Louisville downs Houston, keeps pace in race for AAC crown
Louisville, KY (SportsNetwork.com) - Dominique Brown racked up 137 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries to lead No. 19 Louisville to a 20-13 victory over Houston on Saturday.
Teddy Bridgewater went 19-of-29 passing for 203 yards, while DeVante Parker caught four passes for a game-high 72 yards for the Cardinals (9-1, 5-1 AAC), who have won three straight since their lone loss of the season against Central Florida.
"We're 9-1 so where we end up is our fault," Louisville head coach Charlie Strong said of the team's postseason future. "We feel like we're BCS but if we don't get there we'll be comfortable wherever we go. If we end up with a great record, that's fine with me."
The 17th-ranked Knights, who rallied to beat Temple on Saturday, remain one- half game ahead of Louisville in the conference standings.
John O'Korn completed 16-of-35 passes for 121 yards for the Cougars (7-3, 4-2), who have lost two straight.
Kenneth Farrow scored Houston's lone touchdown in defeat.
Bridgewater and Brown guided the Cardinals on a 12-play, 77-yard march on the team's opening drive, with Brown surging in from 13 yards out to make it 7-0 with 6:45 left in the first.
John Wallace added a 37-yard field goal early in the second to push the lead to 10-0 before Houston stormed back with 13 straight points to take a three- point lead into halftime.
Kyle Bullard started the Cougars' comeback bid with a 46-yard field goal on the team's next series before Farrow found the end zone from four yards out following a Louisville three-and-out to tie the game 6:35 prior to halftime.
After another three-and-out from the Cardinals, the Cougars caught a big break when Michaelee Harris muffed a punt at his own 39-yard line.
A roughing-the-passer penalty on third down extended the Houston drive further, but the sequence stalled inside the red zone and the Cougars settled for a 22-yard field goal from Bullard to take a 13-10 lead into the break.
Louisville quickly answered on the opening touch of the second half, as Bridgewater and Parker hooked up for 39 yards to set up Brown's 3-yard TD run that gave the Cardinals a 17-13 lead.
Following a Houston three-and-out, Brown and Bridgewater each converted a third down on Louisville's 12-play trek that Wallace capped with a 39-yard field goal to make it 20-13 with 2:55 left in the third.
The Cardinals' defense held Houston at bay from there, never allowing the Cougars to get within scoring range to hang on for the victory.
"We didn't get into a rhythm at all offensively in the second half," Houston head coach Tony Levine said. "At the end of the day, we certainly didn't make enough plays to get enough points on the board in the second half to win the game."
Louisville compiled 332 total yards of offense compared to 195 total yards for Houston ... Farrow finished with 24 yards on nine rushes ... Houston went 5- for-16 on third-down conversions ... Louisville had 20 first downs and held Houston to 13 first downs.
11/17 00:28:05 ET