Cardinals not pretty, but just gritty enough

Published October 15, 2006

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville coach Bobby Petrino has gotten past the idea of style points.

Good thing. There wasn't much to go around following the seventh-ranked Cardinals' 23-17 win over Cincinnati on Saturday.

The nation's top offense struggled at times despite the return of quarterback Brian Brohm from a right thumb injury, and Louisville's 15th straight home win wasn't secure until cornerback Gavin Smart knocked down a pass in the end zone with 3 seconds left.

"It took until the last play to finish it, but we got it done," Petrino said. "I've learned that they're all going to be battles the rest of the way."

Brohm threw for 324 yards and a touchdown in his first game since injuring his throwing hand in a win over Miami on Sept. 16, but looked rusty at times. He threw a fourth quarter interception and had several balls float on him; his receivers dropped a handful of others.

The Bearcats' Dustin Grutza threw for 129 yards and two scores and ran for 75 more, most of them coming on a frantic drive in the final two minutes. He led the Cincinnati (3-4, 0-2) to the Louisville 22 with 9 seconds left.

But Grutza's fourth-down pass to Earnest Jackson was broken up by Gavin Smart in the end zone to preserve it for the Cardinals, who had 429 yards of total offense.

No. 5 West Virginia 41, Syracuse 17

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - Steve Slaton will have a hard time winning the Heisman Trophy if he gets upstaged like this by running mate Pat White.

White, the West Virginia quarterback, ran for a career-high 247 yards and four touchdowns for the Mountaineers.

Slaton, a sophomore who has been the main focus of West Virginia's Heisman hype, was no slouch either. He ran for 163 yards and a touchdown as the Mountaineers extended their winning streak to 13, matching the school record set in 1952-53.

But White was the star. On 15 carries, he broke his own Big East and school records for rushing by a quarterback. He had 220 yards last year against Pittsburgh. White scored three times early in the second half to break the game open after Syracuse trailed 17-14 at halftime.

"When you run your quarterback, you always hold your breath," West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez said. "But Pat, he's so fast. If you can get him past the safeties, it might work."

No. 24 Rutgers 34, Navy 0

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Mike Teel threw a career-high three touchdowns for the visiting Scarlet Knights, who improved to 6-0 for the first time in 30 years.

Rutgers limited the nation's top-ranked rushing offense to 113 yards on 50 carries. Navy came in averaging 350.5 yards on the ground and had not been shut out since a 38-0 defeat to another Big East team, Connecticut, in 2002.

Navy quarterback Brian Hampton dislocated his left knee in the first quarter and could be lost for the season. Hampton, the Midshipmen's leading rusher, was hurt on a tackle by Ramel Meekins on a 5-yard run.

Connecticut 21, Army 7: The Huskies ended a tough week with a win, thanks to its big-play guys. Terry Caulley set a Big East record with a 98-yard touchdown run and Larry Taylor returned a punt 72 yards for UConn at East Hartford, Conn. Connecticut's week begin with five backup players being thrown off the team for bringing beer into the hotel the night before last Saturday's 38-16 loss to USF. Caulley earned his team-record 13th 100-yard game and has 3,101 career yards.