Key Moments: Louisville 31 Cincinnati 24

CINCINNATI - A look at some of the key spots from Nippert Stadium

Pick #1
>Charles Gaines made a trip to the Cincinnati student section to share a few words just prior to kickoff and the Cardinals corner quickly backed up his words. Facing a 3rd & 5 on just their third offensive play of the game, Gaines intercepted Brendon Kay at the Louisville 40 yard line.

The Cardinal offense took advantage of the early momentum shift. Preceded by an 18 yard run by Dominique Brown, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater found DeVante Parker on a short pass that the junior receiver broke free for a 35 yard touchdown pass. Louisville 7-0.

Pick #2
>The Bearcats were driving into Louisville territory with their second possession. After going 53 yards on 10 plays, senior safety Hakeem Smith intercepted Kay at the U of L 10 yard line ending a likely scoring drive for Cincinnati. Louisville 7-0.

Punt Return
>After the U of L defense forced Cincinnati into a three and out, Michaelee Harris returned the ensuing punt 27 yards to the Cardinals 45 yard line. It was the second longest punt return for the Cardinals this season.

The return sparked Louisville's second scoring drive of the game, which was highlighted by Senorise Perry's 5 carries for 29 yards and a 14 yard pass from Bridgewater to Robert Clark. John Wallace capped the drive with a 31-yard field goal. Louisville 10-0.

No first half shutout
>Louisville held a 10-0 advantage with 5:38 remaining in the first half, but were unable to hold the Bearcat offense in check before the break. Highlighted by a 19 yard by Tion Green to the U of L 1-yard line, UC marched 70 yards on 11 plays for their first score of the game. Louisville 10-7.

Shovel pass
>Facing a 3rd & 13 at its own 27 early in the third quarter, UC's Kay connected with Ralph David Abernathy on a shovel pass for 17 yards to keep the drive alive. Two plays later Kay found a wide open Anthony McClung for 49 yards to the Louisville 6 yard line. The quarterback scored on a keeper to give the Bearcats their first lead of the game. Cincinnati 14-10.

Back-to-Back Flags
>Driving late in the third quarter, Bridgewater found tight end Ryan Hubbell for what appeared to be a first down in Cincinnati territory until the Cardinals were flagged for having an illegal receiver down. Now facing a 3rd & 9, U of L was flagged again, this time for a false start pushing the ball back to its own 34 yard line and effectively stalling the drive. Cincinnati 14-10.

>In need of a sustained drive to regain the lead, Louisville pounded out an 86 yard drive on 13 plays early in fourth quarter. Despite struggles staying away from the pass rush throughout the game and drive, Bridgewater willed the plays that were needed. He connected with Hubbell twice for 26 yards to start the drive. Following a sack and facing 4th & 12 at the UC 38 yard line, Bridgewater escaped heavy pressure and raced 14 yards for a first down. Three plays later, while being pulled to the ground, Bridgewater launched a pass that surprised most when it found an open Damian Copeland in the end zone. Louisville 17-14.

Don't Blink
>Louisville's lead was short-lived. On the next possession, the Bearcats needed just two plays to retake the lead. Kay found MeKale McKay for 57 yards to the U of L 15 yard line. Abernathy rushed around the edge for a 15 yard touchdown run on the next play. Cincinnati 21-17.

Cards Respond
>After surrendering their lead in about one minute of play, the Cardinals responded with a second consecutive touchdown drive. U of L drove 60 yards on 11 plays, finishing it off with a 9-yard pass from Bridgewater to Parker for the score. Bridgewater was a perfect 5 of 5 for 50 yards on the drive. Louisville 24-21.

Couldn't Close
>With 2:26 remaining in the game, the Louisville defense was unable to keep the Cincinnati offense in check. The Bearcats marched 67 yards in 10 plays before converting a 26-yard field goal to even the score with 7 seconds remaining in the game. Tied 24-24.

Louisville turned to Dominique Brown with its first possession in overtime. The junior running back gained all of U of L's yardage in the drive, topping it off with a 2-yard touchdown run. Defensive tackle Brandon Dunn served as the lead blocker on the scoring run. Louisville 31-24.

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