Louisville pounds Tennessee Tech, 51-10

Louisville (1-1) bounced back strong from a season opening loss to Kentucky by pounding out-matched Tennessee Tech, 51-10, at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Saturday afternoon.

Hunter Cantwell sported a new haircut.

Coach Steve Kragthorpe was goatee-free.

The Cardinals rushed for 234 yards.

They scored a touchdown on defense and special teams.

Saturday the University of Louisville football team looked a lot different against Tennessee Tech than it did in its season-opening loss to archrival Kentucky.

The Cards scored on four of their first five possessions on their way to a 51-10 win over the Golden Eagles, a Championship Subdivision team (formerly known as I-AA).

"We're not looking back...we're marching forward," said redshirt freshman running back Victor Anderson, who rushed for 114 yards on 12 carries.

"For 24 hours we mourned for (the UK loss), then we came out and prepared for this game," added sophomore wide receiver Doug Beaumont, who had five catches for 83 yards.

UofL rolled up 451 yards of total offense, compared to Tech's 176. The Cards outgained the Golden Eagles 234-33 on the ground. That was a vast improvement from Sunday when UofL rushed for 53 yards in its 27-2 loss to UK. Sophomore Bilal Powell rushed for 59 yards, while fullback Brock Bolen added 45 yards and a pair of short TD runs.

Meanwhile Cantwell played like most UofL fans had hoped the senior quarterback would this season. He was 15-for-23 for 203 yards and a pair of touchdown passes.

"The guys just came out with confidence and relaxed and had fun," Cantwell said.

Victor Anderson ran for 114 yards and a score
against Tenn. Tech.

That looked to be the case with Cantwell, who lost his trademark long hair in favor of some shorter locks.

"It was just too hot, I needed a new look," he said.

About the only thing that didn't look different for UofL was its defense. The Cards followed up a solid effort against the Wildcats with another one, stuffing Tech's ground game and bothering its passing game too. Tech quarterback Lee Sweeney, who spent a redshirt season at UofL in 2005 before transferring to the Golden Eagles, was 14 for 25 for only 93 yards with one interception while also being sacked once.

"Exactly what the doctor ordered," senior defensive tackle Earl Heyman said. "I think we made drastic improvements. Offense played well, defense played well again, and the special teams were really good."

The Cards (1-1) scored their first touchdown of the season on their first possession of the game against Tech (1-1).

They took the opening kickoff and marched downfield 84 yards in 11 plays. Bolen accounted for 34 yards (22 rushing, 12 receiving) on the drive, and had the two biggest plays. First he bulled up the middle for 12 yards on a fourth-and-1 at the Tech 27. Then, facing a third-and-8 from Tech's 13, he had a 12-yard reception from Cantwell. He later capped it off with a 1-yard TD run.

"I think the way we came out was impressive," Kragthorpe said. "They called us out, they won the toss and deferred. The offensive linemen were charged up, they came ready to smack some people and run downhill."

UofL kicker Chris Philpott had his first extra point try of the season blocked, however, and the Cards led 6-0.

UofL made it 2-for-2 on its next drive. Cantwell completed all four of his throws for 57 yards - including a 35-yard scoring strike to Troy Pascley in the end zone - on the six-play, 79-yard scoring drive. It was the first career catch for Pascley, a sophomore from Ohio.

"We were able to get the running game going and we were able to get our play action implemented," Kragthorpe said.

Philpott made the PAT to make it 13-0.

In the first quarter UofL amassed 202 yards of total offense - the Cards had just 205 in their loss to UK - while the Golden Eagles managed only 16.

UofL increased that to 20-0 early in the second quarter thanks to the final two plays of the first quarter.

The first one was a 34-yard pass from Cantwell to Beaumont and the second was a 13-yard run by Bolen. Bolen scored on a 2-yard run less than two minutes into the second period on the heels of a pass interfence penalty against Tech.

UofL's next possession was the Victor Anderson Show. The redshirt freshman from St. Xavier rushed five times for 53 yards in a seven-play, 62-yard drive, which he capped off with a 3-yard TD run. The 5-foot-9, 182-pound Anderson seemed to channel big New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs on one 18-yard run in which he flattened a Tech defensive back who tried to tackle him.

"The coaches kept giving me the ball and I just kept running it," Anderson said.

Then, Louisville's defense got in the act. Deep in his own territory Tech receiver Henry Sailes fumbled a reception and UofL senior defensive tackle Adrian Grady picked it up off the bounce and ran 19 yards for a touchdown.

The Golden Eagles got a 26-yard field goal from Justin Kraemer, after a fumble by Josh Chichester, then a 44-yard pass from Tech quarterback Lee Sweeney to Colin Allen.

The Golden Eagles could've had three more points right before the half after they sacked Cantwell, then recovered his fumble, but Kraemer missed a 35-yard try as time expired.

UofL had 318 yards of total offense, compared to Tech's 93, at intermission. The Cards had a huge advantage on the ground, outgaining the Golden Eagles 141-3. Anderson had 89 yards on nine carries and Bolen had 38 on nine.

Cantwell finished the first half 11 of 17 for 177 yards, while Beaumont had five receptions for 83 yards.

The UofL offense was dealt a blow at halftime, however. Two of the Cards' best offensive linemen - center Eric Wood and left tackle George Bussey - went out with injuries. Wood with a sprained knee and Bussey with a sprained ankle. Kragthorpe said in his post-game press conference, though, that neither injury was significant.

It took UofL one series to get its offense going again. The Cards' second possession of the second half ended with a 19-yard field goal by Philpott and their third was capped by Cantwell's 3-yard TD pass to tight end Pete Nochta. Louisville got a special teams TD with 1:31 to play in the third period when reserve linebacker Brandon Heath recovered a botched Tech punt in the end zone.

The Golden Eagles tallied their only touchdown with 5:52 to play when backup quarterback Josh Lowery hooked up with Tremaine Hudson for a 20-yard score.

The 41-point win was quite a turnaround from the 25-point loss to UK. Something that Heyman said might not have happened last season.

"Last year we might have just hung our heads a little bit, but this year, we're like, 'Okay, let's go,'" Heyman said.

The Cards next host Kansas State at 8 p.m. September 17.

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