No. 8 Louisville routs E Kentucky 44-7

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 7, 2013 at 3:10 pm •  Published: September 7, 2013

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The eighth-ranked Louisville Cardinals may need to start earning some style points to go along with their victories.

Coach Charlie Strong certainly wants more.

Teddy Bridgewater threw for 397 yards and four touchdowns, and Louisville routed Eastern Kentucky 44-7 Saturday on a day the Cardinals' defense just missed a shutout for a second straight week.

"You'd like to see that happen just because we feel like we have made a move and we've raised the standard and we've taken another step and we would have gone out there today and taken care of business, which we didn't do," Strong said.

Linebacker Preston Brown had two of Louisville's four sacks, and Calvin Pryor had an interception as Louisville limited Eastern Kentucky to 76 yards of offense in the first half. The Cardinals weren't happy about losing the shutout.

"Through the first three quarters, we pretty much had a shutout," Louisville defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin said. "They ended up getting a score at the end of the second half."

The Cardinals (2-0) needed the defensive plays. Following the noon kickoff, Louisville settled for a pair of field goals from John Wallace after turnovers gave the offense short fields. The Cardinals also settled for a third field goal in the third quarter despite reaching Eastern Kentucky's 4.

"You always talk about raising the standards and what you have just potentially on offense and you know the weapons we have and when you get the ball down in the red zone you like touchdowns instead of field goals," Strong said. "We missed opportunities there."

Bridgewater hit his first five passes to continue his strong start on his season and Heisman Trophy candidacy. He tossed TD passes to Damian Copeland and Gerald Christian, and two to DeVante Parker while connecting with eight different receivers. He wound up 23 of 32 with no interceptions after throwing for five touchdowns with one interception in the opener.

The Cardinals never were threatened by a instate program from the Football Championship Subdivision that upset Louisville 45-21 in 1985. Louisville led 14-0 after the first quarter and 27-0 at halftime in improving to 11-3-1 in this series playing on its own field. The Cardinals wound up outgaining Eastern Kentucky 475-206 in total offense.