LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The first half of the first game of the Scott Satterfield era was a good one in front of a record crowd at Cardinal Stadium on Monday.
But visiting Notre Dame ultimately proved to be too much for UofL and its new football coach, handing the home team a 35-17 loss on national television.
In front of a crowd of 58,187, Monday’s matchup marked just the second time the teams had played each other. UofL eked out a 31-28 win in the rain at Notre Dame in 2014.
The Irish took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in just six plays, taking the early lead on a 3-yard touchdown run by Jahmir Smith. It looked like the Irish would easily cover the 18 points by which they were favored.
But Louisville quarterback Jawon Pass would lead consecutive scoring drives, both culminating in touchdown runs on keepers. The Cards held a 14-7 lead and maybe that 2-10 debacle from a year ago really was a distant memory.
The Irish, however, weren’t rattled. Tony Jones Jr. scored on an 11-yard scamper late in the quarter, and quarterback Ian Book added his own 11-yard touchdown run with 17 seconds left in the half to give Notre Dame a 21-14 lead.
Book’s score followed a sequence in which the Cards lost a fumble, Notre Dame fumbled it right back, and then UofL fumbled it back to the Irish again.
The Cards fumbled five times Monday, losing three of them.
Midway through the third quarter, Book connected with Tommy Tremble on a 26-yard scoring strike, and Smith tacked on another short touchdown run to seal it in the fourth quarter. The only points UofL could muster after the first period came on a Blanton Creque field goal from 42 yards in the final quarter.
Louisville and Notre Dame have several more meetings on future schedules, including a November game in South Bend, Ind., next year.
The ninth-ranked Irish are off next week but will play their home opener against New Mexico on Sept. 14. Louisville welcomes Eastern Kentucky to Cardinal Stadium on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.