Fine finish for Cards: Louisville pulls past Wake Forest, 24-13
It was the Cardinals' first victory in a major bowl game since 1991.
MIAMI (AP) -- For much of the Orange Bowl, the high-powered Louisville Cardinals were stalled in neutral.
They blew a field goal, lost two fumbles and dropped a potential touchdown pass. But despite the rash of mistakes, there was no stopping the Cardinals from their first major-bowl victory in 15 years.
Anthony Allen scored two touchdowns, one on a trick play, and Brian Brohm threw for 311 yards to lead Louisville past Wake Forest 24-13 Tuesday night.
The Cardinals averaged 39 points and ranked second in the nation in total offense this season, but fell behind 13-10 in the final period before their offense went into high gear. Touchdown drives of 81 and 71 yards on consecutive possessions sealed their first win in a major bowl since the 1991 Fiesta Bowl.
No. 5 Louisville finished 12-1 to ensure the highest final ranking in school history. The No. 15 Demon Deacons slipped to 11-3, still their best season.
For three quarters, squandered opportunities plagued the Cardinals. They lost two fumbles in Wake Forest territory, Mario Urrutia dropped a potential 62-yard touchdown pass, and Art Carmody -- the Lou Groza Award winner -- was wide right on a 32-yard field goal attempt, only his fourth miss this season.
Riley Skinner threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Nate Morton as Wake Forest pulled to a 10-10 tie after three quarters.
Sam Swank put Wake Forest ahead 3-0 with a 44-yard field goal on the second play of the second quarter, and was wide left on a 47-yard attempt on the final play of the first half.
Skinner's touchdown pass with 12:41 left in the third quarter came on Wake Forest's first possession of the second half and briefly appeared to be the wake-up call Louisville was waiting for.
The high-powered Cardinals offense marched downfield to the Wake Forest 35 before the drive was short-circuited by Louisville's second turnover of the game.
Mario Urrutia caught Brohm's pass at the 29 but Nate Harris stripped the ball and Jon Abbate recovered, and after a brief booth review, the call was upheld.
Later, Wake Forest turned it over for the second time deep in Louisville territory, when Rich Belton fumbled and Jon Russell recovered for the Cardinals at the 13. Brohm led the Cardinals downfield, but the drive stalled at the 15 and Carmody's kick sailed wide.
Louisville's most productive pass of the game came not from Brohm but from Carter, the one-time quarterback and Georgia Tech transfer who gave Louisville a 10-3 lead in the second quarter. He caught a lateral from Brian Brohm in the right flat and then found a wide-open Allen near the goal line.
The Cardinals capped their best season in school history with their first victory in a major bowl game since they beat Alabama 34-7 in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl.
The game featured two local players.
Wake Forest senior tackle Steve Vallos, a four-year starter for the Demon Deacons, is a Boardman High graduate.
Louisville senior Jimmy Riley, an Ursuline High graduate, is a wide receiver for the Cardinals.
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