyrrell Pigrome pass completion to the middle to Mitchell Tinsley for 12 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
1st&8 at Lou 8 (6:38) Tyrrell Pigrome rush middle for -4 yards to the Lou12.
4th&1 at Lou 11 (6:51) Tyrrell Pigrome rush left for 3 yards to the Lou8.
3rd&7 at Lou 17 (7:34) Tyrrell Pigrome rush middle for 6 yards to the Lou11.
2nd&6 at Lou 16 (8:21) Noah Whittington rush for -1 yard to the Lou17.
1st&10 at Lou 20 (8:52) Tyrrell Pigrome rush middle for 4 yards to the Lou16.
3rd&6 at Lou 33 (9:32) Tyrrell Pigrome rush middle for 13 yards to the Lou20.
2nd&10 at Lou 37 (10:11) Gaej Walker rush middle for 4 yards to the Lou33.
1st&10 at Lou 37 (10:16) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the right.
4th&7 at Lou 6 (10:28) Logan Lupo punts. Dayton Wade returns 0 yards. Dayton Wade fumbles, Dayton Wade of Western Kentucky recovers and returns 0 yards.
4th&2 at Lou 11 (10:28) Louisville penalized -5 yards.
3rd&6 at Lou 7 (11:23) Micale Cunningham rush middle for 4 yards to the Lou11.
2nd&6 at Lou 7 (11:29) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the right.
1st&10 at Lou 3 (12:05) Hassan Hall rush for 4 yards to the Lou7.
4th&3 at Lou 3 (12:16) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the right.
3rd&3 at Lou 3 (12:22) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the right.
2nd&5 at Lou 5 (13:05) Malik Staples rush middle for 2 yards to the Lou3.
1st&5 at Lou 5 (13:11) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the middle.
1st&10 at Lou 16 (13:45) Tyrrell Pigrome rush middle for 11 yards to the Lou5.
2nd&9 at Lou 31 (14:19) Noah Whittington rush for 15 yards to the Lou16.
1st&10 at Lou 32 (15:00) Noah Whittington rush middle for 1 yard to the Lou31.
3rd Quarter
2nd&5 at Lou 38 (0:02) Noah Whittington rush for 6 yards to the Lou32.
1st&10 at Lou 43 (0:33) Tyrrell Pigrome pass completion to the left to Jahcour Pearson for 5 yards to the Lou38.
1st&10 at WestKy 41 (1:05) Tyrrell Pigrome pass completion to the right to Craig Burt Jr. for 16 yards to the Lou43.
4th&11 at Lou 23 (1:29) Logan Lupo punts. No return. Ball on WestKy41.
3rd&6 at Lou 28 (1:44) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the middle to Braden Smith for -4 yards to the Lou24.
2nd&6 at Lou 28 (1:51) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the right.
1st&10 at Lou 25 (2:38) Hassan Hall rush middle for 3 yards to the Lou28.
4th&5 at WestKy 28 (2:46) John Haggerty punts. No return. Ball on Lou25.
3rd&5 at WestKy 28 (2:51) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the left.
2nd&15 at WestKy 18 (3:31) Tyrrell Pigrome rush for 10 yards to the WestKy28.
1st&10 at WestKy 23 (4:10) Tyrrell Pigrome sacked by Rodjay Burns for -5 yards to the WestKy18.
4th&11 at WestKy 34 (4:19) Micale Cunningham pass to the left intercepted by Omari Alexander. No return.
3rd&11 at WestKy 34 (4:29) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the left.
2nd&9 at WestKy 32 (4:45) Javian Hawkins rush for -2 yards to the WestKy34.
1st&10 at WestKy 33 (5:24) Micale Cunningham rush for 1 yard to the WestKy32.
1st&10 at WestKy 49 (5:53) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the right to Dez Fitzpatrick for 16 yards to the WestKy33.
4th&10 at Lou 37 (5:58) Tyrrell Pigrome sacked by Monty Montgomery for -14 yards to the WestKy49.
Offensive Time Out (5:58) Western Kentucky time out.
3rd&10 at Lou 37 (6:05) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the right.
2nd&13 at Lou 40 (6:45) Tyrrell Pigrome rush middle for 3 yards to the Lou37.
1st&10 at Lou 37 (7:16) Tyrrell Pigrome sacked by Monty Montgomery for -3 yards to the Lou40.
2nd&10 at WestKy 44 (7:52) Tyrrell Pigrome pass completion to the right to Mitchell Tinsley for 19 yards to the Lou37.
1st&10 at WestKy 44 (8:00) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the right.
2nd&2 at WestKy 33 (8:36) Tyrrell Pigrome rush for 11 yards to the WestKy44.
1st&10 at WestKy 25 (8:58) Jakairi Moses rush middle for 8 yards to the WestKy33.
Kick Return (8:58) Louisville kicks off. Touchback. Ball on WestKy25.
Point AfterLou 35-14 (8:58) James Turner PAT - GOOD.
1st&10 at Lou 30Lou 34-14 (9:09) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the right to Dez Fitzpatrick for 70 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
2nd&4 at Lou 21 (9:44) Javian Hawkins rush for 9 yards to the Lou30.
1st&10 at Lou 15 (10:20) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the right to Dez Fitzpatrick for 6 yards to the Lou21.
Kick Return (10:23) Western Kentucky kicks off. Rodjay Burns returns 8 yards to the Lou15.
Point AfterLou 28-14 (10:23) Brayden Narveson PAT - GOOD.
2nd&1 at Lou 1Lou 28-13 (10:30) Malik Staples rush middle for 1 yard for a TOUCHDOWN.
1st&4 at Lou 4 (11:02) Gaej Walker rush middle for 3 yards to the Lou1.
4th&7 at Lou 27 (11:11) Logan Lupo punt blocked by Omari Alexander. Returned by Logan Lupo.
3rd&7 at Lou 27 (11:15) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the right.
2nd&10 at Lou 24 (11:57) Javian Hawkins rush for 3 yards to the Lou27.
1st&10 at Lou 24 (12:04) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the right.
1st&10 at Lou 12 (12:30) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the right to Tutu Atwell for 12 yards to the Lou24.
4th&7 at WestKy 39 (12:43) John Haggerty punts. No return. Ball on Lou12.
3rd&7 at WestKy 39 (12:46) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the middle.
2nd&15 at WestKy 31 (13:26) Tyrrell Pigrome pass completion to the left to Craig Burt Jr. for 8 yards to the WestKy39.
1st&15 at WestKy 31 (13:30) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the middle.
1st&10 at WestKy 36 (13:30) Western Kentucky penalized -5 yards.
3rd&16 at WestKy 21 (13:38) Louisville penalized 15 yards.
2nd&15 at WestKy 22 (14:17) Tyrrell Pigrome pass completion to the right to Jahcour Pearson for -1 yard to the WestKy21.
1st&10 at WestKy 27 (14:55) Noah Whittington rush for -5 yards to the WestKy22.
Kick Return (15:00) Louisville kicks off. Dayton Wade returns 20 yards to the WestKy27.
2nd Quarter
1st&10 at WestKy 25 (0:42) Gaej Walker rush middle for 3 yards to the WestKy28.
Kick Return (0:42) Louisville kicks off. Touchback. Ball on WestKy25.
Point AfterLou 28-7 (0:42) James Turner PAT - GOOD.
3rd&2 at WestKy 2Lou 27-7 (0:47) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the right to Marshon Ford for 2 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
2nd&8 at WestKy 8 (0:58) Javian Hawkins rush for 6 yards to the WestKy2.
1st&8 at WestKy 8 (1:03) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the right.
4th&1 at WestKy 9 (1:32) Micale Cunningham rush for 1 yard to the WestKy8.
3rd&2 at WestKy 10 (2:13) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the left to Marshon Ford for 1 yard to the WestKy9.
2nd&7 at WestKy 15 (2:58) Javian Hawkins rush for 5 yards to the WestKy10.
1st&10 at WestKy 18 (3:34) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the right to Braden Smith for 3 yards to the WestKy15.
1st&10 at Lou 41 (4:06) Hassan Hall rush for 41 yards to the WestKy18.
2nd&8 at Lou 27 (4:40) Hassan Hall rush middle for 14 yards to the Lou41.
1st&10 at Lou 25 (5:05) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the right to Tutu Atwell for 3 yards to the Lou28.
3rd&7 at Lou 16 (5:35) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the left to Tutu Atwell for 9 yards to the Lou25.
2nd&10 at Lou 13 (6:28) Hassan Hall rush for 3 yards to the Lou16.
1st&10 at Lou 13 (6:34) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the right.
4th&10 at Lou 48 (6:43) John Haggerty punts. No return. Ball on Lou13.
3rd&10 at Lou 48 (6:53) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the left.
2nd&8 at Lou 46 (7:55) Tyrrell Pigrome rush left for -2 yards to the Lou48.
1st&10 at Lou 48 (8:10) Tyrrell Pigrome pass completion to the left to Jahcour Pearson for 2 yards to the Lou46.
3rd&8 at WestKy 27 (8:43) Tyrrell Pigrome rush for 25 yards to the Lou48.
2nd&8 at WestKy 27 (9:04) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the left.
1st&10 at WestKy 25 (9:21) Gaej Walker rush middle for 2 yards to the WestKy27.
Kick Return (9:21) Louisville kicks off. No return. Ball on WestKy25.
Point AfterLou 21-7 (9:21) James Turner PAT - GOOD.
1st&10 at WestKy 19Lou 20-7 (9:27) Javian Hawkins rush for 19 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
3rd&9 at WestKy 33 (9:59) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the middle to Tutu Atwell for 14 yards to the WestKy19.
2nd&9 at WestKy 33 (10:07) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the right.
1st&10 at WestKy 34 (10:44) Micale Cunningham rush for 1 yard to the WestKy33.
2nd&6 at WestKy 44 (11:11) Javian Hawkins rush middle for 10 yards to the WestKy34.
1st&10 at WestKy 48 (11:51) Javian Hawkins rush for 4 yards to the WestKy44.
1st&10 at Lou 36 (12:25) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the left to Tutu Atwell for 16 yards to the WestKy48.
4th&2 at WestKy 17 (12:40) John Haggerty punts. Rodjay Burns returns 8 yards to the Lou36.
3rd&6 at WestKy 13 (13:29) Tyrrell Pigrome rush for 4 yards to the WestKy17.
2nd&13 at WestKy 6 (14:14) Tyrrell Pigrome pass completion to the right to Mitchell Tinsley for 7 yards to the WestKy13.
1st&10 at WestKy 9 (14:49) Gaej Walker rush middle for -3 yards to the WestKy6.
Offensive Penalty (14:54) Louisville kicks off. Beanie Bishop returns 18 yards to the WestKy18. Western Kentucky penalized -9 yards.
Point AfterLou 14-7 (14:54) James Turner PAT - GOOD.
3rd&8 at WestKy 14Lou 13-7 (15:00) Micale Cunningham rush middle for 14 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
1st Quarter
2nd&10 at WestKy 16 (0:12) Javian Hawkins rush middle for 2 yards to the WestKy14.
1st&10 at WestKy 16 (0:18) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the right.
3rd&9 at WestKy 34 (0:57) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the right to Dez Fitzpatrick for 18 yards to the WestKy16.
2nd&9 at WestKy 34 (1:04) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the right.
1st&10 at WestKy 35 (1:39) Hassan Hall rush middle for 1 yard to the WestKy34.
1st&10 at Lou 49 (2:05) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the right to Tutu Atwell for 16 yards to the WestKy35.
3rd&16 at Lou 1 (2:39) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the middle to Braden Smith for 48 yards to the Lou49.
2nd&14 at Lou 3 (3:24) Javian Hawkins rush middle for -2 yards to the Lou1.
1st&10 at Lou 7 (4:08) Micale Cunningham sacked by DeAngelo Malone for -4 yards to the Lou3. Micale Cunningham fumbles, Javian Hawkins of Louisville recovers and returns 0 yards.
1st&10 at WestKy 41 (4:21) Tyrrell Pigrome pass completion to the middle to Jahcour Pearson for 50 yards to the Lou9. Jahcour Pearson fumbles, Russ Yeast of Louisville recovers and returns 4 yards to the Lou13. Louisville penalized -6 yards.
3rd&9 at WestKy 30 (4:52) Tyrrell Pigrome pass completion to the middle to Jahcour Pearson for 11 yards to the WestKy41.
2nd&10 at WestKy 29 (5:31) Gaej Walker rush for 1 yard to the WestKy30.
1st&10 at WestKy 29 (5:37) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the right.
4th&10 at Lou 25 (5:46) Logan Lupo punts. No return. Ball on WestKy29.
3rd&10 at Lou 25 (5:51) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the left.
Defensive Time Out (5:51) Western Kentucky time out.
2nd&10 at Lou 25 (6:23) Javian Hawkins rush middle for 0 yards.
1st&10 at Lou 25 (6:30) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the middle.
2nd&2 at Lou 19 (7:17) Javian Hawkins rush middle for 6 yards to the Lou25.
1st&10 at Lou 11 (7:24) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the right to Tutu Atwell for 8 yards to the Lou19.
4th&4 at WestKy 44 (7:34) John Haggerty punts. No return. Ball on Lou11.
3rd&4 at WestKy 44 (7:38) Tyrrell Pigrome incomplete pass to the left.
2nd&15 at WestKy 33 (8:16) Tyrrell Pigrome rush middle for 11 yards to the WestKy44.
1st&10 at WestKy 38 (8:55) Tyrrell Pigrome rush middle for -5 yards to the WestKy33.
Offensive Time Out (8:55) Western Kentucky time out.
3rd&2 at WestKy 33 (9:41) Malik Staples rush middle for 5 yards to the WestKy38.
2nd&11 at WestKy 24 (10:18) Gaej Walker rush middle for 9 yards to the WestKy33.
1st&10 at WestKy 25 (10:57) Gaej Walker rush middle for -1 yard to the WestKy24.
Kick Return (10:57) Louisville kicks off. Touchback. Ball on WestKy25.
Point AfterTied 7-7 (10:57) James Turner PAT - GOOD.
1st&10 at WestKy 28WestKy 7-6 (11:11) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the right to Ean Pfeifer for 28 yards for a TOUCHDOWN.
3rd&9 at Lou 9 (11:35) Micale Cunningham pass completion to the middle to Braden Smith for 63 yards to the WestKy28.
2nd&6 at Lou 12 (12:35) Javian Hawkins rush for -3 yards to the Lou9.
1st&10 at Lou 8 (12:45) Micale Cunningham rush for 4 yards to the Lou12.
Kick Return (12:53) Western Kentucky kicks off. Hassan Hall returns 8 yards to the Lou8.
Point AfterWestKy 7-0 (12:53) Brayden Narveson PAT - GOOD.
1st&1 at Lou 1WestKy 6-0 (12:58) Gaej Walker rush for 1 yard for a TOUCHDOWN.
4th&17 at Lou 18 (13:07) TEAM rush for -17 yards to the Lou1.
3rd&18 at Lou 17 (13:46) Micale Cunningham rush for 1 yard to the Lou18.
2nd&20 at Lou 15 (14:26) Javian Hawkins rush right for 2 yards to the Lou17.
1st&20 at Lou 15 (14:35) Micale Cunningham incomplete pass to the right.
1st&10 at Lou 25 (15:00) Louisville penalized -10 yards.
Kick Return (15:00) Western Kentucky kicks off. Touchback. Ball on Lou25.

Associated Press


September 12, 2020


D1SportsNet

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