It was a rainy Sunday afternoon in Louisville, KY. But the rain did not keep the 55,386 fans from packing out Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium.
The Louisville Cardinals entered the game expecting to have a battle against their rivals, the Kentucky Wildcats, for the Governor’s Cup. But the battle was a lot easier than they had thought it would be.
The Cardinals drove down the field 99 yards on their first drive, ending with a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Jeremy Wright. Charlie Strong went in for the kill early as he went for the two-point conversion with backup quarterback, Will Stein, throwing to defensive end, Marcus Smith, for the score.
Teddy Bridgewater, after receiving a lot of hype in the offseason, did not disappoint as he threw 19-21 for 232 yards. He left the game with three minutes left in the third quarter, allowing senior Will Stein to get some quality playing time.
The Cardinals had two running backs with over 100 yards with Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright. Jeremy Wright had an impressive 105 yards with three touchdowns, Perry ran for 108 yards and one 47-yard touchdown. Louisville controlled the line of scrimmage, running for 219 yards total in the game.
“The holes were huge. I was excited to run through them because I didn’t expect them to be that big,” Senorise Perry said after the game.
The defense for the Cardinals seemed to struggle some in the secondary, especially when the Wildcats ran their hurry-up offense. Kentucky's quarterback, Maxwell Smith, had a decent game with 280 yards throwing and two touchdown passes. Where the Wildcats struggled was in the running game.
Coach Charlie Strong said in his press conference, “They were able to take the ball up and down the field. We were not able to get pressure. Kentucky was smart, they were able to come with the three-step game and get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands quickly. We came with pressure, but we were just never able to get pressure. They were winning the one-to-one battles when we did rush the passer. That being said we were able to hold them under one hundred yards rushing.”
The Cardinals held the ball for 28 minutes. The young but talented team did not turn the ball over once and only committed three penalties in the entire game.
Louisville takes on Missouri State next Saturday at 3:30pm.
Jon Hancock is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
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