It wasn't easy, but the University of Louisville football team fought hard and ended up gaining a 20-10 victory over Wake Forest in an ACC game on Saturday evening.
Redshirt sophomore running back Brandon Radcliff is listed as the No. 4 back on the depth chart, but saved the day for the Cardinals. Radcliff ran 17 times for 129 yards and two touchdowns after getting his first career start.
It was also the first start for true freshman Reggie Bonnafon, who completed 16 of 32 passes for 206 yards and ran 13 times for 43 yards. He ran for three first downs in the game and had 43 yards rushing despite four sacks.
But it was the defense that dominated again.
The Cardinals were led by Lorenzo Mauldin with five tackles, including three sacks and three tackles for a loss, while B.J. Dubose had four tackles in the game.
U of L finished with seven sacks and three interceptions and now have 18 sacks and 13 forced turnovers on the season.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Brandon Radcliff scored two TDs but perhaps his most impressive play a 15-yard run on first down in the fourth quarter.
Radcliff took the handoff and went to the right side of the line and it seemed like he was going to be stopped for a five-yard gain, only keeping the pile going and getting a push from his line. The play ended going for a 15-yard gain on the drive that ended with a John Wallace 34-yard field goal to end scoring.
GAME BALL: Has to go to the entire defense. Gerod Holliman picked up his sixth interception - which leads the nation - while James Burgess and Sheldon Rankins also added interceptions. Lorenzo Mauldin had four of the Cardinals' seven sacks and the defense kept the Demon Deacons off balance all night.
Wake Forest had just 100 total yards. The seven sacks is the most since the 2013 team did it against Rutgers.
THEY SAID IT: Sheldon Rankins: "It's one of the things me being a former running back in my little league days, I always liked having the ball in my hands. . . . Our defense came out and fought hard and we got the win. We just have to make plays."
THEY SAID IT: Bobby Petrino: "Offensively, we're a work in progress. You can't turn the ball over like that and get the penalties and and expect to do any better. (Radcliff) was faster than everybody else out there. He gave us a really big lift."
BY THE NUMBERS: 3-for-3 - Louisville in the red zone; 10 - Yards of a shanked punt by Ryan Johnson of U of L. 11 - Number of Louisville penalties for 89 yards; 14 - Number of punts between the two teams (9 for Wake Forest); 42 - U of L's Eli Rogers led the team in passing yards with five receptions; 100 - Total yards for Wake Forest offense; 129 - Brandon Radcliff rushing yards; 206 - Passing yards for Reggie Bonnafon.
NEXT WEEK: The Cardinals hit the road on Friday night and will play at Syracuse.