Sunday, September 03, 2000

Louisville 40, Kentucky 34

Wild ending mirrors '98 win

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Former Highlands star Jared Lorenzen threw three TD's and three INT's in his first college game.
(AP photos)
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        LOUISVILLE — Two years ago, Kentucky football forged a defining moment, rallying for an improbable 40-34 overtime victory at home over Alabama. Craig Yeast scored untouched on a touchdown pass on UK's first offensive play of overtime. Saturday night, it lost a game the same way.

        After blowing a golden opportunity at the end of regulation, the Wildcats watched as Louisville struck for a similar first-play victory in overtime by the same score: 40-34.

        UK quarterback Jared Lorenzen, making his first career start, was intercepted by Antoine Harris to end UK's overtime possession. Louisville then ended the game immediately as Tony Stallings ran untouched up the middle for a 25-yard touchdown.

        The Papa John's Cardinal Stadium crowd went bonkers, many storming the field. It marked the second consecutive win for Louisville in the series, which it still trails 9-5.

Derek Smith caught a 34-yard TD pass from his high school teammate.
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        “It's just the first game, and (the rivalry) is not as big a deal as y'all think,” UK coach Hal Mumme said. “Our object in life is to win the (Southeastern) Conference championship, and this has nothing to do with our bowl-game aspirations.

        “For me to hang it all on one game with a freshman quarterback against a team that lives to beat us. ... I won't do that.”

        Louisville nearly gave up the game in regulation, with quarterback Dave Ragone fumbling three times in the fourth quarter, all recovered by UK linebacker Marlon McCree. The first was returned for a touchdown to give UK a lead early in the quarter, and the last of the

        three was run back to the Louisville 2-yard line to set up the potential winning score in the final minute.

        But three rushing attempts — one by Artose Pinner and two by Lorenzen — netted just one yard. Then Brandon Sanders' 18-yard field-goal attempt at the gun was blocked by Louisville's Curry Burns.

        Lorenzen went 22 of 34 for 322 yards and three touchdowns, but he was intercepted three times. The Highlands grad hurt his left thumb (his throwing hand) early in the game — Mumme thinks it's a sprain — and had to take snaps out of the shotgun the rest of the game.

        “He made some mistakes, but it was something we can build on,” Mumme said. “I'll tell you, he made some throws that no one else can make.”

        Lorenzen led UK in rushing with 38 yards on seven carries. Sophomore tight end Derek Smith led UK with six catches for 99 yards and a touchdown.

        Ragone was 23 of 30 for 256 yards, three TDs and no interceptions in his first start. Stallings rushed 15 times for 146 yards and two TDs.

        After a 72-minute lightning delay in the third quarter, Louisville took a 20-19 into the fourth quarter. Then things got wild.

        McCree's TD return UK up 27-20. Ragone hit Deion Branch moments later for an 18-yard TD to tie the score. Lorenzen hit senior wideout Quentin McCord for a 67-yard score. Louisville answered with a 3-yard Chris Lester TD run to tie the game 34-34 with 5:09 to play.

        Then came a critical UK mistake. Driving for a go-ahead score, Lorenzen hit Smith for a 17-yard gain, but Louisville's Curry Burns stripped the ball and teammate Anthony Floyd recovered.

        The Cardinals had the ball on their own 21 with 3:04 remaining. But their chance to win in regulation ended when the ball was snapped past Ragone and McCree nearly ran it back.

        A massive storm arrived just as Louisville scored a touchdown to close within five points. Just after the point-after conversion, play was suspended at 9:16 p.m., and the sellout crowd of 42,515 was told to return to its vehicles and listen to the radio for updates.

        That set off a wild scene, as fans frantically raced for the exits. Many leaped from a six-foot wall down onto the field and let police chase them around the turf. The UK band played throughout the storm until athletic director Larry Ivy sent word for them to quit.

        “Metal instruments? We may have to have a refresher course in band 101,” Ivy said.

        Just more than half the crowd returned. Lightning did not hit the stadium, and no injuries were reported.

        “It worked out as best as it possibly could,” Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said.

        Kentucky ....... 13 6 0 15 0—34

        Louisville ....... 7 0 13 14 6—40

        First Quarter

        Ky—Allen 34 pass from Lorenzen (kick failed), 13:26

        Ky—Smith 34 pass from Lorenzen (Sanders kick), 7:14

        Lou—Branch 33 pass from Ragone (Tydlacka kick), 3:56

        Second Quarter

        Ky—Lorenzen 1 run (pass failed), 10:37

        Third Quarter

        Lou—Jackson 12 pass from Ragone (Tydlacka kick), 8:11

        Lou—Stallings 1 run (pass failed), 4:27

        Fourth Quarter

        Ky—McCree 9 fumble return (Smith pass from Lorenzen), 12:50

        Lou—Branch 18 pass from Ragone (Tydlacka kick), 12:05

        Ky—McCord 67 pass from Lorenzen (Sanders kick), 8:46

        Lou—Lester 3 run (Tydlacka kick), 5:09


        Lou—Stallings 25 run



        RUSHING—Kentucky, Lorenzen 7-38, Pinner 10-38, Homer 4-19. Louisville, Stallings 15-144, Lester 15-71, Ragone 15-20, Jackson 1-1.

        PASSING—Kentucky, Lorenzen 22-34-3-322. Louisville, Ragone 23-30-0-256.

        RECEIVING—Kentucky, Smith 6-99, Allen 3-75, Scott 3-25, Homer 2-19. Louisville, Branch 9-123, Jackson 7-69, Ghent 3-24, Lester 1-17.


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