No. 14 Cardinals Rally for 27-25 Win Over USF

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater found wide receiver Eli Rogers for an 11-yard touchdown completion with 1:35 left in the game and the defense made it stand as 14th-ranked Louisville remained unbeaten with a dramatic 27-25 victory over visiting USF on Saturday afternoon at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

After the Bulls (2-5, 0-3 BIG EAST) moved ahead 25-21 with 3:09 left in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals (7-0, 2-0 BIG EAST) marched 75 yards on eight plays using 1:34 off the game clock to regain command for good. Bridgewater was 5-for-7 for 58 yards passing and rushed for another 11 yards on the game-winning drive. Overall, Bridgewater finished 21-for-25 for 256 yards passing and two touchdowns and was Louisville’s top rusher with 10 carries for 74 yards. Senior Damian Copeland led the Cardinals’ receivers with five catches for 93 yards and a touchdown, all career bests.

Following the Louisville touchdown to regain the lead inside the final two minutes, USF moved the ball to its own 47-yard line to setup a final desperation pass from quarterback B.J. Daniels, which was intercepted by cornerback Adrian Bushell on the final play of the game. Linebacker Preston Brown led the Cardinals’ defense with a career-best 17 tackles, while safety Calvin Pryor had eight tackles. Defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin added six tackles, including two sacks and three stops for loss, while safety Jermaine Reve and defensive end Marcus Smith each had sacks.

Up next, Louisville will host Cincinnati in the annual battle for the Keg of Nails on Friday at 8 p.m., ET at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. The game will be televised nationally by ESPN2.

A complete recap of Saturday’s win, including stats, notes, quotes, press conference video and photos is available here at UofLsports.com.

Post-Game Notes

  • With the win over USF on Saturday, the Cardinals are 7-0 for the first time since the 2006 season, when Louisville opened the year at 8-0 before falling to Rutgers. The Cardinals went on to finish 12-1, which included a 24-13 win over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl.

  • The Cardinals have been victorious in four-straight home games, the longest home-winning streak under head coach Charlie Strong. The last time the Cardinals won four-straight home games was in 2006, when Louisville went 6-0 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

  • Today’s announced attendance was 50,167, the ninth-highest attendance at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

  • The Cardinal defense combined for four sacks in Saturday’s win, their second-best total this season. Last week at Pittsburgh, Louisville sacked the quarterback five times.

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