Governor's Cup
Kentucky apparently spent every waking minute the past two weeks studying the tendencies of University of Louisville quarterback Reggie Bonnafon, knowing what he was going to do before he did. The UofL freshman was out of sorts, running for his life on every possession.

Bonnafon still holding the ball too long, getting sacked twice for losses of eight and nine yards. Completng only one pass out of five attempts, delivering an interception leading to UK’s first field goal. The situation was dire when he was injured on the second play of the second quarter, UofL trailing 13-0 at the time. Or maybe not.

Kyle Bolin knows where to find DeVante Parker.
Kyle Bolin knows to find DeVante Parker.

Fortunately, the UK coaching staff repeated the mistake of the previous staff of overlooking Kyle Bolin, a redshirt freshman from Lexington Catholic who was never offered a scholarship. Third-string quarterback at UofL, little experience, injury plagued, why bother. Not too surprising since he was largely an unknown quantity to his own coaches.

Everybody knows who Bolin is now after leading Louisville to a 44-40 win over UK before a crowd of 55,118 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Bolin wasn’t having any part of a blowout, immediately completing a 10-yard pass to Eli Rogers for a first down. On the next play, he would hook up with DeVante Parker on a 45-yard touchdown.

A little rusty at times, Bolin had come to play, completing 21 of 31 passes for 381 yards, including three touchdown passes. But he would also give Kentucky hope for ending a three-game losing streak in the series, personally giving Kentucky two touchdowns on a fumble and an interception.  He would set up the winning touchdown on a 26-yard pass play to Parker, with Brandon Radcliff scoring the next play on a four-yard run.

The Wildcat coaches also had UofL’s running game figured out. Michael Dyer would be limited to 15 yards and he would cough up the ball on his last possession in the game. Radcliff scored two touchdowns, but he would be held to 67 yards on 21 carries.

How appropriate was it that Gerod Holliman would intercept Patrick Towles’ final pass, assuring UofL of the win over its bitter rival and tying the NCAA record 14 interceptions for a season. A touchdown after that 65-yard return would have been even nicer.

Parker would be voted the Howard Schnellenberger Player of the Game with his three touchdown receptions. For the game, he would be credited with six receptions for 180 yards. One has to wonder what the season could have been had he not missed the first six games, such an exceptional receiver, always wanting more yards after the catch.

But to take advantage of Parker’s abilities, UofL needs a quarterback who can find him. Kyle Bolin had no problem getting the ball to the man who can make things happen. UK had no answer for him.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

7 thoughts on “Kyle Bolin no longer a mystery, leads Louisville past Kentucky”
  1. So now we wait, for our Bowl bid. Opponent, location, date. Rather anticlimactic after today’s drama. Go Cards!

  2. Kyle Bolin stepped up establish his place in Louisville football history. Way to man up, Mr. Bolin!

  3. I am curious why the Louisville media acts like we never recruited Kyle. When Joker found out Kyle was going to commit to UL he had contact with Kyle and Kyle didn’t want to talk about a offer. When Stoops came to town Kyle Bolin was the first guy to receive a offer from them. Get your facts straight. Everyone in Lexington knew what Kyle had. But my gosh talk about seizing a moment. Best I ever saw period.

  4. I wondered when Louisville was going to figure out that they had an extremely talented QB sitting on the bench. I watched Kyle play in high school at Lexington Catholic and was amazed at his abilities. He can run and pass, has eyes in the back of his head, good speed, very illusive, and is getting better at carving out his fakes (ahem)! He is a player that seems to rise to the pressure of 3rd downs. UK has a guy like that who sat on the bench riding out his red shirt status (Drew Barker). Towles had a better year than I expected, but dealing with pressure is not in his bag of tricks. He is big and strong. He can throw the ball a mile with great accuracy, but pressure seems to throw him off. I think UK fans are going to see Drew Barker light up Commonwealth stadium next year. He gets connected with his players and like Kyle Bolin, brings energy and a fierce competitive spirit to the field of play. Good luck to both players!

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