CRAWFORD | Three and out: Takeaways from Louisville's 31-13 win - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Three and out: Takeaways from Louisville's 31-13 win over Miami

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 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- No time to huddle, three immediate takeaways from the University of Louisville's 31-13 victory over Miami in its inaugural game in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

1. IT WAS DOMINIQUE BROWN'S NIGHT. U of L ran 71 plays; 33 of them were runs by the senior tailback. After all of the preseason talk about how deep the Cardinals are at running back, they only needed one to put away the Hurricanes. Brown steadied the offense after some shaky moments. He carried three times for 19 yards, including a 15-yard TD run, to put U of L up 24-13. Then on the "kill their will drive" he carried on five of the first six plays before getting a breather from L.J. Scott. Until Scott got a couple of carries on that fourth quarter drive, Brown was the only U of L running back to carry for positive yardage. He finished the game with 143 yards, topping All-ACC tailback Duke Johnson, who finished the game with 20 carries for 90 yards. How much confidence did Bobby Petrino have in Brown. On fourth and 1 at the Miami 20, Petrino didn't hesitate. He gave it to Brown for two yards. Louisville took over possession with 9:30 left in the game up 24-13, and didn't give it back until 1:43 remained, and that after a 14-play, 67-yard drive that took up 7:47 and ended with a 10-yard TD pass from Will Gardner to Gerald Christian.

2. WINNING WITH DEFENSE. It was the old staff who had the adage "win with defense" at No. 1 on its list of priorities. Nobody expects that from Bobby Petrino, but there is some of the old stinginess still around from the defense that ranked No. 1 in the nation last season. The Cards held Miami to 244 total yards -- only 70 net on the ground -- and twice pinned back in their own territory after Will Gardner fumbles in the red zone, allowed Miami just three points on the two trips. The Cards were also robbed of a scoop-and-score after the first of those fumbles when an official blew a backwards pass dead. Miami converted only one of 13 third downs, after converting 0 of 11 in last season's Russell Athletic Bowl. The Cards also got big second-half interceptions from James Sample, and one to end the game from Gerrod Holliman.

3. CORVIN LAMB IS PRETTY FAST. He only touched the ball on special teams, but junior running back Corvin Lamb made one of the most important plays of the game when he went 97 yards on a kickoff return after Miami had taken a 10-7 lead. It got Louisville through a period when its offense was bogged down, and sent the Cardinals to the half with a 14-10 lead.

POINT AFTER: Bobby Petrino improved to 10-0 in season openers in his career. And now is 78-6 when leading after three quarters. He is now 23-1 in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

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