LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Dominique Brown’s 15-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and Gerald Christian’s 10-yard TD catch late in the fourth backed Louisville’s big defensive performance that helped beat Miami 31-13 Monday night.
The victory provided a successful Atlantic Coast Conference debut for the Cardinals and to Bobby Petrino’s second coaching stint at the school.
The Cardinals outgained the Hurricanes 336-244 in a ragged game offensively for both teams. Louisville’s new 3-4 defense came up with three takeaways.
“I thought it would be a real battle and we would have to work extremely hard,” said Petrino, who returned in January to the program he led to a 41-9 record from 2003 to ’06. “Obviously, we made some mistakes on offense and on special teams. I thought the defense really did a great job all night long, especially on third down.”
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Corvin Lamb’s 97-yard kickoff return for a TD just before halftime provided the go-ahead score for Louisville.
Brown had 33 carries for 143 yards. Will Gardner completed 20 of 28 passes for 206 yards with two TDs.
Miami freshman Brad Kaaya was 17 of 29 for 174 yards.
In December, Louisville beat Miami 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
• Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, last season’s Big 12 offensive player of the year, has two cracked small bones in his back.
Petty took an early hit Sunday and played only the first half of the 10th-ranked Bears’ 45-0 victory over visiting Southern Methodist. Petty is listed as day to day for Baylor, which is home Saturday against Northwestern State.