This area was once again not a problem for UofL. The Cards have put 109 points on the board in the last two games. LeFors didn't put up gaudy numbers, he but made plays when he had to. One was his 69 yard qb keeper to paydirt when he "showcased" as he said, his speed down the sideline. Second was his pinpoint throw to Russell for the win. His go-to-guy J.R. Russell was in the play making mood as well, hauling in the game winning TD catch with 1:05 left in the game-proving to be almost too quick a score. There are not too many Quarterbacks in the nation who can proficiently run a two minute offense in one. Bush had his first back-to-back 100 yard rushing effort, racking up most of his 125 yards with his 81 yard fake reverse score. Lionel Gates chipped in 89 yards to help the Cards keep the Bearcats off balance and Kolby Smith continued to look impressive in his limited role. The time all these backs are getting is crucial because they have come through when needed after Eric Shelton was hurt in the TCU game.
It was a tale of two halves as the ‘Ville scored 28 points in the first frame looking like they were going to run UC off their own field. Fumbles plagued the visitors in the second half, thwarting any scoring chances in the third quarter. Louisville hasn't put the ball on the ground that much all season, but the most important thing is that the Cards persevered through it and won. How refreshing was the play calling?! The fake reverse was the most notable, followed by the LeFors keeper and all the mis-direction play action passes. Converting these in the harsh weather elements made it all the more impressive.
FINAL REGULAR SEASON STATS AND RANK: Total Offense: 487 yards/game (5) Points Average: 35.2 points/game (16)
Over the last three games, this defense has done a lot more "breaking" than "bending", giving up about 41 points per contest. The Cards Bowl opponent (Hawaii or Miami OH) will be licking their chops if UofL gets selected as their opponent.
After giving up a touchdown on UC's first possession, the defense settled in and stopped the Bearcats cold. Late in the second quarter, Brandon Johnson scooped up a fumble and rambled 20 yards for 6, seemingly putting the game out of reach.
Then comes the second half. UC marched a good distance down the field only to have the Cards hold them to a field goal on each of their first two second half possessions. Gino Guidugli started catching fire and led UC to third consecutive score, this time a touchdown. The Cards later gave up another TD and two field goals, making the offense win it for them late in the game. Interceptions have been sparse in this second half of the season. That will need to improve if UofL wants to wins its second bowl game in six tries. The run defense seems to get better as they get more reps in each quarter of their games, it looks like they have to get scored on first before they stiffen up.
FINAL REGULAR SEASON STATS AND RANK: Total Defense: 487 yards/game (87) Points Given-up Average: 26.0 (59)
Nate Smith isn't as sharp as he was in the early season as he had another field goal attempt hit the infamous bottom crossbar. Smith had his second PAT blocked in the second quarter. Where has Broderick Clark been? Not in the end zone. He still looks timid and tip toes around instead of using his speed and darting through the holes. Maybe Petrino can use Robert Haskins a few times and see what happens.
Louisville will play #14 Miami (OH) in the GMAC Bowl. They have a potent passing attack, so it could give the 9-3 Cards trouble. Miami (OH) checks in at No.6 in total offense, one notch below the Cards. The Redhawks will be very tough to beat, but it should make for an exciting bowl game.