Louisville, KY – Jeremy Wright rushed for 105 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday, as No. 25 Louisville downed in-state rival Kentucky, 32-14, in the season opener for both teams at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
Senorise Perry carried the ball 16 times for 119 yards and a touchdown, as the Cardinals earned the Governor's Cup for the second straight year after dropping their previous four matchups with the Wildcats.
Teddy Bridgewater, who captured Big East Freshman of the Year honors last season, completed all but two of his 21 pass attempts, throwing for 232 yards for Louisville (1-0), which went 7-6 a season ago.
"The run game all started back in the spring," Bridgewater said. "Those guys run behind our offensive line and they put the team on their backs."
Maxwell Smith completed 35-of-50 passes for 280 yards and a pair of touchdown passes, as Kentucky (0-1) snapped a streak of five straight season- opening victories.
CoShik Williams rushed for 62 yards on 10 carries, while La'Rod King hauled in eight passes for 77 yards and a score for a Wildcat squad that finished 5-7 last year.
"They're a good football team," Kentucky coach Joker Phillips said of Louisville. "They're a good football team and didn't turn the ball over. A good football team runs the football, a good football team tackles, good football team gets themselves off the field on third down."
A muffed punt pinned the Cardinals at their own goal line on their opening drive of the 2012 campaign, but Bridgewater methodically moved his squad down the field, getting help from Perry and Wright before scrambling down to the Kentucky 6-yard line on 3rd-and-8.
Rather than take the points, the Louisville offense trotted onto the field and Wright carried it five yards behind the right side for the first down, and quickly capped the 15-play, 99-yard drive with a 1-yard plunge.
Will Stein then found Marcus Smith for the two-point conversion to give Louisville an 8-0 lead.
Kentucky responded with a sustained drive of its own, as Maxwell Smith led the offense on a 14-play, 75-yard drive, culminating with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Smith to Tyler Robinson to bring the Wildcats within 8-7.
Louisville wasted little time countering, as Perry took the sixth play of the ensuing drive 47 yards for the score to restore an eight-point lead.
"It felt good," Perry said of his run. "We broke it a lot in practice, so I knew it was going to happen today. There was a lot of chaos inside, so I bounced it outside because that is where the read was. I knew I could outrun them so I just took off."
After a quick three-and-out from Kentucky, Bridgewater moved the Cardinals down the field, going 5-for-5 on a 10-play, 93-yard drive, before Wright finished things off with a 14-yard touchdown surge to extend the margin to 22-7 midway through the second stanza.
Kentucky recovered an onside kick to start the second half, but Craig McIntosh missed a 42-yard field goal to waste the opportunity before Louisville got a 22-yard field goal from John Wallace to press the lead to 25-7.
After a fake punt attempt from Kentucky failed on its next possession, Wright capped a brief 6-play, 38-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown surge.
Smith went 6-of-8 passing on an 8-play, 65-yard drive, hitting King for a 5- yard touchdown strike to bring the Wildcats within 32-14 late in the third, but a Williams fumble on the Louisville 3-yard line on their next possession dashed any hopes of a comeback.
The Governor's Cup was created in 1994 as a trophy for the winner of the Kentucky-Lousiville game ... Kentucky holds a 14-11 advantage in the all-time series ... Bridgewater also rushed five times for eight yards ... Louisville's last home win in this series came back in 2006.