BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Redshirt-junior quarterback Micale Cunningham threw for three touchdowns and rushed for one more as the Louisville Cardinals knocked off the in-state rival Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the regular season opener, 35-21.
Louisville dominated the first half of play and used a 21-0 advantage in the second quarter alone to spur them to a 28-7 lead at the halftime break.
The Hilltoppers’ play drastically improved throughout the final two quarters, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit as they fall to 0-1 on the season.
Cunningham was electric in the first fifteen minutes of play, completing six of ten passes for 181 yards and a touchdown. The Birmingham-native would account for two more scores in the second quarter and ultim ately finished with a career-high 343 passing yards on the night.
For Tyson Helton’s squad, missed opportunities were the name of the game.
A fumble inside the redzone, missed INT and turnover on downs at the goal-line caused WKU to come up empty-handed, which is less than ideal when serving as an underdog on the road.
In his first start as a Hilltopper, graduate senior quarterback Tyrell Pigrome completed 10 of 23 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 68 yards on 17 carries.
Western Kentucky will look to rebound next Saturday, as they host Liberty in the home opener at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CT.