Friday night with the Cardinals missing their top two receivers, Harry Douglas and Mario Urrutia, both got a chance to step to the forefront. And despite a sluggish start by the entire UofL offense Guy and Carter were bright spots in Louisville's 44-35 loss to Utah .
"All of our guys have to be ready to play," said UofL coach Steve Kragthorpe, who was making no excuses for his team's lack of personnel. "We had some guys who stepped up and made plays like Patrick Carter and Trent Guy."
In the absence of Douglas and Urrutia, both out with injuries, as well as wide receiver/kick returner JaJuan Spillman, who was suspended, Carter and Guy stepped into starting roles, and they responded. Each produced career-highs in receptions and yards. Carter posted nine catches for 154 yards and a touchdown, while Guy had six catches for 69 yards and two TDs.
Douglas, who hasn't played since injuring his ankle late in the Sept. 22 loss to Syracuse , dressed and warmed up Friday night but didn't make it onto the field. At times he could be seen riding a stationary bike on the sidelines. Kragthorpe indicated that Urrutia, who didn't start last Saturday against North Carolina State but did catch five passes for 49 yards, also missed the game with an undisclosed injury.
"I wasn't sure about Mario early on (and) Harry tried to go in practice and he tried (tonight) and couldn't go," junior safety Bobby Buchanan added. "We worked with the other receivers. They got on the ball fast."
That shouldn't have been a surprise to any UofL fan who knows Guy and Carter, and their big-play capability.
Guy, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound sophomore, returned a punt for a tide-turning TD against West Virginia last year. Then last Saturday he made Sports Center's Top Plays for his one-handed, acrobatic over-the-middle catch against N.C. State .
Meanwhile Carter, the 6-3, 215-pound senior who is playing his second season at UofL after transferring from Georgia Tech, is generally regarded as one of the fastest players on the team. However before Friday, Carter was probably best known for his TD pass to Anthony Allen in January's Orange Bowl win over Wake Forest.
"Harry and Mario have done great things around here in the past, (but) I thought the guys that came in their spots did a great job coming in and stepping up," senior quarterback Brian Brohm said. "They made some good catches."
But afterward Carter indicated that he would've traded his stats for a different outcome.
"I was trying my best to get the other receivers open, when Harry and Mario went down we all had to step up as a receiving corps," Carter said. "That was my goal, to step up and play my hardest, to come out with a victory no matter if we run for 300 yards or pass for 300 yards. To be honest with you I feel good, but I just want to win."
Utah junior quarterback Brian Johnson completed 24 of 31 passes for 312 yards and one TD. He also rushed for 37 yards and another score.
Utah junior running back Darrell Mack rushed 32 times for career-high 163 yards and three TDs. UofL senior quarterback Brian Brohm kept his name in the Heisman Trophy talk by completing 39 of 58 passes for 467 yards and four TDs.
Johnson's 35-yard pass to Derre Richards on the Utes first scoring drive once again showed that UofL's secondary was susceptible to the deep pass.
Louie Sakoda's 46-yard field goal with 1:13 put the game out of reach, increasing Utah's lead for six to nine points.
"Never hesitated any on Louie Sakoda," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said. "We had another fake dialed up in the second half - a punt fake. But it wasn't there so we called it off. Louie Sakoda is a gamer."
The Cards only had 26 rushing yards, including 0 in the first half. Anthony Allen, who came in averaging 115.6 rushing yards per game, had -3 yards on four carries.
WHAT UTAH SAID
"Yes we watched film, arm tackles is what we saw a lot so the plan was to run the ball and it worked," junior running back Darrell Mack said. "We wore them down and that's what helped us. The offensive line since last week was getting a good push off the ball more than (Louisville) did, that helped again. They were making a lot of holes. I was able to get a lot of yards after contact and kept moving the ball. That was wearing them out and when it got to the point we were able to execute and scored touchdowns."
"They are a well-balanced team and once they get the ball running then that opens up for Brohm," senior strong safety Steve Tate said. "Our main priority coming into this game was stopping the run and we did a good job of that, I think that they had to turn to the passing game and I give credit to our offense for getting me in that situation."