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No. 17 Miami (Fla.) uses big plays to sprint past No. 18 Louisville 47-34 in ACC opener Saturday night

KyForward staff

LOUISVILLE — While playing at the University of Houston, D’Eriq King was known for producing touchdowns and big yardage.

He’s now doing the same thing for Miami (Fla.).

King threw three touchdown passes and No. 17 Miami used big plays to defeat No. 18 Louisville 47-34 on Saturday night in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams. The transfer from Houston tossed a 75-yard touchdown pass to Jaylon Knighton in the third quarter, a series after Cam’ron Harris ran 75 yards for a score.

Miami (2-0) led 20-6 at halftime, but Louisville (1-1) scored twice in a wild third to get within seven. The Hurricanes answered both touchdowns on their next snap against an out-of-place Louisville defense, with Knighton wide open for his catch that made it 34-20. Knighton also had a 3-yard touchdown run in the first half after King threw a 17-yard scoring pass to Will Mallory.

Louisville’s Javian Hawkins (10) attempts to evade Miami defender Keo Smith (4) on Saturday night. (UofL photo)

King also hit Brevin Jordan with a 47-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter to finish with 325 yards on 18-of-30 passing. Jose Borregales added four field goals, including first-half kicks of 48 and 57 yards.

“This is a disappointing loss for us, obviously. We made too many mistakes,” Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield said. “Not good enough on third down on both sides of the ball and we committed too many turnovers. We didn’t create any turnovers and gave up too many big plays.”

Louisville’s Micale Cunningham passed for 307 yards and three touchdowns, two to Tutu Atwell. Javian Hawkins added a 19-yard touchdown run and finished with 164 yards on 27 carries. But the Cardinals couldn’t stop Miami and lost to the ‘Canes for the second straight season — despite outgaining them 516-485.

Miami’s big plays prevented Louisville from generating any momentum.

“You’re feeling good about it and the next thing you know, one play and they score a touchdown,” Satterfield said. “So, it is demoralizing to have to give up a one play drive and then then you go back out. They hit another one and it’s tough. That’s where we have to be tougher. We have to be mentally tougher in those scenarios when they happen. The game’s not over. It’s still early in the second half. So there’s a lot of ball left to be played. We have to get a lot tougher mentally. That’s the bottom line.”

Said Louisville linebacker C.J. Avery on Miami’s long touchdowns: “It was definitely devastating, but as a team we have to keep competing and keep going. As a defense we can never give up, no matter what the score is or how much time is left on the clock. We always got to go.”

Louisville visits Pittsburgh next Saturday at noon.

(Information compiled from Louisville and staff reports)

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