CRAWFORD | Quick takeaways from Louisville's 44-40 win over Kent - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Quick takeaways from Louisville's 44-40 win over Kentucky

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — From before the opening kickoff, the University of Kentucky football team came into Papa John's Cardinal Stadium with a rejuvenated attitude. The teams scuffled on the Cardinal head logo at midfield.

And the Wildcats opened the game as the more physical team, jumping out to a 13-0 lead against the No. 22-ranked Cardinals.

From then on what followed was probably most fun we've seen in the Governor's Cup rivalry in some time.

Playing in relief of injured quarterback Reggie Bonnafon, Lexington native Kyle Bolin came into the game and electrified the Papa John's Cardinal Stadium crowd of 55,118.

In the most exciting game of the modern renewal of the UK-U of L rivalry so far, the Wildcats and Cardinals traded punches until Louisville emerged with a 44-40 victory.

Bolin, who had thrown seven passes all season, completed 21 for 31 for 381 yards. Yes, he made mistakes, threw a pick-six and lost a scoop-and-score touchdown.

He also engineered the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter, 81 yards in seven plays, forcing one final chance for UK to pull the upset.

But Gerod Holliman clinched the victory when he intercepted a Patrick Towles pass and nearly ran it all the way back with 35 seconds left. Holliman tied the NCAA single-season interception record with the interception, a record that has stood since 1968. It was his 14th of the season.

"Wow that was wild," U of L coach Bobby Petrino said. "I'm just really glad we got the win. I'm real proud of Kyle Bolin, to come in in that situation and play that way. . . . Whenever they scored, we just said, 'let's go score.' And we always had the belief that the defense would make a play to win us the game."

There were more heroes than I can mention in a buzzer-beater column, but the top three are here.

1). DEVANTE PARKER. The Louisville wideout was the difference in the game, time and again getting open to help out his freshman quarterback. He made six catches for 180 yards and three touchdowns.

"Wow, he's amazing," Petrino said after the game. "It was fun to just watch him make play after play."

The redshirt freshman is the third quarterback to play. And the 381 yards he amassed were the most for any U of L quarterback this season. His first pass converted a third-down play with the Cards leading 13-0. His second went to Parker for a touchdown.

"He was injured over the summer so he didn't get to be in the running to start in August," Petrino said. "But the thing he really does is work hard in practice, work hard in the meetings, and I think everyone else stepped up their game once he came in."

The Wildcats much-maligned run defense showed up. U of L managed just 83 rushing yards in the game, and the UK defense scored 14 points directly and led to two more field goals with its four takeaways in the game.

It was a bitter loss for the Wildcats, many of whom left the field without taking part in the postgame handshakes. The Wildcats finish just short of a bowl win, at 5-6. U of L finishes its regular season at 9-3, but won't be headed to the Orange Bowl after Georgia Tech upset Georgia.

Bobby Petrino improved to 10-0 in Senior Day games for his career.

Lots more to come from Stay tuned for columns from Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich, and more.

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