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    Louisville football rebounds to defeat Boston College 38-19
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    The University of Louisville Cardinals (7-3, 5-3 ACC) went into action Saturday night against Boston College (6-4, 3-3) with several things to prove. They ticked off the checklist leading to the 38-19 win at BC’s Alumni Stadium

    First they had to prove that the non-upset of Florida State two Thursdays ago was for real. The Cards had chances to beat the Seminoles however they didn’t quite bring it home. But for three quarters, the dream was real.

    They had to prove they could play without significant pieces of the puzzle again. Lorenzo Mauldin, the defensive star, didn’t play with a hamstring injury. James Quick broke an unspecified team rule and sat at home suspended. Without two starters, could the Cardinals stand up to a pretty good Boston College team. We won’t speculate on Quick’s infraction, but he would have been useful in this game.

    Louisville also had to prove they could win a conference game on the road. In their first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference, ACC, the Cards went down to Virginia and Clemson away from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

    The Cardinals’s Gerod Holliman intercepted Tyler Murphy on the first play from scrimmage. It was his NCAA leading 11th pick. Good start for the Bird Gang. Louisville would collect a field goal following the turnover. Holliman provided an two encores in the fourth quarter.

    When Boston College came back on the field, they moved the ball on the ground, not letting Murphy throw it until deep in the drive after the giveaway. It led to a fourth and three conversion and kept their march alive. It wasn’t a bad strategy because they were able to eat up chunks of yardage against the depleted Cardinal defense. The Eagles ran it in from the one with Jon Hillman bringing it home.

    Louisville answered by marching the field with mix of run, pass and major Eagle penalties to get to the two yard line. At which point Brandon Radcliff proceeded to fumble and gave the ball back to BC. To say the Cardinals came out listless isn’t overstating the point. The Cards kept the damage to a minimum by holding Boston College to a three-and-out.

    The two teams played fairly evenly till the end of the first quarter. To begin the second, Boston College shredded the number three ranked defense in the country and Hilliman crossed the goal line a second time to put the Eagle up by 10 after missing the PAT.

    After that score, Louisville went back to what they know. Hand the ball to Michael Dyer and throw it to DeVante Parker. That’s when the Cards started looking like the squad that played Florida State tough. Fans, however, held their collective breath because the red zone hadn’t been Louisville’s friend.

    Reggie Bonnafon came in the game to try to get the team to punch it in. He ran toward the end zone and tried to score. He fumbled, or threw it at the end zone pylon, which was ruled an illegal forward pass. Had it been ruled a fumble, possession would have gone back BC as a touchback. The ball stayed with Louisville.

    Parker caught a pass at the one and the Cards decided to go for it on fourth and one. The Eagles held yet again as Dyer couldn’t get across. Would something finally break UofL’s way? This is a team that normally scores with ease in the red zone.

    On their next drive, Parker caught a deep ball which set up Radcliff for redemption from the previous fumble and he found the end zone. which got the Cards to within three.

    At the end of the half, the Cards blocked a BC punt with :38 seconds on the clock to put Louisville in the red zone with a chance to score before the gun. Parker delivered, taking a Bonnafon pass to the house in :13 seconds. At halftime, Louisville led 17-13.

    Will Gardner tweaked his earlier knee injury so Bonnafon came out to start the second half. Gardner remained dressed and would come out if necessary, but the freshman got all the playing time.

    Bonnafon led a time consuming drive that kept BC rushing attack on the sidelines. From the momentum shift of the first half to the frustration of the opening of the third quarter, the Eagles continued to get cold while waiting for their chance to hit the field. Eli Rogers capped it off by catching a toss in the end zone. The drive ate up half the third quarter.

    Boston College felt the pressure and put together a drive that got the the red zone inside the five. Bobby Wolford caught the TD pass. They went for the two point conversion, but missed out. The Cards stayed up 24-19. It’s worth noting that most of the yardage came through the air since Louisville figured out the running game.

    The game would end up turning on what happened in the fourth quarter. BC’s strategy all night was to keep it close until the fourth because they thought they were more physical than the Cardinals.

    The pressure got to Tyler Murphy early in the last stanza and he threw a pick to Holliman. Of course. It put Louisville back in business on offense with Bonnafon still under center. Radcliff took it in again. Boston College wanted to punch the Cards in the mouth. Radcliff punched right back and put Louisville 31-19.

    BC knew it needed to score to stay in it and they were able to push it downfield on a long Murphy pass play to Dan Crimmins that covered 55 yards. All of a sudden, it was first and goal. On the goal line stand, Sheldon Rankins stopped the third and goal, forcing BC to go for it on fourth. Rankins then picked off Murphy to kill the drive. He’s a defensive lineman and they don’t normally find the ball in their hands.

    In their desperation, Murphy once again put the ball back in the hands of Gerod Holliman. He finished the game with a triple play. Bonnafon added a late TD on a naked bootleg that fooled all 11 BC Eagles.

    DeVante Parker finished the game with 8 catches for 144 yards and a touchdown. Reggie Bonnafon led all rushers with 76 yards on the ground and a touchdown as well. He also threw for 2 more TDS.

    Next for Louisville: the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on November 22 who took a 55-38 loss to Arizona State.

    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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