(Saturday, November 8th)
Final Score: (25) Pittsburgh 41, Louisville 7
Pittsburgh, PA (Sports Network) - Bill Stull threw for 216 yards and a touchdown, leading the 25th-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers to a 41-7 victory over the Louisville Cardinals.
The win marked Pittsburgh's (7-2, 3-1 Big East) first victory over Louisville since 1983, as the Cardinals had won the previous seven games in the series.
"Our kids came out and played their hearts out," said Pittsburgh head coach Dave Wannstedt. "I'm happy for the football team and for our seniors. With seven wins, this should put us in position to get in a bowl game, for sure."
Stull completed 15-of-27 passes, as he threw to nine different receivers on the day. Jonathan Baldwin led the balanced passing attack with 80 yards on two catches. LeSean McCoy struggled for most of the game, managing 39 yards on 17 carries with a score.
"The momentum is definitely building," McCoy said. "It speaks about the leadership of this team because we haven't had a bowl game in awhile. The defense played excellent after all the heat they took from the Rutgers (loss). I'm proud of our guys."
Hunter Cantwell passed for 164 yards and a score on 15-of-28 passing, with an interception, after briefly being replaced by Matt Simms late in the second quarter for the Cardinals (5-4, 1-3), who have lost two in a row after a three-game win streak. Victor Anderson ran for 73 yards on 17 carries, and Doug Beaumont garnered 65 yards through the air on five catches.
"I thought we made some horrible mistakes in the first half," Louisville head coach Steve Kragthorpe said. "Our defense really stepped up and stopped the run, which is a key part of their offense, but we just couldn't capitalize. When you turn the ball over on special teams like that, it can be very difficult to recover from."
A Louisville botched punt return gave the Panthers good field position on the Cardinals 19. The drive went nowhere, and Conor Lee hit a 30-yard field goal early in the opening quarter.
Pittsburgh was poised to widen its lead to 10, but a holding penalty was called, neutralizing a 76-yard end around by Aundre Wright. But Stull hit Baldwin for 36 yards on the next play down to the Louisville 30, and Wright finished off the drive with a seven-yard touchdown run with 4:12 left in the first.
The Panthers took a 17-0 lead before halftime. From the Cardinals 26, Stull threw a pass high in the air toward the end zone. Oderick Turner was able to leap over the defender and grab the ball for the touchdown with 3:30 showing on the clock, capping a four-play drive.
Lee extended Pittsburgh's lead to 20, kicking a 19-yard field goal midway through the third.
Louisville finally got on the board with late in the third. Cantwell found Troy Pascley wide-open in the end zone from 30 yards out, finishing off a five-play, 59-yard drive.
McCoy restored Pittsburgh's 20-point advantage with 11:19 left in the game, running for an 11-yard score to cap a five-play, 55-yard march to the end zone.
With the Cardinals pinned deep in their own zone, Cantwell tried to make a pass across the field, but the throw went behind him for a lateral. Ricky Gary picked up the loose ball for the Panthers and waltzed three yards into the end zone to make it 34-7.
Cantwell threw an interception on his next series, and Scott McKillop returned it 17 yards for the score to account for the final margin.
Louisville still leads the all-time series 7-5...Simms, the son of former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms, threw for 39 yards on 4-of-10 passing, with an interception...Pittsburgh outgained Louisville in the game, 320-299...The Cardinals had four turnovers, compared to only one for the Panthers...Lee now has 48 field goals in his career, a Pittsburgh school record.
11/08 17:29:45 ET