Brohm's 5 TDs Help No. 8 Louisville Avoid Upset

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Brian Brohm threw for a career-high 401 yards and five touchdowns and Anthony Allen added a school-record 275 yards rushing and two scores as No. 8 Louisville avoided a major upset by surviving Middle Tennessee 58-42 Thursday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

Mario Urrutia, Gary Barnidge and Harry Douglas all topped 100 yards receiving as the Cardinals (2-0) extended the nation's second-longest home winning streak to 20 games.

It wasn't easy. the Blue Raiders (0-2) never led, but the Sun Belt Conference champions never let the Cardinals get comfortable.

Despite Brohm being at his efficient best, the Blue Raiders -- who managed all of 217 yards in a season-opening loss to Florida Atlantic -- nearly matched the high-powered Cardinals in a game that featured 1,284 yards from scrimmage, 13 touchdowns and little defense on either side.

Middle Tennessee quarterback Joe Craddock threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns and Phillip Tanner added 144 yards rushing and three touchdowns for the Blue Raiders.

DeMarco McNair ran for 72 yards and a score and caught three passes for 92 yards and a touchdown for Middle Tennessee, which never backed down against a Louisville defense trying to replace seven starters.

When Louisville opened the game with an 81-yard touchdown pass from Brohm to Barnidge on the first play from scrimmage, it took the Blue Raiders all of three plays to tie the game as Craddock hit McNair for a 78-yard score. It was the opening salvos in a dizzying first five minutes that had five touchdowns.

Things never really slowed down. Louisville scored on its first six possessions, but led only 38-35 at the break as the Blue Raiders baffled a Louisville defense that seemed out of position most of the time and unable to get its hands on the slippery Tanner.

Brohm would lead the Cardinals down the field, and the Blue Raiders would respond, shredding a Louisville defense that appeared confused by the myriad formations Middle Tennessee threw at it. The Blue Raiders answered so quickly that the Cardinals changed tactics, opting to grind it out behind Allen for most of the second half.

Allen, finally grabbing hold of a running back competition that's been up for grabs since training camp, responded with the best game of his career. Churning through the Blue Raiders time and again, Allen seemed to grow stronger as the game wore on. His 35 carries were the most since Michael Bush ran 37 times against West Virginia in 2005.

A 48-yard run in the fourth quarter set up a short touchdown pass from Brohm to Douglas, and he allowed the Cardinals to run out the clock after Malik Jackson picked off Craddock in the end zone with less than seven minutes to go.

While the Cardinals will head into next week's game against archrival Kentucky undefeated, the Blue Raiders raised serious concerns about Louisville's defense. Middle Tennessee piled up 555 yards of total offense and 10.1 yards per play.

Even worse, the Cardinals seemed to lose their composure on several occasions. Louisville was penalized nine times for 98 yards, including four personal fouls.

Still, they survived behind one of the nation's top offenses. Louisville finished with 729 yards of total offense and held the ball for nearly 40 minutes. The Cardinals have scored a school-record 131 points in their first two games. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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