Rapid Reaction: Kentucky runs over Louisville
Louisville football had no answer and no way to stop Kentucky’s rushing attack, losing 45-13 in Lexington Nov. 30 in the final game of the regular season. The Wildcats (7-5) completed just one pass, but rushed for 517 yards.
Kentucky averaged 12.9 yards per carry and held Louisville scoreless in the second half. Lynn Bowden rushed for 284 yards and four touchdowns for Kentucky.
"Got worn down by their offensive line and their defensive line, they dominated the line of scrimmage in the second half," Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said. "That was the difference in the game. Offensively for us, we would get something going."
Kentucky had its way with Louisville’s defense in the first half. The Wildcats rushed for 201 yards, averaging 8.4 yards per carry.
Kavosiey Smoke had a 70-yard run early in the second quarter, setting a new career long. The 70-yard run, which was Kentucky’s longest run of the season, led to a touchdown from six yards one play later.
The second half didn’t get any better.
Bowden had a 60-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage in the second half. The quarterback used several blocks and did the rest, making his way through Louisville’s defense for a score that extended Kentucky’s advantage to 24-13.
Bowden had a 46-yard touchdown run on a third-and-1 to give Kentucky a 31-13 lead with 1:31 left in the third quarter. Bowden is the only player in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) to rush for 200 yards twice this season. The junior had the season-high for an SEC ball carrier in game this season.
"We knew they were going to run the football but it was hard to stop," Satterfield said. "Defensively we have struggled quite honestly, we all know that. Struggled tackling."
Rodriguez had a 64-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, going untouched. Bowden scored his final touchdown from 32 yards with 5:15 left in the game.
Handoffs to Hawkins
Javian Hawkins finished with 142 rushing yards, the seventh game this season the redshirt freshman has surpassed 100 yards. Hawkins biggest run came with 19 seconds left in the first half, taking an option pitch from Micale Cunningham for a 56-yard touchdown run.
“Just trusting the guys up front and in space making people miss,” Hawkins said. “Doing my job to the best I can.”
What It Means
Louisville ends the regular season 7-5 and has lost to Kentucky for the second straight year. The Cardinals finished second in the Atlantic Division in the ACC with a 5-3 record, but suffered non-conference losses to Notre Dame to begin the year and Kentucky to end the season.
"One game doesn’t define us for this season," Satterfield said. "We have had a very solid year. I think we have grown a lot from the time we got here in January to right now, but I told them also, when you go through tough times, go through adversity like this, you have to learn from it."
Louisville awaits is bowl game destination, which will be determined after next weekend’s conference championships. The Music City Bowl in Nashville is a potential and likely destination for Louisville.