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    Louisville Football Game But Goes Down to Georgia in the Belk Bowl 37-14
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    The #21 University of Louisville football Cardinals (9-4) took a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina Tuesday night to take on the thirteenth ranked Georgia Bulldogs (10-3) in the Belk Bowl. It was the first time the two teams met and it was the first meeting of ranked teams in the college football bowl season. The Bulldogs gutted it out and defeated the Cards 37-14.

    Kyle Bolin, the quarterback that ended the regular season, started the Cardinals post season play as the signal caller. Coach Bobby Petrino said earlier that he planned to use both Bolin and freshman phenom Reggie Bonnafon throughout. Next year, the Cards will have an embarrassment of riches at that position when Will Gardner comes back from injury.

    Louisville got the ball first and drove to the 50 before having to punt. The offensive line, suspect all season, did a pretty good job protecting Bolin. After the kick, Georgia struck first when Chris Conley caught a long touchdown pass.

    The Cards came right back with Bolin driving his team 86 yards. DeVante Parker had a touchdown pass taken away when he was forced out of bounds and came back in to catch the ball. The officials said he went out on his own, though the push was obvious. No matter. Two plays later Bolin hit Gerald Christian for the score. By the end of the first quarter, the score was tied 7-7.

    Bonnafon came into the game in the second quarter. The running game stalled and Bonnafon took a sack. Then he overthrew Parker. Ryan Johnson hit the field for another short punt. It was pretty much like the story of Bonnafon and the offense toward the end of the season.

    The Bulldogs went with an uptempo offense and it yielded a field goal and another touchdown. On the TD run, the Cardinal defense wasn’t set so Nick Chubb ran it to the house.

    When Bonnafon came back into the game, he threw an interception. It took exactly one play. Georgia an it back to the 10 yard line for a first and goal situation. The defense stiffened and the Bulldogs had to settle for another field goal.

    No one needed to guess how soon Bolin would get back in the game. He was greeted with a sack. The Cards needed their mojo back. Pertrino tried to do just that with a fake punt that Johnson short armed to Christian. It didn’t work, but Georgia changed QBs whom Terrell Floyd picked off at the three.

    The half ended with the Bulldogs up 20-7, but the Cards had controlled the bleeding.

    In the second half Georgia came out on offense without quarterback Hutson Mason. He was out of the game with an undisclosed injury. Brice Ramsey replaced him.

    The teams traded turnovers to open the third quarter. Chubb then broke off an 82 yard run that put the Dogs back in business. Sony Michel then punched it in and the Cards found themselves in a 27-7 deficit. Louisville needed an answer.

    They found it on a heavy dose of Parker short passes and a Radcliff finish to close the gap to 27-14. A 20 yard tunnel screen pass was the spark because Louisville found itself in a 3rd and 20 situation and the Bulldogs had a chance to get off the field. Plenty of fight left in the Cards.

    If the Cards could have stopped Chubb, they could have made the game easier on themselves. Instead, the ground game ate up clock and was, at the same time, successful. With a lead, Louisville played Georgia and the timekeeper.

    Instead Chubb ran for 267 yards and a touchdown on a team that didn’t allow most teams even 100 yards. Of course, 82 of that was on a breakaway sprint that nearly found him in the end zone. Uncharacteristic for a Todd Grantham defense.

    All in all, a successful first season with Petrino back at the helm, but there’s work to do before the 2015 campaign including figuring out what to do with Bonnafon. A great athlete, but under center, the Cards stalled and never recovered.

    Photo by: Max Sharp/Louisville.com

     

    Tim Girton's picture

    About Tim Girton

    Tim Girton writes about University of Louisville sports here at Louisville.com and his love for Louisville continues on his photoblog, called This Is Louisville.

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