--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
The nightmare is over. The Louisville Cardinals 2018 football season is in the books.
While the Cardinals lost 56-10 to their arch-rival, Kentucky; they kept it closer than they did against other ranked opponents. It was arguably the best game Louisville has had in the last half of the season, for at least the first three quarters.
Kentucky running back Benny Snell scored the first touchdown of the game. He rushed from seven yards out for the score. The score was assisted by a questionable facemask call two plays before, that would have led to a loss of three yards on second down.
Terry Wilson rushed for three yards and Kentucky’s next touchdown with 2:05 left in the first quarter.
Malik Cunningham put life into the Cardinals. On the first play after Wilson’s touchdown, the Louisville QB rushed 75 yards for the score. He beat out Kentucky defenders, and waltzed into the end zone uncontested. He did get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the play. The play tied a record set by former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson- longest yards from scrimmage by a quarterback.
Kentucky responded with Snell’s second touchdown of the night. It was a 24-yard rush; and came with 13:03 in the second. The WIldcats added another touchdown after Asim Rose rushed 75 yards for the end zone.
Blanton Creque hit an 32-yard field goal at the 8:51 mark in the second. Louisville had the ball at Kentucky’s 5-yard line, but a penalty flag and a pair of incompletions led to the Louisville kicker’s appearance.
Lynn Bowden caught a 28-yard touchdown pass with 4:08 before halftime. It gave the wildcats the 28-10 lead.
Bowden caught a 13-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds left.
The Cardinals played well defensively in the fourth. Louisville caught a pair of interceptions in key spots to keep Kentucky off the board in the third. First, Cornelius Sturghill intercepted a ball at Louisville’s 14. Then, CJ Avery intercepted Lynn Bowden in the end zone.
The score was 35-10 entering the fourth. Then, the wheels fell off the bus completely.
Less than a minute into the quarter, Kentucky scored a touchdown. Josh Ali caught a 32-yard pass with 14:04 left in the game. Then, Kavosiey Smoke scored a 37-yard rushing touchdown with 4:40 left in the game.
The Cardinals finish 2018 with an abysmal record of 2-10. Now, the Cardinals enter the off-season with a coaching search.