University of Louisville senior running back Dominique Brown had a message for head coach Bobby Petrino in the second half on Monday.
"I went to him and told him I wanted the ball," Brown said with a smile, noting the offensive line then told Petrino to "run it to win it," in the fourth quarter.
Petrino listened to his senior, giving Brown the ball nine times for 36 yards on a 14-play, 67-yard drive that put the game out of reach and ended with a Gerald Christian touchdown catch. The Cardinals beat Miami 31-13.
"He came to me and said, 'Keep giving me the ball coach and I will find a way into the end zone'," Petrino said. "I respect that and he certainly did. He's a tough, big, physical kid. He's a little worn out, but he played really, really well for us."
Brown scored on a 15-yard run in the third quarter and averaged 4.3 yards a play.
"He ran hard," left guard Jake Smith said. "He wanted the ball and we (as a line) wanted him to get the ball. He played well."
Brown carried six more times than he had in his previous career high - 27 last year against Houston - and it was just the third time in his career he had more than 18 in a single game.
A former quarterback, Brown said he feels like his size and strength help him be able to hang in there for more carries than a normal back.
"I'm a physical runner," he said. "So, I'm prepared to take a few hits. But my running style, I just run down hill, helps me out. I was ready to keep going."
Petrino is known for his "Feed the Studs," saying where he makes sure his best players get as many touches as possible. He often points to former U of L player Michael Bush, who ran it a lot during his junior season.
"When people think of a Petrino offense, they think of passing," Brown said. "But he likes his running backs. He likes to run the ball and when he has a back he likes, they just keep feeding him. He always preaches feed the stud."
And how does Brown feel about being the stud - at least for one week - of the offense.
"It feels pretty good," he said with a laugh. "It feels pretty good."
As a junior, Brown topped the Cardinals with 825 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. He reached the end zone eight times. Originally a quarterback recruit, Brown has appeared now in 36 games at running back, starting 11, and has totaled 1,560 career yards.
It was the Dominique Brown show on offense for the University of Louisville football team on Monday. Brown carried 33 times for 143 yards and one touchdown in a 31-13 win over Miami before a record crowd at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
Brown carries 33 times for 143 yards and a touchdown in a 31-13 win over Miami on Monday