Series History Notebook: Louisville & Pittsburgh

This week’s game will be the 16th meeting all-time between Louisville and Pittsburgh with the Panthers holding a narrow 8-7 advantage overall. Saturday will mark the eighth time the two programs have met as BIG EAST Conference opponents with Pitt managing a 4-3 edge in those contests. Overall, the Panthers have won four straight in the series, while prior to that, the Cardinals had won seven straight. The series dates back to 1976 when Pittsburgh earned a 27-6 victory at home in the first ever meeting.

In the most recent meeting, Tino Sunseri threw for one touchdown and ran for another to lead Pittsburgh to a 21-14 win over Louisville on Nov. 12, 2011 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The Panthers had been slumping with three losses in its previous four games, but ran over Louisville’s stout defense, starting off with a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by freshman Isaac Bennett’s 1-yard TD run. Sunseri found Mike Shanahan for a 17-yard score on Pittsburgh’s first drive of the second half and ran in for a 5-yard touchdown with 1:53 left. Victor Anderson scored from 3 yards out late in the third, but the Cardinals didn’t reach the end zone again until Teddy Bridgewater’s 25-yard TD pass with 12 seconds left.

  • This series has been all about streaks with Pittsburgh winning the first four games (1976, 1980, 1982 and 1983) and Louisville winning the next seven (1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2005, 2006 and 2007) before the Panthers’ current four-game winning streak.

  • The Cardinals are 1-2 all-time at Heinz Field with the only win coming in their first ever visit in 2006 (48-24).

  • Of the 15 previous meetings between the Cardinals and Panthers, nine have been played in the city of Pittsburgh with Louisville trailing 5-4 in those games.

  • Six of the eight matchups in the series prior to Louisville joining the BIG EAST were played at Pitt Stadium, which was later demolished in 1999.

Notable Louisville-Pittsburgh Results

  • Pitt 20, UofL 3 (10/30/2010 – Heinz Field): Pittsburgh’s Jabaal Sheard-led defense forced a fumble that led to a touchdown and never allowed Louisville’s offense to generate any momentum during a 20-3 victory. Ray Graham and Dion Lewis ran for scores in the second half as Pittsburgh scored the game’s only two touchdowns after settling for a 6-3 halftime lead. The Cardinals, held to 185 yards on 55 plays, also were hampered by Bilal Powell’s right knee injury that sidelined the nation’s No. 4 rusher for all but two plays of the second half.

  • Pitt 41, UofL 7 (11/8/2008 – Heinz Field): Pittsburgh wide receiver Aundre Wright ran 7 yards for his first college touchdown after having a long scoring run called back by a holding penalty and the No. 25 Panthers turned four turnovers into scores while routing Louisville 41-7. The Panthers assured themselves of their first bowl bid and winning season in coach Dave Wannstedt’s four seasons, using Louisville’s numerous mistakes to overcome LeSean McCoy’s career-low 39 yards rushing.

  • UofL 24, Pitt 17 (10/29/2007 – Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium): Brian Brohm threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns and the Louisville defense used a late goal line stand to defeat pesky Pittsburgh 24-17. Brock Bolen added 52 yards rushing and the go-ahead touchdown with 1:54 remaining for Louisville, which needed a late stop from its defense to snap a two-game home losing streak. The win was the seventh straight for the Cardinals in the series with Pittsburgh.

  • UofL 48, Pitt 24 (11/25/2006 – Heinz Field): Brian Brohm threw four touchdown passes against a Pitt defense that again showed little resistance and No. 8 Louisville beat the Panthers 48-24. The Cardinals, who went on to win their first BIG EAST title a week later, outscored Pitt 34-3 during one stretch after briefly falling behind 14-7 in the first quarter. Brohm threw scoring passes of 42 yards to Mario Urrutia, 9 to Gary Barnidge, 1 to Scott Kuhn and 75 to Harry Douglas. Brohm finished 21-for-29 for 337 yards, while Urrutia caught seven passes for 144 yards.

  • UofL 42, Pitt 20 (11/3/2005 – Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium): Michael Bush rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns and Art Carmody tied a school record with four field goals as No. 24 Louisville survived a wild start and beat Pittsburgh 42-20 in a Thursday night game which was the program’s first BIG EAST Conference home contest. Bush, who had 16 carries, also caught four passes for 59 yards, while Brian Brohm completed 21-of-31 passes for 247 yards for Louisville, which finished with 467 yards of offense.

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