Give a game ball to the U of L defense

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Teddy Bridgewater was the MVP of the Governor's Cup game on Saturday afternoon as the University of Louisville beat Kentucky 27-13. But the game ball should go to the entire U of L defense after playing a stellar game against the Wildcats before 65,445 fans in Commonwealth Stadium.

The University of Louisville football team came into the game at Kentucky averaging 46.5 points a game and gets much of its accolades for offense.

On Saturday, the U of L defense shined bright in the Governor's Cup game.

With the U of L offense sputtering in the first half, the defense picked up the slack and held Kentucky out of the end zone until the fourth quarter during a 27-13 victory in the game against rivals.

"We packed our defense," U of L coach Charlie Strong said. "Early in the game, our offense wasn't playing well and defensively we were able to go out and get some stops. We wanted to make them one-dimensional.

"They hit a big run there in the second half down the boundary, but I was very pleased with how our defense played."

Louisville held UK to 116 yards in the first half and 376 total for the game, keeping the Wildcats 0-for-13 on third-down conversions.

U of L's defense came up with an interception – Charles Gaines – and two fumble recoveries – Preston Brown and Marcus Smith. The Cardinals only had one sack but forced the UK quarterbacks to move outside the pocket the entire day.

Brown and James Burgess led the U of L defense with seven tackles apiece, while Terrell Floyd and Hakeem Smith had six apiece and Brandon Dunn and Calvin Pryor finished with five tackles each.

"We did good but we still have a lot to work on for next week," Preston Brown said. "We gave up a lot of yards and some big plays in the second half."

The biggest difference in the game was the play of U of L's front seven, including Smith, Dunn, Roy Philon, Lorenzo Mauldin and B.J. Dubose. All of those guys were in and out of the game, making plays at the line.

"We were focused on money downs and got off the field when needed too," Preston Brown said. "The (line) has done an outstanding job throughout this year, they are playing great as a front four so far."

During the preseason, U of L defensive coordinator Vance Bedford said he wanted more turnovers and through three games are leading the turnover margin 6-2 for the Cardinals (3-0).

"We want to play great defense," Preston Brown said, noting when asked if he thought the team was playing great now that "we still have a long way to go."

U of L wide receiver DeVante Parker said the offense could have done more to help out the defense, especially in the first half.

"They were playing real good defense today," Parker said. "We should have scored when we could have because they were stopping them.

"Our defense was good today."


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