Bush, Carmody lead Louisville by Pitt

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Michael Bush rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns and Art Carmody tied a school record with four field goals as No. 24 Louisville survived a wild start and beat Pittsburgh 42-20 on Thursday night.

Louisville (6-2, 2-2 Big East Conference) has won two straight after losing its first two league games and temporarily falling out of the top 25. The Cardinals became bowl-eligible with the win in front of a record crowd of 42,692 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.

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Pitt (4-5, 3-2) had a three-game winning streak snapped. The Panthers must win their final two games, against Connecticut and No. 18 West Virginia, if they are to extend their streak of consecutive bowl appearances to six.

Bush's second score, a 3-yard run in the third quarter, was his 20th rushing touchdown of the season, tying the school record set by Lenny Lyles in 1957 and matched by Eric Shelton last season. Bush left the game after that with a sprained left foot. X-rays taken Thursday were negative, and Louisville spokesman Rocco Gasparro said Bush would undergo a MRI exam on Friday.

Bush, who had 16 carries, also caught four passes for 59 yards.

Carmody kicked field goals of 46, 47, 32 and 36 yards, matching the school single-game record set by Nate Smith against Houston in 2000.

The 46-yarder was a career-best, but Carmody booted a 47-yarder minutes later.

Entering the game, Carmody had attempted only eight field goals this season, making six.

Louisville trailed in the final minute of the first half before Carmody's 47-yarder, which put the Cardinals up 22-20 at the break. Louisville scored on its first three second-half possessions, with Bush's second touchdown and Carmody's 32- and 36-yard field goals, and led 35-20 entering the fourth quarter.

Pitt reached the Louisville 22 early in the fourth quarter before penalties set the Panthers back and forced a punt. Louisville took over with 9:44 left and ran more than 9 minutes off the clock before Kolby Smith capped a 16-play, 80-yard drive with a 4-yard touchdown run.

Brian Brohm completed 21-of-31 passes for 247 yards for Louisville, which finished with 467 yards of offense. Pitt finished with 260 yards of offense.

The game started in wild fashion as the teams traded touchdowns in the first 25 seconds, each scoring on a kickoff. Pitt's Terrell Allen had the opening kickoff sail through his hands, and Louisville's Deon Palmer recovered the football in the end zone.

Allen quickly made amends, returning the ensuing kick 97 yards for a score.

Bush's 5-yard touchdown run put the Cardinals ahead 14-7, but Louisville squandered its next scoring opportunity, as a fake field-goal attempt misfired. Pitt couldn't muster a first down and long snapper Mark Estermyer fired the ball over the head of punter Adam Graessle and out of the end zone. The safety put Louisville ahead 16-7.

Another Louisville drive ended at the Pitt 7, as receiver Montrell Jones fumbled and H.B. Blades recovered for the Panthers with 2 minutes left in the first quarter.

To that point, Pitt hadn't recorded a first down, but the Panthers then put together consecutive scoring drives, capped by field goals of 40 and 25 yards by Josh Cummings.

Carmody's 46-yard field goal extended the Cardinals' lead to 19-13, but Pitt covered 63 yards in four plays and took its first lead with 58 seconds left in the half at 20-19 on a 12-yard pass from Tyler Palko to Greg Lee.

Palko finished 17-of-30 passing for 198 yards.