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C-USA: Louisville hangs on without QB

Wire services
Published September 28, 2003

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville was off and running again Saturday, with junior quarterback Stefan LeFors smoothly operating the offense as he has all season.

The Cardinals led Temple 14-0 with 4:44 left in the first quarter and a rout seemed imminent.

"We had a good plan, we knew what we were doing," coach Bobby Petrino said. "It looked like we were going to score a bunch of points."

But after throwing his second TD, LeFors left the game with a concussion and Louisville's offense left with him.

The Cardinals beat the Owls 21-12 and improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1993. But without LeFors, who ranks seventh in the nation in pass efficiency, the offense was a shaky shell of the unit that was averaging 37 points.

The game-altering hit came on a third-down play from the Temple 25. LeFors dashed up the middle on a quarterback draw and crashed helmet to helmet into safety Sadeke Konte. Four plays later he left the game, finishing 5-of-7 for 100 yards.

Redshirt freshman Justin Rascati replaced LeFors and struggled, going 8-of-16 for 97 yards and two interceptions. Petrino said he expected LeFors to return for Saturday's C-USA opener at South Florida.

The Owls, meanwhile, struggled to score. Mike McGann went 24-of-45 for 304 yards and a touchdown, but Temple went 0-for-4 on drives inside the 20.

MIAMI (OHIO) 42, CINCINNATI 37: Ben Roethlisberger passed for 377 yards and two touchdowns, and Mike Smith and Cal Murray each ran for two TDs for the host Red-Hawks. Miami built a 42-17 lead early in the fourth quarter and held on despite three late touchdowns from the Bearcats.

Van Booker caught a 1-yard TD pass from Gino Guidugli to make it 42-23 with 8:15 left. The Bearcats pulled within 42-30 when Daven Holly returned a blocked field goal 78 yards for touchdown with 4:04 to play. George Murray's 5-yard TD run with 1:51 left made it 42-37 and Cincinnati's defense forced Miami to punt, giving the Bearcats a final chance. But Thaddeus Lewis fumbled Mike Wafzig's punt at the Bearcats 15 as he was hit by Michael Larkin, and Ryan Sprague recovered for Miami.

MEMPHIS 38, ARKANSAS ST. 16: Danny Wimprine threw two touchdowns and ran for a third as the host Tigers rallied in the second half. Wimprine completed 20-of-35 for 238 yards as Memphis (3-1) got off to its best start in three years. DeAngelo Williams, who leads the nation in all-purpose yards, rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown for the Tigers.

Memphis has won the past nine games in the series. Arkansas State scored on its first two possessions, but could put little together offensively in the second half. The Indians were held to 37 yards rushing and 79 passing after halftime.

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