Eighth-ranked Louisville intercepted passes on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter, the second by Terell Floyd to set up Teddy Bridgewater’s 6-yard touchdown pass that clinched the Cardinals’ 24-10 victory over visiting Rutgers on Thursday night.
Defense was the story for the Cardinals (6-0, 2-0 American Athletic Conference), who recorded four interceptions, sacked Gary Nova eight times, and held Rutgers to 12 yards rushing. Safety Calvin Pryor led Louisville’s stifling effort with 14 tackles and a fourth-quarter 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 straight time to the Cardinals, who temporarily took control of first place in the AAC.
Nova completed 19 of 39 passes for 202 yards.
Damian Copeland had career highs of eight receptions and 115 yards, and Senorise Perry ran for 104 yards and a TD on 13 carries in Louisville’s 461-yard effort. But it took pickoffs by Pryor and Floyd to help preserve a lead that was tenuous in the second half.