LOUISVILLE — Victor Anderson and Brock Bolen did the running, Hunter Cantwell did the passing, and the Louisville defense stopped Kansas State virtually in its tracks for two pivotal quarters.
In defeating the Wildcats 38-29 Wednesday night, underdog Louisville turned in an almost-complete game before 42,208 fans in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
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Anderson, a hometown redshirt freshman, finished with 178 yards on 18 carries. His three rushing touchdowns — on runs of 29, 56 and 27 yards — marked the first time a U of L running back had done that since Michael Bush scored three against Kentucky in 2006.
"We played a lot harder," Anderson said of the Cardinals (2-1). "The line blocked a lot better, the quarterback executed and the receivers caught the ball.
"We were the underdog tonight, but I don't think that means anything."
Said U of L Coach Steve Kragthorpe: "We're happy we won, but we're not satisfied with where we are. Hunter was very efficient."
Cantwell passed for 274 yards and two touchdowns.
While Anderson used his speed to sweep to the outside, Bolen bullied his way through the Wildcats' defense for 104 yards on 23 carries.
Louisville amassed 577 yards, its most since getting 671 against Temple in 2006. The defense held Kansas State to 30 rushing yards on 12 attempts.
The Wildcats made it interesting with two long touchdown passes in the final quarter.
Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman, 24-for42 for 313 yards and three TDs, also had three first-half turnovers. His fumbled snap at the U of L 12 was recovered by the Cards' L.D. Scott.
Kansas Sate scored first on a 45-yard pass play from Freeman to Brandon Banks.
Josh Chichester's 18-yard reception tied the score.
Woodny Turenne's interception set up Vic Anderson's 29-yard touchdown run, giving U of L a 14-7 lead 2:54 before the break.
Turenne's second pick set up the Cards at their own 47. Three Cantwell completions took them to the KSU 14.
Chris Philpott was wide left on a 31-yard field goal attempt on the final play of the first half.
Louisville opened the second half with an explosive 80-yard scoring march. The Cards recorded five first downs in eight plays, including a 13-yard TD catch by Troy Pascley.
Louisville punted on its next possession. KSU's Deon Murphy avoided Bolen's tackle inside the 15, broke through U of L tacklers and raced 86 yards for a touchdown.
Louisville countered with its longest scoring play of the game.
Anderson spun free from the KSU defense and won the 56-yard race to the end zone. That got him over 100 yards for the game, and the Cards led 28-14.
U of L built its lead to 38-28 with 5:13 left on Anderson's 27-yard scoring run and Tim Dougherty's 36-yard field goal.
In between, Freeman hooked up with Jeron Mastrud on a 52-yard touchdown.
The Wildcats closed within 38-29 with 3:23 left on Banks 59-yard catch of a Freeman pass. Freeman then ran for two points.
■ The Wildcats scored a touchdown on their first play from scrimmage in their first two games. They gained 3 yards on a pass reception against the Cards.
■ Freeman was second nationally in efficiency rating (209.3) entering the game.
■ Louisville offensive linemen George Bussey and Mark Wetterer missed the game with injuries. Greg Tomczyk and Josh Byrom got the starts.
■ Louisville native Muhammad Ali was recognized by the crowd in the first quarter.