Kyle Bolin leads Louisville to win over UK

Redshirt freshman Kyle Bolin came off the bench to lead the University of Louisville football team to a 44-40 victory over Kentucky on Saturday. Bolin, who started the season as the fourth-string QB for the Cardinals, had 381 yards passing and three touchdowns.

University of Louisville redshirt freshman Kyle Bolin comes to the stadium the same every game day, "prepared if my number ever gets called."

Until Saturday, that only came in mop up duty.

The Lexington Catholic High School graduate started the season as the fourth-string quarterback and had played in two games - Murray State and Florida International. He was 4 of 7 passing for 35 yards in his limited snaps.

But against the University of Kentucky his number was called. With Will Gardner already sidelined because of a season-ending knee injury, Bolin had to come in with his team trailing 13-0 after Reggie Bonnafon left the game with a knee injury.

Bolin answered the call, completing 21 of 31 passes for 381 yards and three touchdowns and leading the Cardinals to a crazy 44-40 victory at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

"Before every game, I kind of picture myself as myself out there playing the game," Bolin said. "And it wasn't this good. It's just all surreal. It's ridiculous.

"My team called me to come in there and my teammates had my back."

U of L coach Bobby Petrino opted to go 5-wide with no backs in the backfield on the first play with Bolin in the game to "give him what he's most comfortable with."

Bolin's first pass was for 10 yards to Eli Rogers and the next play threw a 45-yard TD pass to DeVante Parker to make it 13-7. He led the Cardinals on a six-play, 62-yard drive on the next possession to go up 14-13.

"Kyle was always ready," Parker said. "He did a good job of coming in and playing his role and making good plays when he had to. I wasn't surprised.

"He was always ready. I knew he was ready."

Bolin did throw an interception that was returned for a TD and had a fumble that was recovered for a TD later in the game. But he "kept his composure," and he kept the offense moving late in the game when they needed a score.

On the game-winning TD drive, the Cards started at the 19-yard-line and Bolin was sacked for four yards on the first play. But he hit James Quick for nine yards on a third-down play, later added an 11-yard completion to Kai De La Cruz and a 26-yard pass to Parker.

"I can't say I was surprised," Petrino said of Bolin's play. "I was surprised the game was 44-40. I think one of the biggest things is that we tried to show Kyle that we had a lot of confidence in him. I didn't want to just throw him out there and run the ball twice and punt. I wanted to show him that we had confidence in him.

"I'm really proud of him."

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