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A fumble by Charlie Jones inside the 10-yard line and two missed field goals in the first half by Jon Peattie proved to be costly for the Hurricanes.
"I felt like we were already down 31-7 at halftime," said Miami coach Larry Coker, on the team's demeanor of the missed opportunities although they trailed just 10-7.
In the second half, the team came out flat once again.
"It was pretty obvious that we were embarrassed," said Coker, as the team failed to score in the second half in their fourth straight loss. "Our players are embarrassed. Our coaches are embarrassed. We thoroughly got whipped in the second half by a good Louisville team."
Kolby Smith scored on a 4-yard touchdown run to give Louisville a 17-7 lead with 11 minutes left in the third quarter.
On the play before, Hunter Cantwell replaced Brian Brohm at quarterback after tearing a ligament on his right thumb and did not return to the game. Brohm will have surgery Sunday and will be out 3-6 weeks.
With Brohm out, it didn't matter.
Following the touchdown by Smith, Miami quarterback Kyle Wright fumbled at the UM 48-yard line on a Jon Russell sack that was recovered by Lou Heyman.
Not wasting any time, Louisville went for the dagger on the next play as Cantwell found Harry Douglas for 45 yards down the middle of the field.
Smith scored his second touchdown of the game two plays later to give Louisville a 24-7 lead with less than six minutes left in the third quarter.
The last time the two teams met in 2004, Louisville had a 17-point lead at the same point in the game, but Miami came back to win 41-38.
There would be no comeback this time.
"Right now I think we are kidding ourselves thinking we are pretty good," said Coker, as his team fell to 1-2 on the season for the first time since 1997. "But we are not a good football team."
Louisville stretched their lead to 31-7 in the fourth quarter on a 39-yard touchdown pass to George Stripling from Cantwell.
Tyrone Moss gave the Hurricanes an early lead with a 1-yard touchdown on their first drive of the game. Moss entered the game the play before gaining 10 yards on the carry before rushing for his 25th career rushing touchdown.
Facing a similar situation on their next drive the Hurricanes were inside the red zone with a 7-0 lead after a fumble by George Stripling, but this time they opted for Charlie Jones at tailback, who fumbled at the 8-yard line, which was recovered by Louisville's Nate Harris.
"It was a good rip by the defender, but there is no excuse for that," Jones said. "It was frustrating and I couldn't get anything going out there."
Jones rushed for 35 yards on eight carries to lead the UM ground attack that rushed for 64 yards. They have rushed for a total of 149 yards in their last four losses.
Louisville marched down the field after the Jones fumble, but had to settle for a 22-yard field goal by Art Carmody.
With less than three minutes left in the first half, Brohm hit Mario Urrutia for a 56-yard touchdown pass. Carmody converted on the extra point attempt to give the Cardinals their first lead of the game at 10-7.
Urrutia beat Glenn Sharpe on man-to-man coverage on a deep in route. Brohm set up the big completion with a play-action pass. Ponder, a safety, came over to help, but Urrutia used his 6-foot-6 frame to hold off Ponder.
An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Urrutia gave Miami good field position on the ensuing kickoff. But again, Miami was unable to take advantage of a Louisville mishap as Jon Peattie missed a 45-yard field that was wide left with 21 seconds left in the half. Earlier in the quarter, Peattie hit the left upright from 40 yards out.
"I just missed them, that's it," said Peattie, who acknowledged the snap and hold were "perfect".
Peattie, a senior from Clearwater, came into the game having made 9-of-16 from 40 yards or more in his career.
Sacks have been hard to come by for Miami as they had one (for a 2-yard loss) in their first two games, however things appeared to be on the right track as they recorded two sacks on the first drive of the game.
With the loss, Miami falls to 13-8 in their last 21 games dating back to the 2004 season.
Miami will have a bye week next weekend before hosting Houston on Sept. 30.
NOTES: The captains for the game were: QB Kyle Wright, TE Greg Olsen, LB Jon Beason, and S Brandon Meriweather…S Anthony Reddick (ankle) did not travel with this team…The last time Miami wore white jerseys with white pants was Nov. 5, 2005 against Virginia Tech after not wearing them during the 2004 season...TE Chris Zellner suffered a high ankle sprain...DT Bryan Pata did not start because he was a minute late to a meeting. DT Teraz McCray started in his place.
Christopher Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Canes Lose to Louisville, 31-7
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