LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville senior quarterback Adam Froman passed for 219 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinals beat Eastern Kentucky 23-13 on Saturday.
Froman threw for 190 of his yards in the first half, including the touchdown to Doug Beaumont, who had 83 yards on four catches.
It was the first win for the Cardinals (1-1) under first-year coach Charlie Strong. They lost their opener 23-16 to Kentucky.
Louisville, donning special helmets adorned with stars and stripes to mark the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks nine years ago, outlasted the Colonels (0-2) after scoring all of its points in the second quarter.
The teams combined for 25 penalties and 197 penalty yards.
Louisville went three-and-out on its first two possessions, but Froman supplied a spark late in the first quarter by scrambling for 30 yards and throwing two 20-yard passes before running back Bilal Powell ran 2 yards for the first score early in the second quarter.
Three series later, with the Colonels pinned in their own end zone, a holding penalty against Eastern Kentucky freshman tight end Nathan Watts gave Louisville a safety.
With Louisville's offense already clicking, Froman threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Beaumont. It was the senior receiver's first touchdown reception as a Cardinal. Powell added a rushing touchdown before halftime on the following series for a 23-0 lead.
A blowout seemed to be brewing, but Louisville's offense never regained rhythm after halftime.
Eastern Kentucky managed to get on the board late in the third quarter when junior linebacker Jeremy Caldwell intercepted Froman and ran 80 yards for a touchdown. The Colonels scored again with only 2:28 left in the game, missing a two-point conversion attempt.
The Colonels never threatened to pull off the same kind of mid-major upset potential that fellow Ohio Valley Conference member Jacksonville State did in beating Mississippi last Saturday.
Eastern Kentucky quarterback T.J. Pryor, a Louisville native, threw for 315 yards in the Colonels' opening game loss against Missouri State but managed only 91 yards in three quarters against the Cardinals.