Going into the game, most fans thought the ‘Ville would hang at least 40 points on the Cats. However, the much-heralded offense stalled in the first quarter when they promptly marched 79 yards, only to be stopped on the UK 1 yard-line. Freshman QB Brian Brohm entered the game late in the first quarter and drove them 69 yards to their first score. Brohm had a couple of nifty pass completions on that drive, including a 7 yard dart to Gates that set up his TD scamper moments later. Brohm finished 6 of 7 for 39 yards.
QB Stefan LeFors played the majority of the game and all but the last series in the second half. His numbers weren't gaudy (8 of 14 for 139 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT) but he led his team with confidence and to 2 scores in the second half. His scrambling ability adds another dimension to his attack and it enabled him to locate Broderick Clark in the corner of the end zone to put the Cards up 21-0. The running back trifecta of Lionel Gates, Eric Shelton and Michael Bush racked up 224 yards on 38 carries and help put the game out of reach, if it wasn't already, in the 4th quarter.
Goose Egg. Zero. Blank. Nothing. Nada. However you say it, the look of a 0 is beautiful if you are for the red and black. All we heard about this defensive unit is that they were non-existent throughout the last 4 games during the '03 campaign. UofL secured its first shutout of a Division 1 opponent since the Ron Cooper era, 1995, in which the Cards blanked NE Louisiana 39-0. The D-Line got good pressure on Shane Boyd and increased that harassment during the second half. The game-changing play was Kerry Rhodes' pick six on an errant Boyd pass after pressure from Marcus Jones. The defense got their entire swagger back after that-flying to the ball and making plays all day long. Coach Cassidy's work on defensive technique seemed to have paid off as the UofL "D" dominated UK in all areas and limited the Cats to just 238 yards.
This is an area for improvement. The Cards were flagged for a roughing-the-kicker call (which was very questionable) and had a short field goal attempt blocked. If the Cards are to compete with C-USA heavyweights Memphis and TCU for the league title, they cannot allow any field goal attempts to be blocked. Other than that, the special teams looked very solid, no miscommunications or fumbles. Clark didn't look nearly as timid as he did last year and it is only a matter of time before Montrell Jones breaks a punt return one for six.