LOUISVILLE -- With a chilled, rain-drenched crowd chanting his name, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater guided his unbeaten and No. 16 ranked team to a second straight dramatic Big East Conference win.
Bridgewater threw for a career-high 416 yards after a shaky start and freshman kicker John Wallace converted a game-winning 30-yard field goal in overtime Friday night as the Cardinals outlasted Cincinnati 34-31.
Wallace's kick came after Bearcats coach Butch Jones called timeout, moments before the snap sailed through the hands of holder Will Stein. Given a second chance, Louisville (8-0, 3-0 Big East) executed the field goal flawlessly and kept its hopes of a BCS bid alive.
Cincinnati (5-2, 1-1) failed to score on its overtime possession as Terell Floyd intercepted a badly underthrown pass by Munchie Legaux in the end zone on third-and-9 from the 24.
Louisville grabbed a 31-24 lead with 1:56 left when Bridgewater hooked up with DeVante Parker for a 65-yard catch-and-run touchdown, Parker making a man miss and then slaloming across the field from left to right to complete the play.
But Cincinnati rallied to force overtime when Legaux feathered a 26-yard scoring strike to Damon Julian at the 1:03 mark.
Deriving an edge from field position, Cincinnati took a 17-14 lead into halftime. It ran 17 of its 19 first quarter plays inside Louisville territory, playing with a wind of around 15 miles per hour at its back, and cashed in with Tony Miliano's 47-yard field goal and a 14-yard touchdown run by Ralph David Abernathy.
In the second quarter, the Bearcats turned Maalik Momar's tipped-ball interception of Bridgewater into a 19-yard touchdown drive. Legaux faked beautifully to Abernathy on second-and-goal from the 4 and waltzed in for the score.
The Cardinals scored in the first quarter on Jeremy Wright's 1-yard run, giving them a short-lived 7-3 lead, and with 2:38 left before halftime on Senorise Perry's 8-yard run -- his eighth touchdown in the last four games.
Bridgewater was just 9 of 22 at halftime for 154 yards after entering with a 73.4 percent completion rate.
Notes: Cincinnati DE Walter Stewart, who saw a 40-start streak end last week at Toledo, missed his second straight game with what's being termed an "upper-body injury." There is no timetable for his return. ... The magic number for Louisville has been 20. It's 20-4 under coach Charlie Strong when scoring 20 points. ... The Cardinals' coaching staff picked up a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct foul with 12:22 left in the first half when they argued too vigorously with officials after Anthony McClung muffed a punt and recovered it in the end zone. By rule, it is a touchback.