Cards cruise, beat UTEP 42-14


Posted Sep 20, 2003


Louisville improves to 3-0 on the season as they defeat UTEP 42-14. Here's a quick recap with quotes, notes and statistics from today's victory.

Compiled by Inside theVille

QUOTES

Head Coach Bobby Petrino

"It was a good win. Those are tough games to coach. I think it was a good start by our offense. I would like to see our defense start the game out faster and get ball back for us. They were commiting nine guys to stop the run and you can't do anything about that. It's great to start 3-0 and be back home."

On getting Michael Bush into the game more: "I anticipated doing that in the Kentucky game You can see he's a tremendous athlete. Mike can do a lot of things. They were aware when 19 was in the game."

On Justin Rascati's TD run and performance: "Jeff Brohm's been after him to run. He likes to sit in the pocket, but has good speed. He took off and made a nice run. I thought he did well. He was real calm in there, ran the pass patterns he was supposed to and made some nice throws."

"Since we started the season, we've been geating everything to going on the road to play our conference opener at South Florida. Other teams have to prepare not only for our personnel, but for our formations as well."

UTEP Head Coach Gary Nord

"I think they did an outstanding job getting themselves ready. They've become a two-dimensional team now and are hard to stop. The last couple of years they were a one dimensional team and you knew what was coming. It was good to see a lot of the old faces and realize friendships and relationships I made here have remained. We've got a football team that is young but will grow."

On RB Eric Shelton: "Their first couple of games, he was the dominating factor for them (U of L). He's the best running back we have seen in a while. We put in some blitzes to try to stop the running game. We wanted to try to get him stopped before he got started."

Quarterback Stefan LeFors

"Anytime you can get a win like that in your backyard is good no matter how many plays you get. We did what we had to do in the first half and put points on the board. We've got a lot of playmakers on this team. This team (UTEP) played a lot of man coverage and stacked them in the box (against the run)."

On Rascati's 31-yard TD run: "He looked kind of fast. That was impressive. He was just trying to get the first down and just saw an opening and took off. It was a good play. I was really happy for him."

On Kurt Quarterman's touchdown: "Oh man, he was excited. He's a person that doesn't talk much, but after we called that play, he had a big smile. He was geting in (the end zone). He was not going to be denied."

Offensive Lineman Kurt Quarterman

On scoring his first career touchdown: "It felt great. I didn't know I was really going to get the ball (before the game) but I was hoping to get it at the goal line. I am glad I got the ball and scored."

On bringing up the idea of using him as a fullback: "At first I thought it was a joke because the offensive line coach told me that he had a surprise for me. During practice, when they put me at fullback I said 'oh, man,' and they gave me the ball and it was fun."

Quarterback Justin Rascati

On scoring on a 31-yard TD run: "A lot of people didn't think I could do that but I did that a lot in high school. I really haven't had my chance and this is my first game playing. In practice, they (the defense) blow it up as soon as I get out of the pocket. I really was just trying to get a first down since no one was open. Then I saw the end zone and I just went for it. I was pretty sure I got in because I dove for the pylon. I know I knocked it over so I was sure I got in."

On if he is fast: "I am all right for a quarterback. I don't have lightning speed but I could get faster. I am faster than people think."

On playing his first collegiate game: "I knew before the game started, I knew I was probably going to get out there because UTEP wasn't the greatest team. I was a little nervous at first but once I threw my first pass, I looked at it like a high school game."

NOTES

Nine different Cardinals carried the ball today and nine different receivers caught passes for U of L.

U of L has started its season 3-0 for the second time in three seasons and for the 11th time since 1946. U of L coach Bobby Petrino became the third U of L coach to win his first three games as head coach of the Cardinals (joins Frank Camp and Tom King as the others).

QB Stefan LeFors, who leads Conference USA in passing efficiency, completed 12-of-19 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He improved his efficiency rating to 162.8.

TE Ronnie Ghent's first quarter TD reception was the 12th of his career, moving him into a tie for sixth-place on the school's all-time list with Ralph Dawkins (1990-93).

WR J.R. Russell (3 catches for 38 yards) has now caught a pass in a team-high 14 straight games.

OT/FB Kurt Quarterman scored on a one-yard in the second quarter - the first of his career.

U of L's 437 yards of total offense marked the first time since the final three games of the 1998 season that the Cardinals recorded more than 400 yards of total offense in three straight games (then vs. ECU, Army and Marshall).

CB/WR Antoine Harris played both wide receiver and cornerback, becoming the first player since Sam Madison did accomplished the feat in 1996.

QB Justin Rascati (4-of-4 passing, 51 yards) made his collegiate debut and scored his first career touchdown on a 31-yard rush with 11:19 left in the fourth quarter.

Today's U of L victory marked the fourth time in six years the Cardinals have won their home opener in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Today's crowd of 40,205 was the ninth largest in PJCS history.

STATISTICS

                                  UTEP      LOU

FIRST DOWNS...................       19       23
  Rushing.....................        9        8
  Passing.....................        8       12
  Penalty.....................        2        3
Rushing Attempts..............       43       42
Yards Gained Rushing..........      214      215
Yards Lost Rushing............       25       24
NET YARDS RUSHING.............      189      191
NET YARDS PASSING.............      111      246
  Passes Attempted............       27       28
  Passes Completed............       10       18
  Had Intercepted.............        2        0
TOTAL OFFENSIVE PLAYS.........       70       70
TOTAL NET YARDS...............      300      437
  Average Gain Per Play.......      4.3      6.2
Fumbles: Number-Lost..........      1-1      1-1
Penalties: Number-Yards.......     6-44     7-65
Number of Punts-Yards.........     2-77    3-109
  Average Per Punt............     38.5     36.3
Punt Returns: Number-Yards....      2-8     2-13
Kickoff Returns: Number-Yards.    5-138     2-45
Interceptions: Number-Yards...      0-0     2-42
Fumble Returns: Number-Yards..      0-0      0-0
Miscellaneous Yards...........        0        0
Possession Time...............    30:33    29:27
Third-Down Conversions........  7 of 15 10 of 15
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   1 of 4   1 of 2
Sacks By: Number-Yards........      0-0     3-10

LOUISVILLE
Rushing         No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
--------------------------------------------
GATES, Lionel    9   56    0   56  1 14  6.2
CLARK, B.        1   39    0   39  0 39 39.0
RASCATI, Justin  1   31    0   31  1 31 31.0
SHELTON, Eric   15   42   13   29  1 11  1.9
BUSH, Michael    7   23    8   15  0 11  2.1
LeFORS, Stefan   2   12    0   12  0  7  6.0
PATTERSON, T.J.  2    6    0    6  0  5  3.0
SMITH, Kolby     3    5    1    4  0  4  1.3
QUARTERMAN, K.   1    1    0    1  1  1  1.0
TEAM             1    0    2   -2  0  0 -2.0
Totals...       42  215   24  191  4 39  4.5

Passing         Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sck
-------------------------------------------
LeFORS, Stefan    19-12-0   164  2   56   0
BUSH, Michael      5-2-0     31  0   21   0
RASCATI, Justin    4-4-0     51  0   18   0
Totals...         28-18-0   246  2   56   0

Receiving        No.  Yds   TD Long
-----------------------------------
TINCH, Joshua      5   62    1   19
RUSSELL, J.R.      3   38    0   21
GHENT, Ronnie      3   12    1    5
JONES, Tiger       2   21    0   11
BUSH, Michael      1   56    0   56
JOHNSON, Brent     1   21    0   21
HASKINS, Robert    1   18    0   18
CLARK, B.          1    9    0    9
GATES, Lionel      1    9    0    9
Totals...         18  246    2   56

Punting          No.  Yds   Avg Long In20
-----------------------------------------
MOODY, Brent       3  109  36.3   44    2
Totals...          3  109  36.3   44    2

                  Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns     No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
---------------------------------------------
HASKINS, Robert  2  13 12  0   0  0  0   0  0
CLARK, B.        0   0  0  1  34 34  0   0  0
DAY, Rod         0   0  0  0   0  0  1  26 26
MINKINS, Josh    0   0  0  0   0  0  1  16 16
RILEY, Jimmy     0   0  0  1  11 11  0   0  0
Totals...        2  13 12  2  45 34  2  42 26

UTEP
Rushing         No Gain Loss  Net TD Lg  Avg
--------------------------------------------
Jackson, H.     12  121    3  118  0 47  9.8
Higgins, J.      3   21    0   21  1 16  7.0
Palmer, J.      11   28   13   15  0  8  1.4
Cleveland, R.    1   13    0   13  0 13 13.0
Austin, M.       8   17    5   12  0  8  1.5
Smith, J.        5    9    2    7  0  5  1.4
Cruz, O.         2    5    0    5  0  3  2.5
TEAM             1    0    2   -2  0  0 -2.0
Totals...       43  214   25  189  1 47  4.4

Passing         Att-Cmp-Int Yds TD Long Sck
-------------------------------------------
Cruz, O.          15-4-2     49  0   14   0
Palmer, J.        12-6-0     62  1   15   3
Totals...         27-10-2   111  1   15   3

Receiving        No.  Yds   TD Long
-----------------------------------
Crafts, J.         3   42    0   15
Francies, C.       3   28    0   13
Austin, M.         1   14    0   14
Jackson, H.        1   12    0   12
Higgins, J.        1    9    0    9
Gonzales, J.       1    6    1    6
Totals...         10  111    1   15

Punting          No.  Yds   Avg Long In20
-----------------------------------------
Benekos, B.        2   77  38.5   44    0
Totals...          2   77  38.5   44    0

                  Punts   Kickoffs  Intercept
All Returns     No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg No.Yds.Lg
---------------------------------------------
Jackson, H.      0   0  0  1  31 31  0   0  0
Fenner, J.       2   8  7  4 107 44  0   0  0
Totals...        2   8  7  5 138 44  0   0  0


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