--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photos by Jared Anderson
Louisville football played their first game in the post-Bobby Petrino era Saturday.
With interim head coach Lorenzo Ward at the helm, They were defeated by the NC State Wolfpack, 52-10. While the game was a blowout loss, Louisville looked better at points in the game; especially in the first half, but Louisville couldn't stop the Wolfpack in the second half.
The Cardinals held NC State to a three-and-out on the Wolfpack’s first drive of the game. The Cardinals opened their first drive with great field position, at their own 45; but settled for a 32-yard field goal. The kick moved Blanton Creque into 6th place on Louisville’s all-time scoring list.
It was also the only score Louisville had for much of the game. The offense stalled on numerous drives.
NC State responded with a touchdown. Ryan Finley found Kelvin Harmon in the corner of the end zone from 25-yards out. The score came with 5:50 remaining in the first quarter.
The Pack were gifted a red zone opportunity in the second quarter. After a lengthy review on a backwards-pass play; NC State had the ball at Louisville’s six; and were forced to settle for a field goal. Christopher Dunn connected on a 23-yard attempt with 9:31 left until halftime.
Louisville nearly tied the game with about six minutes left. Malik Cunningham had a 22-yard rushing touchdown on a third and 19; but a holding penalty moved the ball back. Cunningham completed a screen to Hassan Hall; who was tackled at the 18. Creque missed the field goal attempt.
NC State scored with 56 seconds before halftime. Reggie Gallaspy dove over Louisville’s defensive line to score the one-yard touchdown. It put the game at the 17-3 halftime score.
The third was not good. For one, Brian VanGorder's defense allowed 21 points, more than the previous two quarters combined. NC State managed to gain 194 yards; and had 10 first downs.
Almost right out of the gate, Cunningham fumbled the hall at Louisville’s 22. NC State recovered; and Gallaspy had his second touchdown of the game. This time, it was an 18-yard rushing touchdown with 13:31 in the third.
Finley added six points with a 12-yard pass to Emeka Emezie. The touchdown came with 9:10 left in the third.
Gallaspy made his first touchdown reception of the game with 5:49 in the third. It was a six-yard throw from Finley.
With 13:45 left in the game, Jakobi Meyers caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Finley.
Louisville *finally* scored a touchdown with 10:44 in the fourth. Cunningham found a hole in NC State's defensive front, and rushed up the middle for 20 yards and the end zone.
NC State's Brady Bodine swept to the outside for the Wolfpack's seventh touchdown. He received the handoff, and scored the one-yard rush. It put the score at 52-10. It also solidified the sixth time the Cardinals allowed more than 50 points.
In the previous 20 seasons, Louisville allowed more than 50 points just five times.
On the last play of the game, Louisville couldn't make the game any closer. The Cardinals were stopped at the one yard-line.
Louisville moves to 2-9. The Cardinals conclude the abysmal 2018 season next week- hosting rival Kentucky. The Bourbon Bowl, or battle for the Governor’s Cup, will be held on Saturday, November 24th, at 7pm.