The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
Commonwealth Stadium - Lexington, KY

Kentucky falls to Louisville 44-17

18 days ago
Associated Press

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Lamar Jackson accounted for 372 yards and two passing touchdowns, along with being involved in a first-quarter fight, Reggie Bonnafon rushed for two scores and Louisville coasted past rival Kentucky 44-17 on Saturday to reclaim the Governor's Cup.

The Cardinals (8-4) led 31-10 at halftime to easily avenge last year's upset loss to the Wildcats. Play was chippy throughout, and tempers flared early as Heisman Trophy winner Jackson and Kentucky linebacker Jordan Jones clashed. Benches cleared and players exchanged shoves in several smaller skirmishes but Jackson, Jones and two others remained in the contest after being penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Dae Williams' 1-yard TD soon after play resumed made it 14-0 for Louisville, which won its third straight game. Bonnafon rushed 11 yards for his second score, Jackson followed with a 29-yard TD pass to Dez Fitzpatrick and the Cardinals rolled to their biggest victory margin in the series since a 59-28 win in 2006.

Jackson completed 15 of 21 passes for 216 yards and rushed 18 times for 156 to earn his second Howard Schnellenberger Most Valuable Player award for the game. Louisville evened the series at 15 and earned Bluegrass bragging rights for the sixth time in seven meetings.

"We were able to run the ball, and Lamar did a good job of picking out receivers," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. "Lamar did a really good job of reading it. I really liked the way Reggie and Dae ran. I thought our offense line had a great game. They were going to do some different things that opened up holes."

Benny Snell rushed for a career-high 211 yards and two TDs but the Wildcats (7-5) never got closer than 14-7 and were outgained 562-338. Kentucky has lost three of four.

THE TAKEAWAY

Louisville: A year after his costly fumble led to Kentucky's game-winning field goal, Jackson and the Cardinals not only protected the football, but scored on every possession except the final one. The QB was a threat passing and running, but Bonnafon and Williams took some of the rushing load off by running for 125 combined yards and three scores to turn the contest in an unexpected rout. Blanton Creque kicked field goals of 38, 35 and 42 yards.

Kentucky: The Wildcats yielded over 500 yards for the second consecutive week and have allowed at least 473 in their last three losses. Despite facing a reigning Heisman winner, they failed to slow him as well as last year and didn't force a turnover. They haven't won at home in this series since 2009 and fell to 8-10 against the Cardinals in Lexington. "A long day at the office today," coach Mark Stoops said. "Not a good effort on any of our parts. We didn't play very good and we didn't coach very good."

UP NEXT

Both schools await bowl selections on Dec. 3.