Louisville races past Murray State

The Steve Kragthorpe era started with a bang Thursday night as the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals (1-0) knocked off Murray State (0-1), 73-10, at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

New coach. New scheme. Same old result.

The University of Louisville mauled Murray State 73-10 Thursday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in coach Steve Kragthorpe's debut.

The 10th-ranked Cardinals continued to show the kind of offensive firepower they displayed during the Bobby Petrino Era, along with a few new wrinkles. U of L scored 10 touchdowns on its first 10 possessions and racked up 655 yards of total offense to run away from the Division I-AA Racers in front of 42,185 fans.

Steve Kragthorpe led the Cards to a big
win in his Louisville debut.
(Byron Butler-ITV)

"It was pretty much the same, not much difference," senior quarterback Brian Brohm said.

Brohm had the kind of game Cardinal fans have become used to, looking very Heisman Trophy worthy. He threw for 375 yards - 316 in the first half - and four touchdowns in a little over two quarters to lead Louisville to its 19th straight win at home.

While the Louisville offense continued to roll along their defense, which lost first-round NFL draft pick Amobi Okoye, among others, to graduation had a couple early hiccups. The Racers responded to U of L's first TD with one of their own, after a long drive, to tie the score at 7 early in the first quarter.

But Cards fans didn't have to hold their breath for long. Louisville's offense answered with a scoring drive of its own, capped by Anthony Allen's 9-yard TD run, and the Cards were just starting to click.

"It was a great crowd tonight and it was fun to get out there and play," Kragthorpe said. "For the most part we were pretty clean with our players and coaches and getting in and out of the huddle. We had a few mistakes that we'll need to take care of to be the team we want to be, but it was a great effort tonight and a great job by our team."

 Louisville began its season with a bang, scoring on its first play from scrimmage. After holding the Racers on their first possession the Louisville offense took over at the Murray 44. It took only one play for Brohm & Co. to prove that the more things change the more they stay the same. He hit Harry Douglas with a deep pass and Douglas did the rest, scoring the TD.

But Murray wasn't going to let it be a laugher worthy of Bill Murray. The Racers responded with an 11-play, 80-yard drive to tie the score after Jeff Ehrhardt's 6-yard scoring strike to Derric Townsel.

It was all Louisville from there. The Cards, who ranked second in Division I-A in total offense last season, ran roughshod over the Racers, who went 1-10 last season were 113 (out of 116) in I-AA in total defense.

Douglas and Gary Barnidge each had two receiving TDs and Sergio Spencer added two scoring runs.

"That's a heck of a team," Murray State coach Matt Griffin said. "You've got to give credit where credit is due. Bottom line, their talent is unbelieveable. Give them credit because they played a great game."

Cardinal Authority Top Stories