Recapping Louisville's 44-40 win over Kentucky.
Summary: This one started in an unpredictable manner and stayed that way. UK came out with a fight unseen lately, before the game and once the action started. The defense was aggressive, and running back Stanley "Boom" Williams gave the Cards fits. An interception by A.J. Stamps stopped a Cardinals drive, then a 43-yard Williams run had UK threatening. The Cats settled for a 22-yard Austin MacGinnis field goal. The UK defense kept up early pressure and a 45-yard MacGinnis field goal made it 6-0 late in the first quarter. Javess Blue blocked a Cardinals punt and UK was in business at the Louisville 33. Some nice running by Williams — the last one 11 yards for a score — made it 13-0. It seemed things got worse for the Cards when quarterback Reggie Bonnafon was injured, but Lexington Catholic product Kyle Bolin came in and turned the game around. He threw a 45-yard touchdown pass on his second play to make it 13-7, then quickly marched the Cards to another score and a 14-13 lead. The UK defense got payback when Fred Tiller intercepted Bolin and returned it 40 yards for a score. An unsportsmanlike penalty by UK gave the Cards good field position, setting up a scoring drive to end the half.
Halftime score: Louisville 21, Kentucky 20
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Thumbs up: Kentucky showed more energy and enthusiasm than in recent weeks.
Thumbs down: Too many scoring chances resulted in field goals.
Summary: The craziness continued as UK's bowl chances went to the wire. A late hit by UK's Mike Douglas kept a Cardinals drive alive and, one play later, Bolin hit Parker for a 34-yard touchdown. The Kentucky offense was ineffective but the defense turned the fortunes. Dupree caused a Cardinals fumble which Za'Darius Smith recovered at the Louisville 20. Kentucky lost yardage and settled for a school-record 20th MacGinnis field goal, this one from 40 yards to cut the Cardinals lead to 28-23. A 42-yard completion to Joey Herrick helped UK reach the Cardinals 10 but the Cats settled for another MacGinnis field goal, cutting the lead to 28-26 with 9:48 left. Dupree caused a Bolin fumble and Douglas ran 30 yards for a score. UK led 33-28 with 9:32 left. Less than two minutes later, Bolin and Parker hooked up for a 45-yard score and a 34-33 Cardinals lead. The Cards turned a Towles interception into a field goal with 6:30 left. Towles responded, hitting Demarco Robinson for a 50-yard completion. A strong 14-yard scoring run by Williams put UK up 40-37 with 5:31 left. The Cards went 81 yards to go back up 44-40 with 2:47 left after UK dropped an easy interception chance. Louisville sealed it with an interception of a fourth-down Towles pass.
Final score: Louisville 44, Kentucky 40.
Thumbs up: Alvin "Bud" Dupree — it's been quite a career.
Thumbs down: Towles and the UK offense waited too long to get going.