Unbeaten Cardinals ride defense to victory over Rutgers

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville intercepted passes on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter, the last to set up Teddy Bridgewater’s 3-yard touchdown pass that clinched the Cardinals’ 24-10 victory over Rutgers on Thursday night.

Louisville running back Dominique Brown looks to avoid Rutgers' Quentin Gause in Thursday night's game. The Cardinals had 461 total yards in the home victory.  GARRY JONES/ASSOCIATED PRESS
GARRY JONES/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Louisville running back Dominique Brown looks to avoid Rutgers' Quentin Gause in Thursday night's game. The Cardinals had 461 total yards in the home victory.

Defense was the story for the eighth-ranked Cardinals (6-0, 2-0 American Athletic Conference), who had four interceptions and sacked Gary Nova eight times. Safety Calvin Pryor led Louisville’s stifling effort with 14 tackles and an interception in holding the Scarlet Knights to 240 yards.

The Cardinals needed that performance to offset Bridgewater’s off night. The junior completed 21 of 31 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw an interception and fumbled early in the fourth quarter.

Rutgers (4-2, 1-1) couldn’t take advantage of those miscues in seeing its four-game winning streak end and losing a fourth consecutive time to the Cardinals, who temporarily took control of first place in the AAC.

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE 44,

NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL 3

In Durham, N.C., Xavier Quick scored on a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs – both in the first half – as South Carolina State built a big lead en route to the victory.

The Bulldogs led 34-3 at the half in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference game.

Richard Cue passed for 195 yards and a touchdown and Tyler McDonald had 10 catches for 74 yards as the Bulldogs improved to 5-2, 3-0 MEAC. North Carolina Central dropped to 3-3, 1-1.

The South Carolina State defense limited North Carolina Central to 105 yards of total offense, including minus-11 rushing.

WEST ALABAMA 49, VALDOSTA STATE 30

In Livingston, Ala., Kendrick Rhodes scored three touchdowns to lead West Alabama past Valdosta State.

Rhodes caught a 23-yard pass from Gary Johnston in the first quarter, scored on an 8-yard run in the second quarter and scored on a 15-yard run in the third quarter.

Kyle Caldwell threw threw touchdown passes for West Alabama. Johnston also threw and 18-yard touchdown pass to Tyler O’Neal in the fourth quarter.

Willie Downs returned the opening kickoff of the game 97 yards for a Valdosta State touchdown. Cayden Cochran threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score.


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