The Chick-fil-A Kickoff started about as bad for Louisville as one could imagine.
A game-opening play that was intended to be a Lamar Jackson pass to Reggie Bonnafon was intercepted, resulted in a five play, 26-yard touchdown drive for Auburn just minutes after kickoff. Still trailing 7-0 midway through the second quarter, a poor hand off exchange between Reggie Bonnafon and Brandon Radcliff led to a 82 yard fumble recover for a touchdown.
The list of first half offensive woes could continue, such as Louisville's second series reaching the Auburn six yard line, before a pair of false starts and two Bonnafon incompletions led to a 36-yard John Wallace field goal attempt that sailed right. Following a Chick-fil-A Kickoff record 56-yard field goal from Daniel Carlson put the Cardinals down 17-0 at the half.
When the Cardinals returned from the locker room, it was the rookie Lamar Jackson that would get the call at quarterback. The result was a 24-14 Louisville scoring advantage and the appearance that head coach Bobby Petrino may have found his quarterback.
"We'll wait and see, but I thought he really did a nice job, competed extremely hard, and we saw that in practice," Petrino said. "Like I said coming into the game, we knew we were going to play him, and he did compete extremely hard out there. I thought it gave us the best opportunity to get back in the game and find a way to win."
Jackson completed 9 of 20 attempts with one interception, but he was also the Cardinals top rusher, gaining 106 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
The Cardinals will host Houston for its home-opener on Saturday, Sept. 12.