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Louisville ground game, defense lead Cardinals to 31-13 win in ACC debut.

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Louisville's offense was choppy at times but the defense was solid and a special teams touchdown helped spur a win in the Cardinals' first ACC game.

Andy Lyons

Despite fits and starts from the offense, Louisville rode its defense and a strong second half ground game to a 31-13 win over the Miami Hurricanes tonight before a record crowd of 55,428. In a sloppy game that showed every sign of being new players in new positions and in new schemes, it was the known quantities of Dominique Brown and Lorenzo Mauldin that helped Louisville pull away in the second half.

In the first half Louisville struggled to get the ground game going and pressure up the middle kept Will Gardner from getting comfortable in the pocket. In the second half, the offensive line began to impose its will. Brown scored on a 3rd quarter run from 15 yards out (on the replay you can see Will Gardner and Garrick McGee signal touchdown from the second Gardner handed it off).

While everyone came excited to see what Petrino would cook up on offense, Todd Grantham and his defense showed little signs of dropping off from last year. Taking advantage of Miami's conservative game plan to protect freshman Brad Kaaya, the Cards defense, for the most part, kept Duke Johnson in check and kept Kaaya from getting comfortable. A 97 yard second quarter kickoff return for a touchdown by Corvin Lamb helped Louisville regain the lead that they never relinquished.

Louisville is now 1-0 in ACC play with a game against Murray State this Saturday.