CRAWFORD | Three-and-out: Quick thoughts on U of L's 20-10 win o - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Three-and-out: Quick thoughts on U of L's 20-10 win over Wake Forest

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 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville football fans can exhale. It wasn't the kind of fireworks show that you expect of a Bobby Petrino offense -- but that's a notion that may need to be put to bed for a while. This is an offense minus a significant weapon in DeVante Parker, breaking in a true freshman quarterback, and in need of a dose of patience.

A big bunch of defense doesn't hurt, either. U of L persevered through mistakes and penalties during Bonnafon's first career start, but emerged with a 20-10 victory over Wake Forest to improve to 4-1 on the season in Petrino's 21st straight victory in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. (See stats by clicking bottom graphic at right.)

Three quick takeaways:

1). THE DEFENSE DID WHAT IT WAS EXPECTED TO DO.
U of L came into the game ranked sixth in the Football Bowl Subdivision against the run. Wake Forest came in ranked next-to-last in rushing. The result was predictable. The Cardinals registered eight sacks for 57 yards in losses, and added another tackles for loss in the running game. Gerod Holliman grabbed an early interception, his nation's leading sixth of the season, and Sheldon Rankins got a rare-defensive line interception that was huge -- grabbing a shovel pass that ended a Wake Forest threat after U of L decided to fake a punt from its own 25. In all, Wake Forest finished with a negative 22 yards rushing on 23 carries. U of L's total yardage advantage was 421-100.

2). BRANDON RADCLIFF.
If there were any question as to what kind of offensive identity this team needs to build, the sophomore running back made a statement with about six minutes to play in the game. He took a handoff up the middle, was met after about four yards, and carried a pile of defenders another dozen yards or so. The Cardinals' offense seemed to find a comfort level when Petrino went to a two-back alignment and gave the ball to Radcliff on seven of nine plays to drive for the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter. Radcliff finished with 129 yards on 17 carries and established himself as yet another weapon in the Cardinals' crowded backfield.

3). BONNAFON SETTLES INTO FIRST START.
The true freshman out of Trinity hit on half of his pass attempts 16 of 32, for 206 yards, and carried for another 46 net yards -- though if you take sacks out of the equation, he ran for 71 yards on 10 carries when scrambling or on designed runs.

EXTRA POINT: U of L will come away with plenty of things to work on. The Cards where flagged for 11 penalties, which cost them 89 yards and precious momentum on a couple of offensive drives. . . . It also won't be a game that kicker John Wallace is very happy about. He missed his first two field goal tries before connecting on his final two in the fourth quarter. . . . Lorenzo Mauldin finished the game with three sacks, while linebacker James Burgess had a sack, an interception, a pass break-up and two quarterback hurries.

CHECK BACK IN A BIT FOR MORE FROM ERIC CRAWFORD ON U OF L'S WIN OVER WAKE FOREST.

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