LOUISVILLE — The Louisville Cardinals called for one blackout Friday night.
They got two.
As requested, black was the dominant clothing color among the Papa John's Cardinal Stadium crowd of 39,948.
Thus inspired, U of L took a 10-7 lead over Pittsburgh.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
But the Cardinals blacked out in the second half, falling 35-10 in the Big East Conference opener for both teams.
Pitt senior Bill Stull passed for three touchdowns, including third-quarter strikes to Dorin Dickerson and Jonathan Baldwin. Stull has thrown 11 touchdowns this season to just one interception.
Friday, he finished 16-for-23 for 242 yards.
After a decent first half, U of L found itself in a hole after Stull's third-quarter strikes.
"We got into a situation where we had to throw a little bit," said U of L Coach Steve Kragthorpe. "And it's tough to keep those guys out."
The Pitt defense, ranked fourth nationally with 4.25 sacks a game, notched six Friday. Greg Romeus had a career-high 31/2.
The loss was U of L's third straight since a season-opening victory over Indiana State. The Cards have lost eight in a row to FBS opponents.
Pitt (4-1), a 41-7 winner at home last year, won at Louisville for the first time since 1983. The Panthers lost three times since then at U of L.
Adam Froman, a 6-foot-4, 227-pound transfer from Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College, started at quarterback for the Cardinals in place of Lexington Catholic graduate Justin Burke. Burke suffered a bruised sternum during Saturday's loss at Utah.
"We were just a couple plays away here and there," said Froman, who completed 18 of 30 passes for 166 yards, but also fumbled to kill a third-quarter drive.
His performance was "obviously not good enough," he said. "We didn't get a win."
It was a pass by wide receiver Doug Beaumont that got U of L going early.
After a three-and-out on its first possession, U of L had Beaumont take a pitch from Froman on what looked like an end-around play. But Beaumont stopped and fired downfield to wide-open Josh Chichester. The play gained 38 yards — U of L's longest pass completion of the night — to the Pitt 35.
Six plays later, fullback Joe Tronzo took a pass in the right flat for an apparent 10-yard touchdown. After officials reviewed the play, though, Tronzo was ruled down inside the 1.
Next play, the senior out of St. Xavier went up the middle. After another review, the 1-yard touchdown call was upheld, Tronzo's first career rushing TD.
Pitt came right back with an eight-play, 58-yard touchdown drive, helped along by two U of L personal fouls. The score came when Stull passed over the middle to Cedric McGee, just across the goal line. The ball deflected off McGee — to Dickerson in the back of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown. U of L took the lead on Ryan Payne's 32-yard field goal with three seconds left in the half. Then, the Cards blacked out.
Pitt scored on its first two chances in the second half.
Stull hooked up with a wide-open Dickerson for a 37-yard touchdown pass.
U of L marched to the Pitt 29 before Froman fumbled.
Pitt made the Cards pay with the next play.
Jonathan Baldwin split a pair of defensive backs, pulled in Stull's pass near the U of L 20-yard line and continued for a 71-yard touchdown play.
In the stands, black clothing began to give way to red seats as some disheartened fans beat a retreat.
That trickle turned into a flood when Pitt's Ray Graham scored, untouched, from 5 yards out with 8:47 left. The PAT made it 28-10. Pitt fullback Henry Hynoski added a 3-yard score with 3:17 left.
Pittsburgh 7 0 14 14—35
Louisville 7 3 0 0—10
First quarter: Lou—Tronzo 1 run (R.Payne kick), 7:15. Pitt—Dickerson 5 pass from Stull (Hutchins kick), 3:48. Second quarter: Lou—FG R.Payne 32, :03. Third quarter: Pitt—Dickerson 37 pass from Stull (Hutchins kick), 10:57. Pitt—Baldwin 71 pass from Stull (Hutchins kick), 6:35. Fourth quarter: Pitt—Graham 5 run (Hutchins kick), 8:47. Pitt—Hynoski 3 run (Hutchins kick), 3:17. A—39,948.
First downs 21 17
Rushes-yards 38-162 37-101
Passing 242 204
Comp-att-int 16-23-0 19-31-0
Return yards 11 (-1)
Punts-avg. 3-32.7 5-40.6
Fumbles-lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties-yards 4-50 10-98
Time of possession 29:53 30:07
RUSHING—Pittsburgh, Lewis 21-87, Graham 12-75, Hynoski 1-3, Stull 2-0, Team 2-(minus 3). Louisville, Anderson 12-51, Powell 5-27, Ashley 3-14, Froman 16-8, Tronzo 1-1.
PASSING—Pittsburgh, Stull 16-23-0-242. Louisville, Froman 18-30-0-166, Beaumont 1-1-0-38.
RECEIVING—Pittsburgh, Baldwin 4-105, Dickerson 3-50, Turner 3-39, McGee 2-21, Lewis 2-16, Graham 1-6, Hynoski 1-5. Louisville, Anderson 4-24, Chichester 3-55, Long 3-46, Beaumont 2-25, Graham 2-21, Guy 2-10, Powell 1-9, Tronzo 1-9, Ashley 1-5.