UofL FOOTBALL | Cardinals thump Wildcats 44-17 to win Governor's Cup

11/25/2017 03:22 PM

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson made amends for a four-turnover game against the University of Kentucky last year, leading the Cardinals to a 44-17 thrashing of the Wildcats Saturday at Kroger Field.

Jackson finished the game with 156 yards rushing and 216 yards passing, completing 15 of 21 passes and tossing a pair of touchdowns.

Louisville’s (8-4, 4-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) offense racked up 562 yards while the Cardinal defense held Kentucky (7-5, 4-4 Southeastern Conference) to 338 yards and sacked UK quarterback Stephen Johnson three times. Neither team turned the ball over Saturday.

Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said he was “happy” with how his team performed, praising his defense and Jackson in a postgame comments.

“Lamar did a great job of throwing it, picking out the right guys, getting to the right matchups,” he said. “We didn’t throw it as much as I would like, but we were very, very efficient at it.”

For Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, “the game also kind of speaks for itself.”

“They really beat us in every phase from the start to the finish, and there’s certainly things we all could do better,” Stoops said in his postgame news conference.

Kentucky running back Bennie Snell set a new UK record of 18 rushing touchdowns in a season with a 4-yard score late in the fourth quarter, his second of the day. Snell, who scored UK’s only touchdowns in the game, was a lone bright spot for the Wildcats offense and ended the game with 211 yards on 29 carries.

Petrino called Snell “a really great running back.”

“He’s physical. He’s got great balance. It took a lot of guys to hit him and tackle him, but our defense kept bringing it, kept coming,” Petrino said.

Saturday’s game started with some fireworks as Jackson scuffled with Kentucky junior linebacker Jordan Jones on the sideline in the first quarter.

Jones also earned multiple personal foul penalties in the game and argued with coaches on the sidelines, and Stoops said he needed to do better to rein in the linebacker when asked why he continued playing despite those emotional outbursts.

“Jordan is an extremely emotional player, and there’s times when it gets the best of him, and I need to do a better job of working with him and holding him accountable and holding his feet to the fire on that,” Stoops said. “He’s definitely an emotional guy and needs to control that better. I’ve got to coach that better.”

Louisville jumped out to a 14-0 lead early in the game, getting a pair of rushing touchdowns from senior running back Reggie Bonnafon and freshman running back Dae Williams. Bonnafon scored again in the second quarter, rushing for an 11-yard touchdown, while Jackson found Dez Fitzpatrick for a 29-yard score in the closing minute of the second.

Louisville took a 31-10 lead into halftime.

Jackson led the Cardinals in both rushing and passing, with junior receiver Jaylen Smith pacing Louisville’s receivers with six grabs for 75 yards and a score.

Johnson finished the game for Kentucky 8-of-19 passing for 110 yards.

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