October 20, 2012; Louisville, KY USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) passes the ball as South Florida Bulls defensive lineman Eric Lee (91) defends during the first half at Papa John

Louisville Holds Off The Bulls

October 20, 2012; Louisville, KY USA; Louisville Cardinals wide receiver Damian Copeland (7) celebrates with fullback Nick Heuser (48) and offensive linesman Abraham Garcia (77) after scoring a touchdown during the second half of play against South Florida Bulls at Papa John

The University of Louisville escaped with a narrow victory Saturday over South Florida. The win keeps No. 16 ranked UofL undefeated on the season while the Bulls lost their fifth straight.

After trailing 0-3 in the first quarter, the Cards (7-0) hit the ground running. Senorise Perry and Jeremy Wright added rushing touchdowns to take the lead 14-3 at the half. South Florida (2-5) made some adjustments in the locker room and dominated the second half.

South Florida ran 50 offensive plays to UofL’s 26 in the second half and controlled the time of possession. USF quarterback B.J. Daniels threw all 3 of his touchdowns after halftime. His final TD pass gave the Bulls a 25-21 lead late in the fourth quarter. Daniels passed for only 189 yards along with 1 interception.

With 1 minute and 35 seconds left in the game, Teddy Bridgewater connected with Eli Rogers for 11 yards and a TD. The score gave UofL the 27-25 lead and John Wallace’s extra point attempt was blocked. Bridgewater was again accurate as he connected on 21 of 25 attempts for 256 yards and 2 TDs. Bridgewater also was effective with his feet. He racked up 74 yards on just 10 runs.

The Cardinal defense came up big when it counted. With 2 seconds remaining Adrian Bushell picked off Daniels to end the game.

While a win is a win, the Cards allowed a struggling USF team back in a game that appeared to be over at half. It confirmed Las Vegas odds makers are geniuses. UofL failed to cover the 5.5 point spread.

The October 26 matchup against Cincinnati has been somewhat downgraded due to the No. 21 Bearcats losing to Toledo 23-29. The game had the potential for two Top 25 teams battling in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, but Cincy (5-1) will likely drop from the rankings. However, the game will be equally as important to both. It will be UofL’s chance to beat a quality opponent and Cincy’s opportunity to bounce back into the rankings.

Cincinnati beat Louisville last season 25-16 at Paul Brown Stadium.

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