7:30 PM ET, November 3, 2005
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, LOUISVILLE, KY
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Few games have gotten off to a wilder start than Louisville-Pittsburgh on Thursday night -- two touchdowns in the first 25 seconds, both on kickoffs. But by game's end, the result was routine: another lopsided Louisville win.
|It was over when ...|
|Pittsburgh's drive that began with 24 seconds left in the third quarter yielded no points. The Panthers advanced to the Cardinals' 22 before penalties forced them back and out of field-goal range. Louisville would hold the ball for nearly 10 minutes on its next possession, ending Pittsburgh's upset bid.||Game ball goes to ...|
|Louisville running back Michael Bush. Bush ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game with a sprained left foot. He averaged more than seven yards per carry on the night, and caught four passes for 59 yards.|
Michael Bush rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns and Art Carmody tied a school record with four field goals as No. 24 Louisville controlled the game in the second half en route to a 42-20 win over the Panthers.
Louisville (6-2, 2-2 Big East) has won two straight after losing its first two league games and temporarily falling out of the top 25. The Cardinals, wearing black jerseys for the first time since the 1984 season, became bowl eligible with the win in front of a record crowd of 42,692 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
"At the beginning it kind of felt like it was a little video game," Bush said. "After that, we got ourselves together and we made a couple of nice plays and we were able to get the win. Things just settled down in the second half."
Pitt (4-5, 3-2) had a three-game winning streak snapped. The Panthers must win their final two games, against Connecticut and No. 18 West Virginia, if they are to extend their streak of consecutive bowl appearances to six.
Louisville, known for its high-scoring offense, wore the Panthers down with long, clock-chewing drives after halftime. The Cardinals scored the game's final 23 points and held a commanding edge in time of possession -- 37:10 to 22:50 for Pittsburgh -- and never punted.
Bush's second score, a 3-yard run in the third quarter, was his 20th rushing touchdown of the season, tying the school record set by Lenny Lyles in 1957 and matched by Eric Shelton last season.
Bush, the NCAA Division I-A scoring leader, left the game after that with a sprained left foot. X-rays taken Thursday were negative, and Louisville spokesman Rocco Gasparro said Bush would undergo an MRI exam on Friday. Bush said he "felt fine" after the game.
Bush, who had 16 carries, also caught four passes for 59 yards.
Carmody kicked field goals of 46, 47, 32 and 36 yards, matching the school single-game record set by Nate Smith against Houston in 2000. The 46-yarder was a career-best, but Carmody booted a 47-yarder minutes later.
Entering the game, Carmody had attempted only eight field goals this season, making six.
"The deal was to try to force field goals and minimize the touchdowns and come up with a couple of turnovers," Pittsburgh coach Dave Wannstedt said. "I felt like we had that going on defense. But in the second half, we've got to get a couple of scores."
Louisville trailed in the final minute of the first half before Carmody's 47-yarder, which put the Cardinals up 22-20 at the break.
"That was a big swing for us right there," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said.
Louisville scored on its first three second-half possessions, with Bush's second touchdown and Carmody's 32- and 36-yard field goals, and led 35-20 entering the fourth quarter.
Pitt reached the Louisville 22 early in the fourth quarter before penalties set the Panthers back and forced a punt. Louisville took over with 9:44 left and ran more than 9 minutes off the clock before Kolby Smith capped a 16-play, 80-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.
Brian Brohm completed 21 of 31 passes for 247 yards for Louisville, which finished with 467 yards of offense. Pitt finished with 260 yards of offense.
The game started in wild fashion. Pitt's Terrell Allen had the opening kickoff sail through his hands, and Louisville's Deon Palmer recovered the football in the end zone.
"In a game like this, everything gets magnified and you can't afford to make any mistakes," Wannstedt said.
Allen quickly made amends, returning the ensuing kick 97 yards for a score.
"Have you ever seen a start like that? That was unbelievable," Petrino said.
Bush's 5-yard touchdown run put the Cardinals ahead 14-7. Before the first quarter ended, the Cardinals picked up a safety after a Pittsburgh punt snap rolled out of the end zone.
Josh Cummings booted second-quarter field goals of 40 and 25 yards for Pitt. Carmody's 46-yard field goal extended the Cardinals' lead to 19-13, but Pitt covered 63 yards in four plays and took its only lead with 58 seconds left in the half at 20-19 on a 12-yard pass from Tyler Palko to Greg Lee.
Palko finished 17-for-30 passing for 198 yards.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Pittsburgh's drive that began with 24 seconds left in the third quarter yielded no points. Louisville held the ball for nearly 10 minutes on its next possession, ending Pitt's upset bid.
Gameball goes to... Louisville's Michael Bush. Bush ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the game with a sprained left foot. He also caught four passes for 59 yards.
Stat of the game... 1984: The last time the Cardinals wore their black jerseys in a game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||2-10||8-15|
|4th Down Conversions||0-2||1-3|
|TD||14:49||DEON PALMER 0 YD DEFENSIVE FUMBLE RETURN (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)||0||7|
|TD||14:35||TERRELL ALLEN 97 YD KICK RETURN (JOSH CUMMINGS KICK)||7||7|
|TD||11:43||MICHAEL BUSH 5 YD RUN (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 65 yards.
|FG||13:37||JOSH CUMMINGS 40 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 71 yards.
|FG||10:05||JOSH CUMMINGS 25 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 39 yards.
|FG||6:50||ARTHUR CARMODY 46 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 47 yards.
|TD||0:58||DEREK KINDER 12 YD PASS FROM TYLER PALKO (JOSH CUMMINGS KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 63 yards.
|FG||0:05||ARTHUR CARMODY 47 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 42 yards.
|TD||12:41||MICHAEL BUSH 3 YD RUN (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 64 yards.
|FG||4:02||ARTHUR CARMODY 32 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 48 yards.
|FG||0:24||ARTHUR CARMODY 36 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 24 yards.
|TD||0:40||KOLBY SMITH 4 YD RUN (ARTHUR CARMODY KICK)|
Drive info: 16 plays, 80 yards.