CRAWFORD | Three-and-out: Spiderman returns as U of L beats N.C. - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Three-and-out: Spiderman returns as U of L beats N.C. State 30-18

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 LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- DeVante Parker is back and Michael Dyer had his biggest game as Cardinal as University of Louisville turned back  N.C. State with a 30-18 victory at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Parker's first catch went for 37 yards and Dyer put his stamp in the game in the fourth quarter, finishing with 173 yards on 24 carries and sprinting 46 yards for a touchdown on third and long with less than a minute to play to send Bobby Petrino won his 22nd straight home game and the Cards improved to 7-2 overall, 4-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Three quick takeaways:

It's hard to believe Parker played this well in his first game back from an injury. He was, without question, the difference in the game. He had nine catches for 132 yards and six of those catches converted first downs. He caught balls in traffic and on the run. He even prevented an interception in the third quarter. Without him, the Cards might not have won this game -- and that was against an N.C. State defense that was next-to-worst in the ACC in yards allowed and missing two starters from suspension, including its leading tackler.

2). DEFENSE BENDS, BUT DOESN'T BREAK. After some early success against the nation's top-ranked defense, N.C. State bogged down in the second half. And even when the Wolfpack drove the ball into the Red Zone, they had trouble punching it in. They had first-and-goal from inside the one yard line in the fourth quarter, but had to settle for a field goal. On 18 trips into the red zone this season, U of L opponents have managed just six touchdowns. The Cards needed that defensive backbone on Saturday, but the bye week comes at a good time, after Lorenzo Mauldin had to be helped to the locker room in the fourth quarter with an apparent leg injury. James Burgess came up limping after a touchdown and then was shaken up after a collision with N.C. State's NaQuan Brown, who had to be immobilized and removed from the field on a cart with just 29 seconds to play. James Sample led the way with 10 tackles, and defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins had one of his best games with a pair of tackles for loss. The Cardinal defense showed some vulnerability to the deep ball on Saturday. Wolfpack quarterback Jacoby Brisset threw for 223 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

After weeks of crippling illegal procedure penalties, the Cardinal offensive line navigated this game without a false start or a holding call (the one hold was whistled on a tight end). The Cards also managed 166 net yards rushing. They gave up four sacks for a total of 16 yards in losses -- and now have given up 28 on the season, two more than they gave up all last season. But there was some progress on Saturday. The offense bogged down a bit because of quarterback play. Will Gardner, who drew the start after last week's loss at Clemson, missed on a few that would've made a difference, and had a couple dropped that would've helped.

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