Brown had career-outing in loss

University of Louisville running back Dominique Brown accounted for a career best 129 yards of offense in the Cardinals 38-35 loss to UCF on Friday night.

In Friday night's 38-35 loss to Central Florida, University of Louisville running back Dominique Brown was an offensive highlight for the Cardinals. The junior posted a career-best 129 yards of offense in the loss.

With the Cardinals ground game struggling, Brown was the exception. His bruising style of running was effective against the UCF defense, gaining 88 yards on 12 carries. He accounted for 85% of the Cardinals rushing yardage, while only getting half of the total carries in the game.

After a first half that saw him limited to just 2 carries for 11 yards, Brown was effective throughout the second frame.

When the Cardinals emerged from the locker room at halftime holding a slim 14-7 lead, Brown took his spot in the backfield and almost single-handedly drove the the team down for it's third touchdown of the game. On the 75-yard scoring drive, Brown rushed for 54 yards and had another 11-yards receiving. He capped off the drive with a 20-yard run for his seventh career rushing touchdown.

"If you watch the drive that got us ahead he ran the ball very well," said head coach Charlie Strong. "We were able to come back and he scored late to get us back in the lead. He did a really good job. We kind of decided since he had the hot hand we'd just let him keep getting the ball and let him keep pounding it."

Fellow running backs Senorise Perry and Michael Dyer, who combined for only 21 yards on 9 carries, also recognized Brown's effectiveness against the Knights and turned to him late in the game.

With U of L trailing for the first time this season, Perry and Dyer gave up their turn in the rotation.

"It was his [Michael Dyer's] drive, but he said 'Dominique, you have the momentum, so go in and carry us and represent for the running backs,'" Brown explained afterwards. "It was great. Senorise did the same thing. He said, 'just put us on your back, it's your drive.' They weren't worried about going back in."

Brown chalked up 40 yards, including a key reception on a shuffle pass from Teddy Bridgewater, on the scoring drive. He put the Cardinals back on top with a 15-yard touchdown run.

"Coming out of the huddle we were like, we have to score," he said. "We didn't flinch or breakdown in the huddle, we knew we were going to go down and score."

Brown was asked afterwards if his performance to signal a change in the running back rotation.

"I let Coach Carter and Shawn Watson determine what's going on," he explained. "We have two other backs that weren't worried about the rotation. They stepped up and said it was my show tonight and I commend them for that for knowing that I was in a groove."

The Cardinals lead was short-lived, but Brown says the "demoralizing" loss won't hinder the team as they prepare for their game at South Florida this weekend.

"We have to bounce back," he said. "We have come back and start getting ready for USF. The practice leading up to the game is going to be very intense and we're going to play with a chip on our shoulder."

"We have experience and leaders. We have guys that have been with the program and we know that it can't happen again.... We can't afford to lose another one."

The 18th-ranked Cardinals will travel to Tampa, Fla., this weekend for a noon kickoff against USF. The Bulls (2-4, 2-0) are currently tied with Houston and UCF atop the AAC standings.


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