LOUISVILLE, KY. – Brian Brohm passed for 339 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score to help No. 23 Louisville defeat Rutgers 56-5 on Friday night. Louisville (7-2, 3-2 BIG EAST), which won its third straight game and extended its home streak to 11 games, tied for the nation's fifth-longest.
Rutgers is now 6-4, and 3-3 in BIG EAST action. The Scarlet Knights have a bye week before playing their regular season finale on Nov. 26 at Rutgers Stadium, hosting the Cincinnati Bearcats.
The Scarlet Knights took a first quarter 3-0 lead on a 32-yard field goal by Jeremy Ito, following a crisp, seven-play 31-yard drive.
Louisville answered with 14 straight points. Sergio Spencer returned the ensuing kickoff 61 yards, which set up a 7-play, 29-yard drive, capped by a one-yard TD plunge by QB Brian Brohm. Following a Rutgers punt, the Cardinals put together a 6-play, 67-yard drive that culminated in a five-yard TD run by Smith, to take a 14-3 lead with 33 seconds left to play in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Rutgers recorded its second safety of the season when junior DB Manny Collins blocked a Todd Flannery punt that bounced through the back of the end zone to cut the deficit to 14-5.
In the waning seconds of the first half, Louisville DB Jon Russell intercepted a pass by Rutgers red-shirt freshman QB Mike Teel and returned it 32 yards to the Rutgers four-yard line. Smith scored his second TD of the game on a four-yard run to give the Cardinals a 21-5 halftime lead.
Louisville scored on its first possession of the second half on an eight-play, 78-yard drive when RB Kolby Smith scored his third TD of the game on a nine-yard pass from QB Brian Brohm.
Rutgers, which came into the game number one in the BIG EAST and number four in the nation in sacks, with 34, recorded three sacks on the evening.
Junior FB Brian Leonard gained 43 yards on nine carries, while true freshman RB Ray Rice added 37 yards on 11 carries. Teel, making his third career start, completed 12-of-24 passes for 89 yards.
RUTGERS ADDS TO IMPRESSIVE SACK TOTAL
With three sacks tonight, Rutgers now has 37 sacks this season. The Scarlet Knights entered the game tops in the BIG EAST and fourth nationally in sacks. The Rutgers defense has recorded at least one sack in nine of its 10 games this season and 30 of its last 33 contests dating back to the beginning of the 2003 season.
RU NOTCHES SECOND SAFETY OF THE SEASON
Junior Manny Collins blocked a Louisville punt attempt in the second quarter, resulting in a safety for Rutgers. It marked the Scarlet Knights’ second safety this season. RU’s first safety occurred at Connecticut on Oct. 22, when the ball rolled out of the back of the end zone on a punt attempt.
COLLINS BLOCKS SECOND PUNT OF THE SEASON
Junior Manny Collins’ second-quarter block of Louisville’s punt attempt was his second of the season. Collins also blocked a punt at Syracuse on Oct. 15, which teammate Corey Barnes scooped up and returned 26 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
NEIL POSTS EIGHTH SACK OF SEASON
Senior DL Ryan Neill posted his eighth sack of the season on Rutgers’ first defensive play from scrimmage, pinning Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm on the Cardinals’ 10-yard line. With that sack, he matched his sack total from last season. Neill entered tonight’s game 25th in the nation in sacks per game (0.78/game).
LEONARD, HARRIS EXTEND RECEPTION STREAKS
Junior FB Brian Leonard and junior TE Clark Harris each extended their reception streaks vs. Louisville. Leonard now has a catch in 32-straight games, while Harris has caught at least one pass in 28-consecutive games. Leonard entered tonight’s contest with the 13th-longest streak in the nation, while Harris’ streak was the 19th-longest nationally entering the Louisville contest.
RU RECOVERS 11TH FUMBLE OF SEASON
Rutgers, which entered the game 14th nationally in fumble recoveries, recovered its 11th fumble of the season when junior LB Quintero Frierson registered his second fumble of the season in the second quarter tonight against Louisville. Frierson also recovered a fumble at Syracuse.
LEONARD, RICE ENTER TOP FIVE AMONG RU ALL-TIME RUSHING TANDEMS
Junior FB Brian Leonard and freshman RB Ray Rice have combined to accumulate 1,432 yards this season. The total moves them into fifth place in total yards among Rutgers’ top rushing tandems of all-time. Leonard has totaled 615 yards this season, while Rice has totaled 817 yards in his true freshman campaign. They are just 19 yards behind fourth place Terrell Willis’ (773) and Bruce Presley’s (678) total of 1,451 yards in 1995 with one game remaining in the regular season.
HARRIS BECOMES RU’S 4TH ACTIVE PLAYER WITH 100 CAREER RECEPTIONS
With his two catches tonight, junior TE Clark Harris became the fourth active Rutgers player with at least 100 career catches. He joins Tres Moses, Brian Leonard and Shawn Tucker in the select group.