One for the Record Books: Cards 66 Cougs 45

The Cardinals set a new record for total offense in a game with 779 as they cruise to their 8th victory of the season over the Houston Cougars on Saturday afternoon.

Whew! What a game!

When Louisville and Houston took to the field at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Saturday afternoon, they brought Conference USA's top two rated passers in the Cardinals Stefan LeFors and the Cougars Kevin Kolb. All signs pointed to an afternoon full of high octane offense and both teams delivered as such, with Louisville coming out victorious 66-45.

Complete Game Coverage
  • ITV Video: Lionel Gates post game
  • Head Coach Bobby Petrino post game comments
  • Post Game Notes
  • Louisville used an extremely effective ground game and equally as effective passing attack to produce a school record 779 total yards of offense as the team improved to 8-3 on the season.

    "Offensively we executed," said Cardinal Head Coach Bobby Petrino. "We made great runs and catches. Stefan did a really nice job of executing. Whenever you're doing that, you have to make sure that the credit goes to that offensive front. We were able to do pretty much whatever we wanted out there."


    Michael Bush (ITV)
    The Cardinals were led by junior running back Lionel Gates and true freshman Michael Bush, who combined for 277 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. Quarterback Stefan LeFors completed 77% of his passes, while throwing for 334 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver J.R. Russell pulled in nine receptions for 111 yards and a score.

    "When one of our guys goes down, we have to step it up," said Gates, who received the bulk of the carries as sophomore Eric Shelton recovers from an injury. "Personally I have a chip on my shoulder when I hear people say that we can't get it done without Eric [Shelton]. That makes me a little bit mad, because I'm a good running back too. I talked to the running backs and said, ‘Eric's not here, so we need to step up to the plate and take the responsibility.'"

    With the teams seemingly trading scores throughout the first half, Louisville was able to develop a 41-31 lead early in the third quarter when the defense forced the Cougars to punt and then drove 51 yards on four plays, capped by a 38-yard touchdown reception by Russell.

    Houston fumbled on its next possession, which Louisville converted into a 47-yard Nate Smith field goal, giving the Cardinals a 44-31 lead with 8:56 remaining in the third quarter.

    A key play of the game occurred on the next play when Louisville recovered an onsides kick at the Houston 49-yard line. Three plays later, Lionel Gates ran for a 4-yard touchdown run. LeFors connected with Russell on a two-point conversion to increase the Cardinals lead to 52-31.


    Robert Haskins dives for a TD (ITV)
    "We were just trying to squib it," explained Petrino. "Sometimes you just get lucky."

    Both teams added two additional touchdowns before Louisville ran out the clock while inside the Houston 10-yard line.

    "They came out very prepared and definitely got the best of us," said Houston Head Coach Art Briles following the game. "They took it to us. They outplayed us, outcoached us and outscored us."

    Houston's offense produced 453 total yards, including 224 passing yards by Kolb.

    Louisville when return to action on Friday, for a nationally televised game on ESPN, against Cincinnati.

    
                                       HOU       LOU
    FIRST DOWNS...................       25       37
      Rushing.....................       18       21
      Passing.....................        7       15
      Penalty.....................        0        1
    Rushing Attempts..............       48       52
    Yards Gained Rushing..........      248      448
    Yards Lost Rushing............       19        3
    NET YARDS RUSHING.............      229      445
    NET YARDS PASSING.............      224      334
      Passes Attempted............       27       31
      Passes Completed............       21       24
      Had Intercepted.............        0        0
    TOTAL OFFENSIVE PLAYS.........       75       83
    TOTAL NET YARDS...............      453      779
      Average Gain Per Play.......      6.0      9.4
    Fumbles: Number-Lost..........      2-2      1-0
    Penalties: Number-Yards.......     4-29     4-37
    Number of Punts-Yards.........    3-166     2-81
      Average Per Punt............     55.3     40.5
    Punt Returns: Number-Yards....      0-0     2-29
    Kickoff Returns: Number-Yards.    9-266     5-66
    Interceptions: Number-Yards...      0-0      0-0
    Fumble Returns: Number-Yards..      0-0      1-5
    Miscellaneous Yards...........        0        0
    Possession Time...............    30:18    29:42
    Third-Down Conversions........  7 of 15  6 of 10
    Fourth-Down Conversions.......   3 of 3   0 of 1
    Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      4-5      6-7
    Sacks By: Number-Yards........      0-0     3-17
    
    
    HOUSTON Rushing No Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg -------------------------------------------- EVANS,Anthony 25 147 1 146 1 18 5.8 TILLMAN,Bobby 7 63 0 63 0 18 9.0 MARSHALL,V. 1 16 0 16 0 16 16.0 SCHIRMER,Matt 2 3 0 3 0 2 1.5 McCULLAR,Chad 1 2 0 2 0 2 2.0 KOLB,Kevin 12 17 18 -1 2 4 -0.1 Totals... 48 248 19 229 3 18 4.8 Passing Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack -------------------------------------------- KOLB,Kevin 27-21-0 224 2 42 3 Totals... 27-21-0 224 2 42 3 Receiving No. Yds TD Long ----------------------------------- MIDDLETON,B. 7 130 2 42 McCULLAR,Chad 6 49 0 17 MARSHALL,V. 2 9 0 11 GIBSON,Leonard 2 6 0 8 MOORE,Shang 2 6 0 4 PRITCHETT,J. 1 15 0 15 TILLMAN,Bobby 1 9 0 9 Totals... 21 224 2 42 Punting No. Yds Avg Long In20 ----------------------------------------- McCLARY,Jimmy 3 166 55.3 66 0 Totals... 3 166 55.3 66 0 Punts Kickoffs Intercept All Returns No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg --------------------------------------------- MIDDLETON,B. 0 0 0 2 65 51 0 0 0 GRIFFITH,T. 0 0 0 1 10 10 0 0 0 WILSON,Ricky 0 0 0 5 176 100 0 0 0 POPE,Roshawn 0 0 0 1 15 15 0 0 0 Totals... 0 0 0 9 266 100 0 0 0 Field goal attempts ---------------------------------------- BELL,Dustin 2nd 00:00 43 yds - Good BELL,Dustin 4th 12:28 30 yds - Blocked LOUISVILLE Rushing No Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg -------------------------------------------- GATES, Lionel 23 141 1 140 4 26 6.1 BUSH, Michael 15 138 1 137 2 38 9.1 HASKINS, Robert 2 67 0 67 1 64 33.5 PATTERSON, T.J. 5 56 0 56 0 17 11.2 SMITH, Kolby 3 24 0 24 0 14 8.0 LeFORS, Stefan 3 22 0 22 0 12 7.3 TEAM 1 0 1 -1 0 0 -1.0 Totals... 52 448 3 445 7 64 8.6 Passing Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sack -------------------------------------------- LeFORS, Stefan 31-24-0 334 2 69 0 Totals... 31-24-0 334 2 69 0 Receiving No. Yds TD Long ----------------------------------- RUSSELL, J.R. 9 111 1 38 GHENT, Ronnie 4 65 1 24 GATES, Lionel 2 91 0 69 TINCH, Joshua 2 18 0 11 HASKINS, Robert 2 15 0 10 OWENS, Richard 1 11 0 11 GLENN, Victor 1 8 0 8 CLARK, B. 1 8 0 8 JONES, Tiger 1 6 0 6 SMITH, Kolby 1 1 0 1 Totals... 24 334 2 69 Punting No. Yds Avg Long In20 ----------------------------------------- MOODY, Brent 2 81 40.5 50 0 Totals... 2 81 40.5 50 0 Punts Kickoffs Intercept All Returns No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg --------------------------------------------- HASKINS, Robert 2 29 21 0 0 0 0 0 0 CLARK, B. 0 0 0 5 66 25 0 0 0 Totals... 2 29 21 5 66 25 0 0 0 Field goal attempts ---------------------------------------- SMITH, Nate 3rd 08:56 47 yds - Good

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