Louisville Rallies Past Kentucky

 

 

 

LEXINGTON, Ky. (gocards.com and AP) - Lamar Jackson accounted for 316 yards and three touchdowns, Brandon Radcliff ran for two TDs and Louisville erased a 24-7 halftime deficit with 31 unanswered points for a 38-24 victory Saturday and fifth straight win over its in-state rival.

This Governor's Cup win was especially sweet for the Cardinals (7-5), who trailed 21-0 after one quarter behind two interceptions leading to 14 points. Jackson replaced Kyle Bolin at quarterback and the mobile freshman rallied Louisville with his arm and feet, accounting for 171 yards in the third quarter alone.

Jackson finished with 186 yards rushing and TDs of 16 and 13 yards on 17 carries. He also threw for 130 yards, including a 35-yard TD to James Quick.

Louisville gained 489 yards, including 325 in the second half, in tying the series at 14.

Louisville had already locked up its sixth straight bowl berth and now enters postseason with one of its biggest wins ever against Kentucky, which again came up one win short of the six-win threshold for bowl eligibility.

Like last year's game, which Louisville won 44-40, this contest was just as wild.

The Wildcats seemed headed toward ending their postseason drought after 10 1/2 minutes when senior linebacker Josh Forrest returned an interception 81 yards for a TD and a 21-0 lead. A.J. Stamps preceded that huge play by picking off Bolin to set up Boom Williams' 6-yard run two plays later, which came after quarterback Drew Barker's 1-yard TD run got the Wildcats started on their opening drive.

Louisville settled down and took over from there, with Jackson running and throwing his way past a Kentucky defense that had no answer for him or Radcliff.

Jackson had his stumbles by throwing an interception deep in Wildcats territory. But Louisville regrouped during the break and re-emerged as a totally different team that couldn't be stopped.

Radcliff ran for TDs of 6 and 4 yards, the last putting Louisville ahead 31-24 with 10:17 remaining. He finished with 62 yards on 14 carries.

Barker was 6 of 22 passing for 128 yards. Williams had 37 yards rushing on seven carries before leaving in the second quarter after re-injuring his right elbow. 

Quick scored the game-tying touchdown on a 35-yard catch late in the third quarter and nearly had another in the fourth before being laid out on a vicious hit by Derrick Baity in the end zone.

Fortunately for the Cardinals, they were rolling at that point and Jackson's second TD run with 4:02 left ensured that the Cardinals would hoist the 110-pound, 33-inch-tall trophy for the fifth year in a row.