The Day After: Louisville keeps Keg

CINCINNATI - Louisville closed out the 2013 regular season with an exciting 31-24 overtime victory at rival Cincinnati. Cardinal Authority has a few points on the game:

1. Ground Attack: The Louisville offense was close to a 50/50 split in its attack against Cincinnati on Thursday night. The Cardinals had 41 rush attempts to 37 pass attempts by Teddy Bridgewater. Facing one of the nation's stingiest run defenses, the Cardinals were effective on the ground. Senorise Perry led the team with 81 yards, while Dominique Brown added 79. Bridgewater was also effective in the ground game, including a gutsy 14 yard first down run on a 4th & 12 in the fourth quarter. Brown gained all of the teams overtime yards, including the winning 2-yard scoring run. U of L recorded 177 total yards on the ground, averaging 4.3 yards per carry.

2. Pass Attack: With occasional rain, and not wearing his usual gloves, Bridgewater's first half was his least productive half of the season. The junior completed just 6 of 14 for 86 yards and a touchdown. The rain free second half saw Bridgewater wearing his gloves and it appeared to make a difference. Bridgewater completed 17 of 23 for 169 yards and a touchdown. Bridgewater's most spectacular throw came in the fourth quarter when while being dragged to the turf, he threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Damian Copeland.

3. Interceptions: Cornerback Charles Gaines and safety Hakeem Smith both recorded first quarter interceptions that proved to be crucial plays in the game. Gaines pick on the third play of the game, set up Louisville's first touchdown drive, while Smith's ended what was likely a Cincinnati scoring drive. Gaines is now the team leader with 5 interceptions on the season. Louisville now has 16 interceptions on the season, which is the highest total since the 2005 squad hauled in 17.

4. No Fumbles: Despite the cold and wet conditions, Louisville protected the ball well. It's the second consecutive game the Cardinals haven't fumbled the ball and keeps the team on pace to establish a new school record. With just 10 fumbles (6 lost) on the season, the team is on pace to break the single season mark for fewest fumbles of 12 that was set in 2009.

5. Bowling: Louisville officially accepted an invitation to the Russell Athletic Bowl following the game. The Cardinals will face a team from the future conference, the ACC. It's the fourth straight bowl game for U of L and 13th during the past 16 seasons. It's the 18th bowl trip for the program. U of L has a 8-8-1 bowl record.

Here are a few stories from our continued coverage of the game:

Interceptions set stage for victory

Running game gives Cards a major spark


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