Rutgers (6-4, 3-3) proved no match for No. 23 Louisville (7-2, 3-2) Friday night at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
And apparently, the Scarlet Knight didn’t obey the ‘Golden Rule,’ of playing the Cardinals at home; don’t stomp on the U of L logo before the game.
Before kick-off, Rutgers’ players taunted the Cardinals by jumping up and down on the Cardinal logo at midfield. The last two teams to pull that stunt – East Carolina and Cincinnati – left Louisville with their tails between their legs.
Greg Schiano’s team learned the hard way. Louisville 56, Rutgers 5.
After the Scarlet Knight took an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter, the Cardinals took command of the game. Though U of L didn’t put eye-popping offensive stats on the board in the first half, they did enough to take a 21-5 lead into the break.
That’s when the wheels came off for Rutgers.
Louisville, playing without junior running back Michael Bush, scored touchdowns on their first six possessions of the second half to win their third straight game, and 11th consecutive at PJCS.
Brian Brohm completed 22-30 passes for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Junior running back Kolby Smith, filling in for Bush, rushed for 55 yards on 17 carries. He also scored three touchdowns.
But it was the U of L defense that deserves the credit for the Cardinals 7th win of the season. For the second straight game, the Louisville defense shutout its opponent in the second half. They also held Rutgers’ potent running back duo of Ray Rice and Brian Leonard to only 79 yards on 20 carries, and intercepted quarterback Mike Teel twice.
Next up for Louisville will be Syracuse.
NOTES:2005 greyshirt freshman Josh Byrom made his first trip to Louisville this season. Byrom, who played a lot of tight end in high school, has increased his weight to over 280-pounds.
Joshua Tinch’s 10-catch, 183-yard performance on Friday night pushed his career receiving yards total over the 2,000 mark. His 2,018 career yards moved him past former Cardinals great and 5-time NFL All-Pro Mark Clayton for sixth all-time. His 149 career receptions puts him at No. 7 all-time, surpassing recent Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch.
The Cardinals won their school record 11th straight at home. The Cardinals are15-1 all-time at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium under head coach Bobby Petrino. The 11 wins are tied for the fifth-longest streak in the country.
Elvis Dumervil's forced fumble in the first half added to his total for the season. He now has 10 forced fumbles, resetting his own national record. The previous record was 8.0 set by both Dwight Freeney of Syracuse and Quintin Mikell of Boise State.
The 64-yard punt by Todd Flannery in the second quarter was a career-long kick for him and the ninth longest kick in school history.
Brian Brohm had his fifth career 300-yard passing game. That is the third highest total in school history behind Jay Gruden and Stefan LeFors.
KR/RB Sergio Spencer recorded the longest kickoff return of the season when he returned a kick 61 yards in the first quarter.
Tight End Breno Giacomini had his career first touchdown reception in the third quarter.
RB Kolby Smith's 17 carries is his career high.