Louisville scores 73 in rout of Murray State
Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Brian Brohm threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns as 10th-ranked Louisville dismantled Murray State in the opener for both schools, 73-10, at Papa John's Stadium.
Brohm completed 16-of-21 passes before exiting early in the third quarter as the Cardinals (1-0) extended their home winning streak to 19 games. The 73 total points were the most scored by a Louisville team since a 79-0 victory over Ogden in 1926.
"It feels good to finally get out there and play a game," said the Louisville senior quarterback and Heisman hopeful.
"We put in a lot of hard work this summer and it felt good to play against someone besides ourselves. We really didn't show a lot of our offensive package today. I thought we executed well on offense. We still have a lot of things to work on for improvement. I always expect big things from Harry (Douglas). He did a great job today."
Douglas was Brohm's main target, finishing with five catches for 151 yards and a two touchdowns, while tight end Gary Barnidge had four receptions for 46 yards and a pair of scores.
The Steve Kragthorpe era got underway with a resounding victory. Under the guidance of Kragthorpe, the Cardinals entered the season with high expectations after posting one of their best campaigns ever in 2006. Kragthorpe, who took over the program after Bobby Petrino accepted the head coaching job with the Atlanta Falcons, inherited a team that won the Big East title and went 12-1 overall, including a win over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl.
"It was a great crowd tonight and it was fun to get out there and play," Kragthorpe said of the opening-night atmosphere.
"For the most part, we were pretty clean with our players and coaches and getting in and out of the huddle. We had a few mistakes that we'll need to take care of to be the team we want to be, but it was a great effort tonight and a great job by our team."
Starting tailback Anthony Allen carried seven times for 56 yards and a touchdown, while reserve George Stripling came on for 92 yards on 14 carries.
In total, the Cardinals amassed 655 yards of total offense to the Racers' 271. Their 49 first-half points set a new school record, eclipsing the previous mark of 42 set in 2006 against Temple.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Jeff Ehrhardt completed 12-of-20 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown for Murray State (0-1). Paul McKinnis rushed nine times for 72 yards, including a 32-yard scamper.
The Cardinals got on the scoreboard immediately, scoring on their first play from scrimmage when Brohm connected with Douglas for a 44-yard touchdown pass over the middle. A three-and-out opening Murray State possession and an 18- yard punt return by JuJuan Spillman set up the starting field position.
Murray State answered Louisville's opening score with a lengthy drive for a touchdown. Derrick Townsel caught a six-yard slant pass from Ehrhardt to cap an 11-play, 80-yard drive that totaled over five minutes. Townsel had extended the drive with a one-handed grab over the middle for a first down.
But Louisville responded with a pair of scores in a span of less than a minute to take a 21-7 lead. Allen scampered in from nine yards out after a drive of less than three minutes, and after an Ehrhardt fumble inside the Murray State 20-yard line, Brohm found Barnidge for a 12-yard score two plays later.
Brock Bolen rumbled in from two yards out with 2:32 remaining in the first to give the Cardinals a 28-7 lead.
Murray State mounted a drive that resulted in a Sean O'Brien 24-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter, but Louisville went back to Barnidge to score twice more. A 27-yard catch-and-run by the bruising tight end got the Cardinals inches from the end zone, and Brohm finished the drive with a one-yard sneak for a touchdown. When Brohm hit Barnidge for a four- yard touchdown with 5:23 left in the second, Louisville had a 42-10 advantage.
On the following drive, Brohm hooked up with Mario Urrutia for 40 yards to set up a four-yard Sergio Spencer touchdown run, and Louisville went into the locker room leading 49-10.
Louisville scored again on its first offensive play of the second half, as Brohm connected with Douglas again for a 59-yard score.
After another stalled Murray state possession, Troy Guy took a punt back 54 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 63-10.
Hunter Cantwell, Brohm's backup, then engineered a scoring drive that culminated in a Spencer five-yard touchdown at 7:43 in the third quarter.
Art Carmody drilled a 44-yard field goal with just over 11 minutes left in the game to extend the lead to 73-10.
Louisville has won the last three meetings...The Cardinals will host Middle Tennessee next Thursday...Louisville's 655 yards of total offense were also its most since the 2004 win over Temple, when they totaled 671 yards...Senior WR Harry Douglas and junior WR Mario Urrutia extended their consecutive game streak with a reception to 16 games. Douglas' 151 yards on five receptions was the second most yards he has totalled in a game and marked his fifth game over 100 receiving yards. It was Douglas' fourth straight 100 yard receiving game... The crowd of 42,185 was the 10th largest ever at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
08/31 00:45:03 ET