And that is basically how the day went from start to end.
The Kentucky Wildcats (5-7) at the Louisville Cardinals (9-3) began Saturday with a pregame tussle which carried over into an intense matchup for the Governor's Cup. Even Petrino was involved in some pushing and shoving.
The Cardinals rallied to win 44-40 in a rivalry game that ended with a 4-yard rushing score by Brandon Radcliff at just under three minutes left. Radcliff's touchdown was then followed with an interception by free safety Gerod Holliman to seal the deal. It was Holliman's 14th pick of the season to tie the NCAA record set all the way back in 1968 by Washington defensive back Al Worley.
Kentucky leads the series 14-12 all-time, but Louisville has now won four in a row and eight of the last 12 meetings.
Cardinal linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin, a leader on defense, had four tackles and two quarterback hurries for the game. Mauldin gave insight on the pregame scuffling.
"It’s a rival game. Of course you’re going to get that," said Mauldin. "It’s just emotions flared up at the beginning of the game. Guys came in basically a little hyped, ready to play."
Louisville freshman quarterback Reggie Bonnafon went down with an injury in second quarter and was replaced by redshirt freshman Kyle Bolin. The injury ended up being paramount as Bolin played unexpectedly in a "do or die" fashion, finishing with 381 passing yards and three touchdowns but two interceptions and a fumble.
"I just wanted to come in and play as well as I could and give the seniors something to remember," said Bolin.
Cardinals receiver Devante Parker was named the Player of the Game and he had a dynamic outing by tallying 180 receiving yards for three touchdowns. Parker was effective all over the field, in short routes with yards after the catch and going deep.
Kentucky kept with Louisville in a see-saw battle primarily due to forcing turnovers and errors, two interceptions and two fumbles including a pick-six for cornerback Fred Tiller along with a blocked punt by Javess Blue that led to a touchdown drive for the Wildcats.
The Wildcat defense was effective with putting pressure on the quarterbacks. UK defensive tackle Mike Douglas had a scoop n’ score fumble recovery with 9:32 in the fourth to put Kentucky up 33-28. The freakishly athletic end Alvin Dupree tallied three tackles for loss.
UK had a solid day on the ground led by Stanley Williams. The freshman running back had 126 of 151 rushing yards for the team. Williams scored to regain the lead for the Wildcats with 5:31 remaining on a 14-yard run.
"This is one of the craziest games I've ever been a part of," Williams said.
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UK 6 14 3 17 40
LOU 0 21 7 16 44
First Downs: 14
Rushing Yards: 151
Average Per Rush: 3.7
Rushing Touchdowns: 2
Fumbles Lost: 0
Passing Yards: 176
Average Per Completion: 12.6
Passing Touchdowns: 0
Total Offense Yards: 327
Average Yards Per Punt: 45.7
Possession Time: 28:54
Third Down Conversions: 3-16
Fourth Down Conversions: 2-3
Red Zone Scores-Attempts: 5-5
Field Goals: 4-4
Points Off Forced Turnovers: 20
Punt Return Average (Punts): 1.7
Kick Off Return Average (Kickoffs): 18.5
Rushing: Stanley Williams 126 rushing yards, 7.0 yards per carry, 2 rushing touchdowns, 3 receptions, 13 receiving yards.
Passing: Patrick Towles, 14-29, 176 passing yards, 2 interceptions, 10 rushing yards, 0.8 yards per carry.
Receiving: Tie -
Joey Herrick 2 receptions, 59 receiving yards.
Dem Robinson 2 receptions, 59 receiving yards, 5 punt return yards, 2.5 yards per punt return, 20 kick return yards, 20 yards per kick return.
Tackles: Ryan Flannigan 11.
Tackles for Loss: Alvin Dupree 3.
Sacks: Tie - Alvin Dupree, Blake Mcclain, Za'Darius Smith 1 each.
Interceptions: Tie - A.J. Stamps, Fred Tiller 1 each.
First Downs: 22
Rushing Yards: 83
Average Per Rush: 2.1
Rushing Touchdowns: 3
Fumbles Lost: 2
Passing Yards: 389
Average Per Completion: 17.7
Passing Touchdowns: 3
Total Offense Yards: 472
Average Yards Per Punt: 30.8
Possession Time: 31:06
Third Down Conversions: 7-14
Fourth Down Conversions: 0-1
Red Zone Scores-Attempts: 4-5
Field Goals: 1-1
Points Off Forced Turnovers: 3
Punt Return Average (Punts): 6.7
Kick Off Return Average (Kickoffs): 22.7
Rushing: Brandon Radcliff, 67 rushing yards, 3.2 yards per carry, 2 rushing touchdowns, 19 kick return yards, 19 yards per kick return.
Passing: Kyle Bolin, 21-31, 381 passing yards, 3 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 6 rushing yards, 1.2 yards per carry.
Receiving: Devante Parker, 6 receptions, 180 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns.
Tackles: Keith Kelsey 10.
Tackles for Loss: Deiontrez Mount 1.5.
Sacks: Tie - Gerod Holliman, Keith Kelsey, Deiontrez Mount 1 each.
Interceptions: Tie - Gerod Holliman, James Sample 1 each.