LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Goodyear Blimp has sailed away. Notre Dame exited with their fancy, delicious P.F. Chang's post-game carry-on meals. Louisville must prepare for the rest of the season.
U of L coach Scott Satterfield did not want to label the Cards' 35-17 loss to Notre Dame Monday night at Cardinal Stadium as a "moral" victory.
Considering the crowd, the energy, the surprising competitiveness of the game, would "aesthetic" victory work?
But first, here are 10 Final Numbers about about opening night for the Cards’ and the Satterfield Era:
1. Another reason for Satterfield to be enthusiastic about the play of his offensive line: The Cards' running game delivered a dozen chunk plays -- runs of 10 yards or longer.
Jawon Pass had five, halfback Hassan Hall had four and starting halfback Javian Hawkins had three, including a 44-yard burst in the first quarter. Chunk plays were not a calling card of the running game last season.
2. Was it depth, fatigue or adjustments?
Six of those chunk plays came in the first quarter, three in the second quarter and only three more in the second half.
3. The Cards allowed 430 yards in total offense. Although that ranked 90th for opening game performances by all 130 FBS programs, the Cardinals were gashed for 518 or more yards in their final five games last season.
Considering Notre Dame's offensive calling card this season was supposed to be its offensive line, that was progress.
4. Safety Russ Yeast and linebacker Nick Okeke led Louisville in tackles with seven each. That was a career best for Yeast, whose season high last season as a sophomore was four.
It was the second-best game for Okeke, who contributed eight last season as a redshirt freshman against Virginia.
5. Pass finished with 134 yards passing and 67 rushing. The passing total would have been only his eighth-best last season but the only time he rushed for more yards came when Pass scrambled for 80 yards against Syracuse.
In fact, Pass ran for more than 10 yards in a game twice last season.
6. The crowd of 58,187 eclipsed the record 55,632 from the 2016 ESPN College GameDay gathering when Louisville and Lamar Jackson routed Florida State in 2016.
It was about 2,200 more than the season high for the Western Kentucky game last season and an upgrade nearly 8,000 from the 2018 season average.
7. Louisville averaged 5.1 yards per offensive snap. The 2018 Cardinals actually averaged 5.31 yards per snap.
8. Defensively, Louisville allowed Notre Dame 6.51 yards per snap, an improvement from the 6.88 yards that Brian VanGorder's unit allowed last season.
9. By losing three fumbles and only recovering one, Louisville finished -2 in turnover margin. The Cardinals produced a positive turnover margin in only two games last season -- Boston College and Kentucky.
Turnover margin moves to the list of Things To Do.
10. The Cardinals host Eastern Kentucky at 7 p.m. Saturday. Although VegasInsider.com does not show a point spread for the game, Jeff Sagarin's computer predictor formula shows Louisville favored over EKU by 22.94 points.
Louisville has won three straight against the Colonels, including a 44-7 victory delivered by Charlie Strong in 2013. Louisville has not started a season with back-to-back defeats since the 2015 squad opened with losses to Auburn, Houston and Clemson.
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