By Sam Draut–
The University of Louisville football team finished off a historic year with a win against No. 3 Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Here’s a look back at the ten best plays of the 2012 football season.
10. Jeremy Wright’s one yard touchdown run against Kentucky, 3:11 in the first quarter. The Cardinals’ opening drive of the season started at their own one yard line. Bridgewater led a 15 play, eight minute, 99 yard drive that was capped off by Wright’s touchdown run. Louisville went up 8-0 after the two point conversion. The opening drive set the tone for the game in which Louisville defeated its rival 32-14.
9. Teddy Bridgewater’s pass to DeVante Parker for 27 yards on 4th and 7 against Pittsburg. Down 21-14 with 53 seconds left in the second quarter, Louisville started a drive that appeared to sputter, but the 4th down gamble allowed John Wallace to hit a 45 yard field goal, sending Louisville into halftime down 21-17. This gave the Cardinals momentum going in the second half, where they went on a 28-7 scoring run to finish off the Panthers.
8. Senorise Perry’s 14 yard touchdown run against Southern Miss, 5:35 left in the 4th quarter, putting Louisville up 21-17. In horrendous conditions, Louisville fought the monsoon like rain and battled back from a 17-6 deficit. Perry sloshed into the end zone on 2nd and goal to leave the Cardinals at a perfect 5-0 for their non-conference schedule.
7. Terrell Floyd’s over-the-shoulder interception with 1:06 left against Rutgers. With Louisville leading 20-17, quarterback Gary Nova began to lead the potential game winning drive, but a miscommunication with a Scarlet Knight receiver left an errant pass floating in the air, which Floyd picked off, sealing the victory, guaranteeing the Cardinals a share of the Big East title and a BCS bowl bid.
6. Teddy Bridgewater’s 19 yard touchdown pass to Damian Copeland on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter against Florida. Going into halftime, Louisville was up 24-10 and set to receiver the ball in the second half. A failed onside kick by the Gators paired with two personal fouls gave Louisville the ball inside the red zone. The offense took a shot on the first play; Copeland’s touchdown catch put the Cardinals up 30-10. Louisville became the first FBS team to score a touchdown within the first 15 seconds of each half in the past decade.
5. Teddy Bridgewater’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Eli Rogers with 1:35 left, giving the undefeated Cardinals a 27-25 lead against South Florida. Up 21-10 in the fourth quarter, the Bulls came storming back and took a 25-21 lead, but Bridgewater manufactured a three minute 75 yard drive capped off by the catch by Rogers to keep the Cards perfect.
4. Andrew Johnson’s pass to break up against North Carolina, 4th and Goal on the 4 yard-line. UNC quarterback Bryn Renner’s pass was incomplete to Erik Highsmith with 1:44 left in the 4th quarter. After leading 36-7, UNC closed the margin to 39-34 and was driving late in the game. Johnson’s pass break up allowed Louisville to remain undefeated on a nationally televised game.
3. Teddy Bridgewater’s pass to DeVante Parker for a 64-yard touchdown with 1:56 remaining against Cincinnati. Parker’s catch-and-run put Louisville up 31-24, but Cincinnati quickly tied the score. The Cards prevailed in overtime 34-31, but Parker’s score in the rain is one of the more memorable moments at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in recent years. The win pushed the Cardinals to an 8-0 record and brought home the Keg of Nails for the first time in five years.
2. Teddy Bridgewater’s pass to DeVante Parker 20-yard touchdown pass, 33 seconds left in the third quarter vs. Rutgers. After being down 14-3 at halftime, the Cardinals began a 90 yard 7:46 drive resulting in touchdown, closing the gap to 14-10. On the ensuing kickoff, Terrell Floyd forced a fumble, putting Louisville in the red zone. Bridgewater took a shot at the end zone on the first play and Parker scored despite double coverage.
1. Terrell Floyd’s 38-yard interception returned for a touchdown against Florida. On the first play from scrimmage, Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel’s pass was deflected into the arms of Terrell Floyd, who returned it for a touchdown, the only pick-six of the season. In arguably the biggest win in the school history, this opening play set the tone for the game, forcing Florida to play from behind the entire game.
Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal