4:30 PM ET, October 8, 2005
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, LOUISVILLE, KY
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- North Carolina coach John Bunting witnessed a spectacular fireworks show in Louisville on Saturday night that none of the Tar Heels wanted to see.
Brian Brohm threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns and Michael Bush added three scores as No. 23 Louisville routed the Tar Heels 69-14.
It was the most points allowed by North Carolina, surpassing a 66-0 loss to Virginia in 1912. Louisville's nine touchdowns also set a record against North Carolina, which has fielded teams since 1888.
Every time the Cardinals score at home, the north scoreboard shoots off red and white fireworks. As the points piled up, Bunting began wondering how many more bombs he'd have to endure.
"I thought, at one point, maybe they would run out," Bunting said. "I'm basically numb at this point."
Defensive end Elvis Dumervil had three sacks, two forced fumbles and his first career interception for the Cardinals (4-1), who scored on their first eight possessions and topped 60 points for the fourth straight home game.
"Coach said this was going to be our night because we had a great week of preparation," Brohm said. "We hit on all cylinders."
On the opening drive, Bush capped a nine-play march with a 3-yard TD run. Louisville scored on the game's opening possession for the 13th time in 26 games under coach Bobby Petrino.
The Cardinals' opponents had scored first in their last three games, one of which was a 45-14 upset loss at South Florida
"I did like the way we came out with a lot of guys making plays," Petrino said. "I like the way our players responded with energy and enthusiasm."
The Tar Heels (2-3) immediately answered, going 79 yards in 6:18, their longest touchdown drive of the season in possession time. Running back Ronnie McGill, seeing his first action since tearing a chest muscle this summer, scored on a 2-yard run to tie the score.
The Tar Heels' offense sputtered after that, gaining only 72 yards the rest of the half.
Bush had 28 yards rushing on Louisville's next drive and then caught a short pass from Brohm and weaved for a 13-yard touchdown.
On North Carolina's next possession, Matt Baker threw a short pass to a surprised Dumervil, who barreled to the Tar Heels' 8. Bush overthrew Brohm at the goal line on a trick play before Art Carmody booted a 20-yard field goal.
Two pass interference penalties kept alive Louisville's next drive and Bush scored again with 9:55 left in the half.
The Tar Heels marched to the Cardinals' 26, but the drive stalled after an illegal motion penalty and two incompletions by Baker. Connor Barth then hooked a 44-yard field-goal try, typifying the Tar Heels' day.
On Louisville's next play, Brohm double-pumped and hit Mario Urrutia in stride for a 73-yard touchdown.
"Once we got going, we couldn't be stopped," said Brohm, who completed 17-of-22 passes. "It was our best game as an offense. Each week, we're getting very confident, very comfortable."
Brohm added a 39-yard TD pass to Montrell Jones in the final minute of the second quarter and finished the half 13-of-15 for 255 yards.
"When we execute early, like we're capable of, we can play with anyone," said Jones, who had five catches for 86 yards.
The Cardinals' 38 first-half points were more than the Tar Heels had allowed in a game this season -- and things got no better in the second half.
Wallace Wright fumbled the opening kickoff and Carmody kicked a 42-yard field goal to send Louisville over 40 points for the 16th time in Petrino's three seasons.
Baker left the game with a twisted ankle on North Carolina's next possession and Brohm tossed a 2-yard pass to Scott Kuhn for a 48-7 lead.
The Tar Heels came into the game with confidence, after wins over archrival North Carolina State and Utah in the last two weeks.
"I thought we were about ready to play our best game and we did not," Bunting said.
The Cardinals punted for the first time in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
After Baker returned, Dumervil jarred the ball loose on his third sack. Earl Heyman picked up the fumble and went 31 yards for a score. Dumervil leads the nation with 15 sacks.
Dumervil already has seven forced fumbles this season, one shy of the NCAA record shared by Syracuse's Dwight Freeney and Boise State's Quintin Mikell.
"He may have set a world record with tackles for losses, fumbles, interceptions," Bunting said of Dumervil.
Backup running back George Stripling had a short touchdown run to push Louisville over 60 points for the sixth time under Petrino.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... When Louisville's high-octane offense took the field. The Cardinals scored on their first eight possessions.
Gameball goes to... With apologies to Brian Brohm and Michael Bush, Elvis Dumervil (three sacks, two forced fumbles and first career INT) set the tone for the D.
Stat of the game... 69: The most points North Carolina has allowed since a 66-0 loss to Virginia in 1912.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||4-11||7-12|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||2-2|
|TD||12:25||MICHAEL BUSH 3 YD RUN (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||6:07||RONNIE MCGILL 2 YD RUN (CONNOR BARTH KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 79 yards.
|TD||2:07||MICHAEL BUSH 13 YD PASS FROM BRIAN BROHM (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||14:50||ARTHUR CARMODY 20 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 5 yards.
|TD||9:55||MICHAEL BUSH 1 YD RUN (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 49 yards.
|TD||6:05||MARIO URRUTIA 73 YD PASS FROM BRIAN BROHM (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 73 yards.
|TD||0:18||MONTRELL JONES 39 YD PASS FROM BRIAN BROHM (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 63 yards.
|FG||11:51||ARTHUR CARMODY 42 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, -2 yards.
|TD||5:11||SCOTT KUHN 2 YD PASS FROM BRIAN BROHM (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 72 yards.
|TD||0:17||NICK STARCEVIC 1 YD RUN (CONNOR BARTH KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||13:05||EARL HEYMAN 30 YD DEFENSIVE FUMBLE RETURN (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)||14||55|
|TD||6:10||GEORGE STRIPLING 1 YD RUN (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 60 yards.
|TD||3:47||DEON PALMER 42 YD DEFENSIVE FUMBLE RETURN (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)||14||69|