Louisville's offense was not sharp at all against the still-winless UConn Huskies, but the Cardinals' defense made enough big plays to propel Louisville to a 31-10 conference road win that was not in doubt beyond the second quarter.
The Cardinals' offense was at its most effective during a pair of second-quarter touchdown drives of 64 and 56 yards, the former capped by Teddy Bridgewater's 28-yard touchdown pass to DeVante Parker. But Bridgewater and the Louisville offense could do little else on a rare off night. Fortunately, the Cardinal defense stepped up in a big way, forcing 5 turnovers and 7 sacks. Even the special teams chipped in by recovering UConn's fumbled first-quarter punt attempt and returning it for a touchdown.
Any lingering hope that the Huskies had of getting back in the game was quickly wiped out when UConn quarterback Tim Boyle followed up Bridgewater's third-quarter interception with a pick-6 caught and returned by Terrell Floyd to put Louisville up, 28-3.
Box Score Hero: Defensive end Marcus Smith and the Louisville defense terrorized Boyle all night long, sacking him 7 times and forcing him into 3 interceptions. Smith had 7 tackles, 2.5 sacks and even forced a fumble.
Rankings Ramifications: It's hard to know how much Louisville, ranked 20th in the BCS, will move up without knowing what will happen in the top 19 this Saturday, but a few teams ahead of them will likely lose, allowing the Cardinals to move up a spot or two.
But Did They Cover? Louisville was favored by 27.5 to 28.5 points, depending on your preferred oddsmaker. The Huskies pulled out a back-door cover by scoring a touchdown with 35 seconds left in the game, making Louisville's margin of victory 21 instead of 28.
Next Week's Schedule: Louisville welcomes the Houston Cougars to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium while UConn travels to Dallas to take on SMU.
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