ED PEAK: Lots at Stake as U of L Faces N.C. State & UK in Next Two Weeks
There is a lot at stake in the final two regular season football games for Louisville, now 6-4 overall.
It begins Saturday at home against No. 25 North Carolina State (ACC Network, 3:30 p.m. ET). N.C. State (7-3, 3-3) lost this past weekend at home to Boston College 21-20. Rival Kentucky (6-4) follows November 26 and the Cats are coming off a 24-21 home loss to Vanderbilt, a team that had lost 26 straight Southeastern Conference games. The UK-U of L game will be shown on SEC Network at 3:00 p.m. ET.
The puzzling thing in both losses at came in Raleigh and Lexington.
The Wolfpack haven't been the same since losing quarterback Devin Leary to a season-ending injury. The Cardinals might be without its senior quarterback Malik Cunningham who was injured at Clemson on the final play of the first half. He entered the game with a left hand injury.
His status will be updated Tuesday and again later in the week.
Backup quarterback Brock Domann played the second half and was 13 of 25 passing for 175 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Domnann led the team to a victory at Virginia earlier this season.
The Wolfpack’s M.J. Morris threw and ran for early touchdowns. He was 12 of 24 for 135 yards and had an interception. But the Pack committed four second-half turnovers. It was the Pack’s third one-point game.
“I don’t really know what to say,” said N.C. State coach Dave Doeren. “I’m pretty down for these kids.”
“We’re banged up a little bit right now,” said U of L coach Scott Satterfield following the loss. “Malik got dinged again (left shoulder). We don’t have many receivers. When things were down we didn’t give up, we kept fighting until the last play when we scored.”
Tyler Hudson had a big game with 11 catches for 163 yards against the Tigers.
Louisville lost to N.C. State last season 28-13 and were embarrassed by Kentucky at home, 52-21 when quarterback Will Levis did what ever he earned. Levis ran for four touchdowns in the game.
But this Kentucky team seems to be limping home after starting 5-1. Its offensive line has been under fire most of the season.
For Louisville, there is a lot to gain in these last two games. An 8-4 finish would please a fan base that has been less than cordial to Satterfield. Remember this team was 2-3 after a one-point loss at Boston College almost seven weeks ago.
A nice turnaround, but two more victories would be outstanding.
Ed Peak has covered sports in Louisville, Kentucky since 1967. He started as a high school reporter for the old “Night Beat” program on WAVE Radio 970. He later worked as a high school sports reporter on WHAS TV’s “Here’s Now” (1969-1971). He produced the WHAS radio high school game of the week on the “Wayne Perkey” radio show and the WHAS Saturday Scoreboard following University of Kentucky football. Ed worked as a sports correspondent for the Courier-Journal & Louisville Times (1972-1982) and has assisted in covering The University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, many high school state football, basketball and other events for the Associated Press. He has covered the Kentucky Derby since 1973, and the Breeders Cup in Louisville and Lexington. Ed still writes for the AP, News and Tribune (Jeffersonville, Ind.) and UofLCardGame.com and CBS Radio News.