Bobby Petrino wasn’t sure how his University of Louisville football team would respond on Saturday, nine days after an emotional loss to Florida State,
Or how his players would react to falling short of the end zone after three trips to the one-yard line during the first half, falling behind 13-3. Or how backup quarterback Reggie Bonnafon would perform after Will Gardner went down, or after that awkward illegal forward pass on the opposition’s two-yard line.
Petrino is feeling very good today, thank you, knowing the Cardinals were able to overcome more adversity than they deserved in a 38-19 win at Boston College on Saturday. Truth be told, the win over Boston College was probably the most fun game of the season after a slow start and a game that threatened to get away from UofL early.
The first impression, however, was not a lasting one. A marvelous defensive effort with UofL, limiting Boston College’s heralded running game to only 166 yards on the ground and forcing the Eagles to pass. Their highly touted quarterback, Tyler Murphy, would wind up on the bench after his fourth interception.
Gerod Holliman will be remembered for his three interceptions, each of them setting up scores and raising his total to a remarkable 13 picks for the season. He’s like a magnet, the ball is attracted to him. Almost had another one in the fourth quarter.
“He has great instincts and good hands,” said Petrino. “Having a good pass rush helps, too.”
Brandon Radcliffe was the one who would finally break through, getting the ball in the end zone for the first time, displaying that magical ability to bounce off defenders and keep on churning. He would wind up with 50 yards and two touchdowns.
With time running out in the first half, Louisville would block a Boston College punt. One the next play, Bonnafon would connect with DeVante Parker on a 29-yard pass and take a 17-13 lead at the half. For Parker, the reception was one of eight for the night and 144 yards.
Bonnafon would pass for two touchdowns and run one marvelous 36-yard jaunt, turning the game into a rout with five minutes remaining in the game. Getting over that early mistake, growing up, making his mark, earning some much deserved credibility, finally something upon which to build.
UofL completing its first ACC conference schedule with a 5-3 won-loss mark, finishing third in the Atlantic Division, raising his overall record to 7-3. A much improved outlook for the remainder of the season, with some special opportunities still ahead for this team.