Cards battle back for fifth straight Governor’s Cup victory

By on November 30, 2015

By Dalton Ray–

Ten minutes into the 2015 Battle for the Governor’s Cup the Kentucky Wildcats were leading 21-0. Kentucky drove down the field on the first drive, had a short field after an interception that led to another touchdown and capped off the strong start with an 81 yard touchdown on an interception return.

The hope for Louisville looked about as gray as the weather.

Insert the spark, also known as Lamar Jackson. The freshman quarterback would take advantage of a short field on his initial drive and take a 16-yard run to the house with three minutes left in the first quarter.

33 minutes of game action later and the Cardinals left Lexington with a 38-24 victory.

“It’s awesome. It’s huge for us,” Petrino said. “It’s certainly a rivalry and certainly something we are proud of, to have the trophy. Our guys did a great job this week in practice with our focus and our energy. This was important to them.”

Much like the outing against Pittsburgh last week, Louisville fell behind early. After three interceptions in the first two quarters and facing a 24-7 deficit at halftime, Louisville fans weren’t feeling as confident as beforehand.

But then, the Cardinals’ defense stepped up to the task.

In the first half, Kentucky converted on six out of nine third-downs, scoring 17 points, run 38 plays and only punt once. After the break, Kentucky went one for eight on third-downs, shutout, not have a drive longer than five plays and punt seven times. Starting quarterback Drew Barker also only completed one of his 14 passes for negative one yard.

Louisville also got the offense clicking in the second half as the Cardinals scored on five of their last seven drives. Jackson’s running ability along with Radcliff’s hard-nosed running mixed with the big plays from the receivers was a perfect recipe.

Jackson and Radcliff both had two rushing touchdowns for Louisville. James Quick also hauled in a jump ball in the endzone from Jackson that knotted the score at 24. Quick later had a scary collision with a Kentucky safety but fortunately both were able to walk off the field.

The biggest comeback in school history, 21, came against the school’s biggest rival. Not only did this win mark the longest winning streak of the modern era with five, but it also denies Kentucky’s bowl eligibility for the second straight year.

This game seemed to be more than just a game. In a way it really personified the 2015 season for both teams. For Kentucky the game started out very hot with a lot of energy, much like their 4-1 start. Then just as you notice the car is shaking the wheels immediately fall off after and it basketball season in Lexington. Just as the Cats would only score on one possession of their last nine, they would only win one of their last six games.

In this game U of L would go down three scores early just like dropping the first three games. Keeping their heads down and grinding the Cardinals would finish the game on a 38-3 scoring run. Much like how they finish the year winning seven of their last nine games. Also the growth of Lamar Jackson was displayed in this game as he came off the bench and led the team to a victory. Jackson totaled 316 yards and three touchdowns in his first Governor’s Cup.

Louisville now sits at 7-5 and is eyeing its sixth consecutive bowl game. The Cards will sit and wait to see what happens next weekend to see their bowl fate. After a very rough 2-4 start Louisville should be proud of how they rallied during the second half of the season.

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-2018) that is technically award winning.Email: dray@louisvillecardinal.com

One Comment

  1. Bill w.

    December 9, 2015 at 7:19 am

    I loved every minute of that game especially when l.j came in and took over after a poor performance from Kyle Bolingthat put the cards, in a hole but I never gave up on U.L. I knew they were the better team on the field with that being said my hats off to coach pretrino and the Louisville. Cardinals for keeping the wildcats. Out of a bowl game for two years in a row

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *