Louisville 28, Kentucky 0
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)—Lionel Gates ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns, and Louisville earned its first shutout in four years with a 28-0 victory over Kentucky on Sunday.
The Cardinals won the traditional opener with their archrivals for the fifth time in six years. It was their most lopsided win over the Wildcats since a 56-28 victory in 1999.
The anemic Wildcats rushed for only 66 yards and failed to score in their season opener for the first time since 1962.
Louisville had not shut out an opponent since beating Grambling 52-0 in 2000. The Cardinals last shutout against a Division I-A team was a 39-0 win over Northeast Louisiana in 1995.
As expected, Louisville coach Bobby Petrino started senior Stefan LeFors, but also used highly touted freshman Brian Brohm. Louisville failed to score on its first two possessions, prompting Petrino to make an earlier than expected change.
Brohm, a Louisville native, entered with 1:10 left in the opening quarter and completed his first pass, a short sideline route to J.R. Russell. Later, he had a 7-yard scramble on fourth-and-3.
Gates, Louisville’s leading rusher in 2003, finished the 13-play march with a sweeping 5-yard run touchdown with 9:43 left in the half.
Brohm started Louisville’s next series and fumbled after a blind-side hit from Kentucky linebacker Durrell White. LeFors returned for the final two possessions before halftime.
While Petrino sized up his quarterbacks in the first half, Kentucky quarterback Shane Boyd struggled to move the Wildcats. Kentucky had only 87 yards before halftime and failed to cross midfield.
Keenan Burton returned the second-half kickoff to the Louisville 47. On third down, Louisville defensive end Marcus Jones hit Boyd as he was throwing, Kerry Rhodes made the easy interception and ran 56 yards for a touchdown.
LeFors looked sharp on Louisville’s next two drives, smoothly guiding the Cardinals deep into Kentucky territory. Kentucky blocked a 26-yard field-goal try by Art Carmody, but LeFors hit Broderick Clark in the back corner of the end zone with 54 seconds left in the third quarter to make it 21-0.
LeFors led another long drive early in the fourth quarter and Gates had a 1-yard touchdown run with 7:24 left.
The game drew 42,681 fans, a record at six-year-old Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.