LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) – The 11th ranked Louisville Cardinals appeared to be headed to another win over the Kentucky Wildcats.
Then with the ball in the hands of their most valuable player, everything turned against them.
Closing in on a go-ahead score, sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson fumbled the ball inside the Kentucky 10 yard line with 1:45 to go in the fourth quarter. Jackson’s turnover, his third of four on the day, led to a 47-yard-field goal from Kentucky junior Austin MacGinnis as the Wildcats would go on to win 41-38.
"You got to find a way to win that game and we did not do it," said Bobby Petrino who lost to Kentucky for the first ever as head coach of the Cardinals. Prior to Saturday's game, Petrino was 6-0 against the Wildcats when coaching at Louisville. (His career mark is now 7-2)
The Wildcats, who came into Saturday’s game a 27 point underdog, snapped a 5 game losing streak against Louisville. After the game, when told the Governor's Cup was theirs, UK head coach Mark Stoops told ESPN, "It's about time."
Jackson who hoped to cement his status as the Heisman favorite, finished the game with 281 yards passing and 171 yards rushing for Louisville. He scored four total touchdowns but his efforts were over shadowed by the quarterback wearing blue and white Saturday at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Junior college transfer Stephen Johnson was clearly the star, going 16-27, passing for 338 yards and 3 scores.
The Wildcats end the regular season at 7-5. They are headed to their first bowl game since 2010, ironically also the last time they beat the Cardinals.
Louisville meanwhile drops to 9-3 after losing two straight games to close the regular season. The Cards too are going bowling but their plans may have changed thanks to Kentucky. Prior to Saturday's loss, the Cardinals appeared to be headed for the Orange Bowl, according to most bowl predictions.
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