LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Few games have gotten off to a wilder
start than Louisville-Pittsburgh on Thursday night -- two touchdowns
in the first 25 seconds, both on kickoffs. But by game's end, the
result was routine: another lopsided Louisville win.
Michael Bush rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns and Art
Carmody tied a school record with four field goals as No. 24
Louisville controlled the game in the second half en route to a
42-20 win over the Panthers.
Louisville (6-2, 2-2 Big East) has won two straight after losing
its first two league games and temporarily falling out of the top
25. The Cardinals, wearing black jerseys for the first time since
the 1984 season, became bowl eligible with the win in front of a
record crowd of 42,692 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
"At the beginning it kind of felt like it was a little video
game," Bush said. "After that, we got ourselves together and we
made a couple of nice plays and we were able to get the win. Things
just settled down in the second half."
Pitt (4-5, 3-2) had a three-game winning streak snapped. The
Panthers must win their final two games, against Connecticut and
No. 18 West Virginia, if they are to extend their streak of
consecutive bowl appearances to six.
Louisville, known for its high-scoring offense, wore the
Panthers down with long, clock-chewing drives after halftime. The
Cardinals scored the game's final 23 points and held a commanding
edge in time of possession -- 37:10 to 22:50 for Pittsburgh -- and
Bush's second score, a 3-yard run in the third quarter, was his
20th rushing touchdown of the season, tying the school record set
by Lenny Lyles in 1957 and matched by Eric Shelton last season.
Bush, the NCAA Division I-A scoring leader, left the game after
that with a sprained left foot. X-rays taken Thursday were
negative, and Louisville spokesman Rocco Gasparro said Bush would
undergo an MRI exam on Friday. Bush said he "felt fine" after the
Bush, who had 16 carries, also caught four passes for 59 yards.
Carmody kicked field goals of 46, 47, 32 and 36 yards, matching
the school single-game record set by Nate Smith against Houston in
2000. The 46-yarder was a career-best, but Carmody booted a
47-yarder minutes later.
Entering the game, Carmody had attempted only eight field goals
this season, making six.
"The deal was to try to force field goals and minimize the
touchdowns and come up with a couple of turnovers," Pittsburgh
coach Dave Wannstedt said. "I felt like we had that going on
defense. But in the second half, we've got to get a couple of
Louisville trailed in the final minute of the first half before
Carmody's 47-yarder, which put the Cardinals up 22-20 at the break.
"That was a big swing for us right there," Louisville coach
Bobby Petrino said.
Louisville scored on its first three second-half possessions,
with Bush's second touchdown and Carmody's 32- and 36-yard field
goals, and led 35-20 entering the fourth quarter.
Pitt reached the Louisville 22 early in the fourth quarter
before penalties set the Panthers back and forced a punt.
Louisville took over with 9:44 left and ran more than 9 minutes off
the clock before Kolby Smith capped a 16-play, 80-yard drive with a
4-yard touchdown run.
Brian Brohm completed 21 of 31 passes for 247 yards for
Louisville, which finished with 467 yards of offense. Pitt finished
with 260 yards of offense.
The game started in wild fashion. Pitt's Terrell Allen had the
opening kickoff sail through his hands, and Louisville's Deon
Palmer recovered the football in the end zone.
"In a game like this, everything gets magnified and you can't
afford to make any mistakes," Wannstedt said.
Allen quickly made amends, returning the ensuing kick 97 yards
for a score.
"Have you ever seen a start like that? That was unbelievable,"
Bush's 5-yard touchdown run put the Cardinals ahead 14-7. Before
the first quarter ended, the Cardinals picked up a safety after a
Pittsburgh punt snap rolled out of the end zone.
Josh Cummings booted second-quarter field goals of 40 and 25
yards for Pitt. Carmody's 46-yard field goal extended the
Cardinals' lead to 19-13, but Pitt covered 63 yards in four plays
and took its only lead with 58 seconds left in the half at 20-19 on
a 12-yard pass from Tyler Palko to Greg Lee.
Palko finished 17-for-30 passing for 198 yards.
A new study found that younger football players are more likely to return less than a day after suffering concussions than those in high school and college.
Former Wildcat and current Green Bay Packer Randall Cobb becomes the first member of his immediate family to graduate from college.
SEC Network's Greg McElroy sits down with Tennessee quarterback Joshua Dobbs to relive some of his biggest moments from the season.
SEC Network's Spring Tour stops by Knoxville as head coach Butch Jones gets mic'd up at practice.
The Big 12's research shows that expanding the conference back to 12 teams will maximize its chances of making the College Football Playoff.
Now that the NFL draft is over, we take a look at possible replacements for the players selected from schools in the Pac-12 North.