CRAWFORD | At the horn: Quick takes from Louisville’s 45-3 victo - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | At the horn: Quick takes from Louisville’s 45-3 victory over Samford

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James Quick dives into the end zone for a touchdown during Louisville's 45-3 win over Samford. James Quick dives into the end zone for a touchdown during Louisville's 45-3 win over Samford.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — This was the kind of night the University of Louisville football team needed. The offense clicked. The defense was dominant. The Cardinals completely overwhelmed Samford 45-3, but they can be forgiven for playing an easy one after the three-game start they’ve had.

A quick review:

1.GOT THE JOB DONE. The freshman got the call at quarterback, ran for a touchdown on his second play of the game, collected 104 yards on his first four carries, broke the school’s single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback and in general ran all over an overmatched Samford team. He also completed 15 of 22 passes for 212 yards and a touchdown — and hit a dozen different receivers. The Louisville defense also did its job against a defense that was averaging 533 yards a contest against Football Championship Subdivision competition coming into the game. The Cards gave up just 104 yards through three quarters. U of L fans also got the job done on Saturday. A sparse crowd could’ve been legitimately expected, but an announced 50,121 showed up. It wasn’t a great crowd, but probably better than expected.

2. WELCOME BACK: Wideouts James Quick (ankle) and JaQuay Savage (knee) came back from injury to help give a boost to the Cardinal offense. Quick had three catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Savage had two catches for 43 yards. The Cardinals rolled up a season-high 562 yards of offense.

3. TURNING POINT. Let’s give it to Trumaine Washington, who forced a fumble on the second play of the game, and linebacker Keith Kelsey who scooped it up and returned it 20 yards to the Samford 17. Two plays later, Washington intercepted a pass, setting up another Cardinal TD drive, and that was that.

4. SURPRISE, SURPRISE! Reggie Bonnafon was the starting quarterback for the Cards season-opener against Auburn. On Saturday, he lined up at quarterback and tailback, and did much of his damage running and catching the ball. He also was inserted at QB in some red zone situations (throwing an interception in the end zone in the third quarter), but overall was an effective utility back. On consecutive third quarter plays, he took a pitch from Jackson and ran 16 yards, then on the next play caught a pass out of the backfield for 13 yards. His time as a wide receiver in high school makes him a potential weapon in a combination role moving forward.

5. WDRB PLAYER OF THE GAME. See Note No. 1. Jackson had some flashy carries, including a 73-yard run, but also made some gritty ones in the red zone, taking the ball into contact for tough yards. Get this — every time he touched the ball to run or pass, he averaged 9.9 yards.

6. STAT OF THE DAY. Jackson carried 18 times for 184 yards and two touchdowns. That represents a school single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback. With three interceptions, Louisville now has picked off a pass in 17 straight game, the longest such streak in the nation.

7. WHAT WE LEARNED. Not much. When one team is hopelessly out-matched, there’s not much to be gleaned from the result. Mainly, it gives the Cardinals a shot of confidence, which it badly needed after three losses to open the season. And there are some intriguing possibilities with Jackson and Bonnafon in the backfield together.

8. NOW WHAT? The Cards travel to N.C. State next Saturday. The Wolfpack were 3-0 going into a meeting at South Alabama last night. N.C. State, if it won at South Alabama, would have a five-game winning streak on the road, with its last loss away from Raleigh coming to Louisville in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium last season. The U of L defense will be challenged to keep an efficient N.C. State offense off the field. The Wolfpack had more than 40 minutes of possession in each of its first three games and had held opponents to just 18 percent in third-down conversions.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.
 

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