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Throwback Thursday: Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football VS Louisville, 2019

After sloppy start, Notre Dame Fighting Irish open with win vs. Louisville Cardinals

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 02 Notre Dame at Louisville
LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 02: Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back Tony Jones Jr. (6) runs the football during the first quarter of the college football game between the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Louisville Cardinals on September 2, 2019, at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, KY.
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The next opponent up for Notre Dame is the Louisville Cardinals, and this week I’m going to look back to the 2019 meeting between the two teams, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Notre Dame and Louisville have only played each other three times, with Notre Dame winning twice, and Louisville winning once. Notre Dame’s all-time record is 943-336-42 (.730), and Louisville’s all-time record is 544-493-18 (.524) Notre Dame’s largest margin of victory is 35-17 in 2019, and Louisville’s largest margin of victory is 31-28 in 2014.

The following excerpt of the meeting between Notre Dame and Louisville in 2019 is from the Courier Journal, written by Rana L. Cash.

Notre Dame topples Louisville in Cardinals season opener

Louisville wasn’t supposed to win against ninth-ranked Notre Dame. The most many hoped for was that the Cardinals, under new head coach Scott Satterfield, showed some fight, and they did in a 35-17 loss to Notre Dame at Cardinal Stadium.

In front of a home record crowd of 58,187, Louisville was tied with the Irish late in the first half until the Cards came unglued with consecutive fumbles — Notre Dame sandwiched one of its own in there. The last fumble set up a Louisville touchdown that made it 21-14 at the half.

In the second half, the Irish then pulled away with a combination of deep passes and a steady ground game on offense, and on defense by limiting the Cardinals and quarterback Jawon Pass.

And the below excerpt is from the Indy Star, written by Mike Berardino.

After sloppy start, Notre Dame Fighting Irish open with win vs. Louisville Cardinals

Three reasons Notre Dame won:


A defense forced to replace six starters, including a trio of NFL draftees in Jerry Tillery, Julian Love and Drue Tranquill, showed some early cracks in a wild opening quarter.

Louisville quarterback Jawon Pass engineered scoring drives of 88 and 75 yards on the Cardinals’ first two possessions. A pair of offside penalties, both on third down, helped to extend both drives.

From there, however, Clark Lea’s defense found its rhythm. Massive left tackle Mekhi Becton (6-7 and 369 pounds) proved immovable, but Louisville ended the first half with three straight punts, a pair of lost fumbles deep in its own territory and a brief drive into the break.

The second of those fumbles, recovered by linebacker Jack Lamb, set up Ian Book’s 11-yard scoring run just before halftime to put Notre Dame back in front.


This wasn’t Book’s best game, not even close.

His passes sailed at times. He uncharacteristically threw behind his receivers at others. It took him 24 snaps to find Chase Claypool, the most dangerous weapon at his disposal, especially with Cole Kmet and Michael Young recovering from broken clavicles.

Book finished the first half with just 63 passing yards, three sacks and a pair of fumbles, but he also used his legs to pile up 64 yards on 10 carries. When throws needed to be made down the stretch, Book made them.

On consecutive plays midway through the third quarter, he found Claypool for 31 yards on a shallow cross and redshirt freshman tight end Tommy Tremble for 26 yards and a touchdown. That burst pushed a tenuous lead to two touchdowns.

After a Louisville field goal made it a two-score game early in the fourth, Book engineered a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive that included three straight third-down conversions. The first two came on passes to Tremble and redshirt freshman Lawrence Keys III, and Book later scrambled for exactly 4 yards on third and 4.

Book finished with 193 passing yards and 81 on the ground.


Jafar Armstrong ripped off 26 yards on three straight touches on the opening drive, but he wouldn’t be heard from again. No injury announcement was made, but the versatile running back spent the rest of the night watching from the sideline as redshirt freshman Jahmir Smith filled in with a pair of touchdown plunges.

That put more of a burden on Tony Jones Jr. who finished with 112 yards on 15 carries. Jones just missed out on matching his career high of 118 yards on 17 carries early last season against Vanderbilt.

Read more of this story, here.

I knew last week’s game against Duke wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, and I’m pretty sure this week’s game against Louisville isn’t going to be either. While Notre Dame learned some lessons from the Ohio State game, I still saw way too many mistakes against Duke. Hopefully Freeman can continue to teach the boys this week, and they can execute better against Louisville. Do you think this week’s match-up is going to be another close one, or do you think Notre Dame will win more convincingly this weekend. Drop your thoughts below!

Cheers & GO IRISH!