The University of Louisville Cardinals are now 8-0 after beating conference rivals the Cincinnati Bearcats 34-31 in overtime. Louisville received the coveted Keg of Nails Trophy after the game; the Cardinals had lost four straight against the Bearcats before tonight.
With high winds and a constant downpour of rain, Papa John's Cardinal Stadium was electric for the ESPN Friday night game.
Louisville was down 17-14 at halftime. The Cardinals offensive explosion in the second half helped them force overtime. Louisville's Terrell Floyd then intercepted a pass from Munchie Legaux in overtime. Redshirt freshman John Wallace then nailed the 30-yard field goal to win the game.
“The only thing I can say is when you talk about tenacity,” U of L head coach Charlie Strong said after the game. “When you talk about finish, you talk about resiliency—that’s what you look at with this football team."
Strong added, “We’re 8-0, but still we can go play so much better. We have yet to put together a 60-minute game.”
Teddy Bridgewater struggled in the first half, going 9-of-22 for 154 yards and one interception The sophomore QB then helped the Cardinals battle back with a monster second half.
Bridgewater ended up with 416 yards passing and two touchdowns.
U of L Wide receiver's DeVante Parker and Damian Copeland had big catches at key moments in the game. Parker ended the game with four catches for 120 yards and two touchdowns. Copeland had five catches for 96 yards, including a 51-yard catch in the third quarter to keep a drive alive.
Louisville had 524 yards of total offense and allowed only 353 yards on defense.
Marcus Smith had a huge game on defense for the Cardinals, putting pressure on Legaux. Smith had two sacks and seven tackles. Linebacker Preston Brown led the Cards in tackles with 13. He also had one interception.
Cincinnati's quarter back Munchie Legaux was 13-of-28 passing, throwing for 157 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Legaux also had 32 yards rushing.
Bearcats running back George Winn had 125 yards on 26 carries.
“Obviously a great college football game,” Cincinnati coach Butch Jones said after the game, via UofLSports.com:
“I think two teams going at it. I’m very proud of our kids I thought they showed a lot of resiliency, especially on the road and come back and tie the score for overtime. They made one more play in overtime and that was the difference in the game.”
Jon Hancock is a contributor for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand.
You can follow Jon on Twitter @JonKYSportsCo