At times it felt like we were witnessing a Big 12 game out there as Louisville (8-0, 3-0) pulled out a crazy 34-31 overtime victory over rival Cincinnati (5-2, 1-1) and took home The Keg of Nails for the first time in five seasons. Even sweeter for Louisville is the fact that they improved to 8-0 and kept their chances at being in a BCS bowl alive and well.
Before the game Munchie Legaux was all talk about being better than Bridgewater and well... Bridgewater let his play on the field do the talking in the win. Bridgewater passed for 417 yards and had 2TD's and 1 interception in the huge win for the Cardinals. Legaux managed just 157 yards and threw three costly interceptions to his single TD on the night.
George Winn was the star of the night for the losing Bearcats, rushing for a very productive 175 yards and a 6.5 yards per carry average.
As for the game action? Things weren't all good in this one, starting with the nasty weather, but the fourth quarter saw these teams light up the scoreboard early, late, and often. Louisville wasn't going to go away and that was evident from nearly the very beginning of the game.
The Cardinals took their only lead in the 1st half at 7-3 on a Jeremy Wright 1 yard touchdown run that was set up by a great Teddy Bridgewater pass to Andrell Smith for 50 yards that put the Cardinals down the Cincy 5 yard line. Two Jeremy Wright rushes later and it was 7-3.
The game would turn to the Bearcats favor after a Ralph Abernathy 14 yard TD run and a Munchie Legaux 4 yard TD run put them up 17-7 with 8:05 left in the first half.
Down by two scores the Cardinals would add a Perry TD run with under 3 minutes left in the 1st half to make it 17-14 as both teams went into the locker rooms soaked and cold.
Abernathy had an interesting game for the Bearcats as he rushed for 2 TD's with is final one being putting Cincy up by 10 again at 24-14 nearly halfway through the 3rd quarter.
That's when things got a little wild and crazy and instead of Cincy cruising to their 5th straight win for The Keg of Nails it was time for the Teddy Bridgewater show to begin. Following a field goal for Louisville to make it 24-17, it was time for the playmaker to put his team on his back.
With 11:10 left to go in the game it was Bridgewater hooking up with DeVante Parker on a 30 yard touchdown pass and catch to tie it up.
Parker would play a massive role in the 4th quarter comeback as nearly ten minutes later he would add his 2nd touchdown of the game on a 64 yard pass and scamper from Bridgewater to put the Cardinals up 31-24 with just over a minute to go.
Unfortunately for those in attendance at Papa John's Stadium it wasn't quite over though as Legaux lead the Bearcats to a quick score and put the game into OT at 31-31.
The fun was just beginning though as a series of bad decisions arguably cost Cincy the victory. The Bearcats lost the OT toss and on the 2nd play of their 1st possession Munchie put up an absolutely awful pass and it was picked off.
Louisville got down inside the 15 yard line before bringing on their kicker to save the game. However, it wasn't to be as the snap was awful, but instead of having to eat the kick and keep the game going Cincy did them a huge favor by calling for timeout right before the snap.
Just like clockwork, Louisville would nail the next 30 yard kick for the game and The Keg of Nails to boot.
Whoever said SEC speed kills needed to watch tonight's game as these two teams had a track meet out there in crappy weather. All it did was produce an entertaining brand of football. Perhaps we're not giving the Big East it's just due? Nah, who are we kidding this conference is still bad, and I mean very bad at the bottom of the league.