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Louisville 42, UTEP 14

9/20/2003

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Louisville fans have had nine months to
get to know first-year coach Bobby Petrino. On Saturday, they got
their first looks at many of the program's other new faces.

Stefan LeFors threw for 164 yards and two touchdowns in his
first start at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Saturday as
Louisville easily moved to 3-0 with a 42-14 win over the winless
Miners.

Running backs Lionel Gates and Eric Shelton and 6-foot-5,
350-pound offensive lineman Kurt Quarterman all had 1-yard
touchdown runs for the Cardinals, who have scored in every quarter
this season.

The lopsided outcome gave Petrino a chance to use several
reserves, including all-purpose freshman Michael Bush and redshirt
freshman quarterback Justin Rascati.

Bush, a former record-setting quarterback at nearby Louisville
Male High School, turned a swing pass into a 56-yard gain in the
first quarter. LeFors finished the drive with a five-yard TD pass
to tight end Ronnie Ghent.

"I thought my long run kind of pumped the team up," said Bush,
who rushed for 1,581 yards in high school.

Bush got his first career completion on a fake punt in the
second quarter, hitting BrentJohnson over the middle for a 21-yard
gain. Bush has told Petrino he wants to play quarterback, but
Petrino has emphasized patience.

"He told me, 'Don't rush it, go with the flow.' That's what I'm
going on now," said Bush, who finished 2-of-5 for 31 passing
yards. "I know that every time I stepped on the field today,
(UTEP) would say, 'There's 19.' You can't do better than that."

Bush's pass toJohnson set up Quarterman's unlikely 1-yard
touchdown run that put the Cardinals up 28-7.

"I didn't know I was going to get the ball," Quarterman said.
"(Louisville offensive line) Coach Summers came to me Wednesday
and said, 'I've got a surprise for you. You're going to run the
ball.' I thought it was a joke."

Rascati, ahead of Bush on the Louisville quarterback depth
chart, relieved LeFors midway through the third quarter. He
completed all four of his passes and scrambled for a 31-yard
touchdown in the fourth quarter.

"I knew before the game started, I was probably going to get
out there," Rascati said. "I was a little nervous, but once I
threw my first pass, I looked at it like a high school game."

Howard Jackson rushed for 118 yards for the Miners (0-4), who
lost their ninth straight game and their 17th straight road game.

Louisville faced its first deficit of the year when UTEP
receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins scored on a 16-yard run 3:11 into the
game.

"It was good for us to be behind, to see how we're going to
react. That's always good for you," Petrino said.

It didn't last long.

On UTEP's next possession, Louisville linebacker Rod Day
intercepted an Orlando Cruz pass and returned it to the Miners'
15-yard line. LeFors found Joshua Tinch wide open in the end zone
for the tying touchdown with 9:48 left in the first quarter.

"They were 0-3 and we thought we were going to roll over
them," Tinch said. "We still had to come out and play at our
level."

After LeFors' five-yard touchdown pass to Ghent, Shelton
finished Louisville's next drive with his third TD run of the
season. Quarterman offered a preview of his own TD run by lining up
in the backfield and delivering a punishing block to clear
Shelton's path.

Gates' TD run made it 35-7, after a 10-play, 89-yard drive that
opened the third quarter.

Petrino replaced LeFors with Rascati after that. He liked what
he saw from Rascati in his two offensive series.

"He was really calm in there, ran the pass patterns he was
supposed to and made some nice throws," Petrino said.

Jordan Palmer, the younger brother of last year's Heisman Trophy
winner Carson Palmer, had a six-yard touchdown pass to Jacob
Gonzales with 22 seconds left in the game.

The Miners committed three turnovers, pushing their
nation-leading total to 17.

The Cardinals have scored on 18 of 31 possessions this season.