Hutson Mason leaves Belk Bowl with injury, Georgia leads Lousiville at half

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Georgia running back Nick Chubb ripped off a 31-yard touchdown run up the middle of the Louisville defense midway through the second quarter to give the Bulldogs of the SEC a 20-7 halftime advantage on the ACC’s Cardinals in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina. Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason has left the game for an undetermined amount of time due to what is simply being called an undisclosed injury.

The force was strong with Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley midway through the first quarter when he hauled in a pass from Mason for a 45-yard touchdown, covering half the distance of what turned out to be a 90-yard drive. Georgia kicked a field goal later in the second quarter to take a 10-7 lead, and Chubb later turned in his 31-yard touchdown scamper for the 17-7 lead.

Kyle Bolin started at quarterback for the Cardinals, but he was taken out for a stretch during the second quarter for Reggie Bonnafon. That did not play out well for head coach Bobby Petrino, as Bonnafon was picked off with the return setting Georgia up for a field goal and a 20-7 lead. After the Georgia field goal, Bolin returned to the field.

Petrino also called for a fake field goal from the Louisville 31-yard line, but the pass fell incomplete to give Georgia terrific field position, only to see Brice Ramsey (inserted in the game following the injury to Hutson) throw a deep pass picked off by Terell Floyd a few yards shy of the end zone.

Louisville is playing without running back Michael Dyer, who was previously ruled academically ineligible for the bowl game.

Michael Dyer’s career at Louisville ends, ruled ineligible

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It seems so long ago since running back Michael Dyer was named the BCS National Championship MVP. In fact, it’s been nearly four years — and multiple teams later — for the talented runner.

Dyer won’t have an opportunity to create more bowl history, because he’s been ruled ineligible for the Belk Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs.

Dyer was Louisville’s second-leading rusher with 481 yards. The senior split carries with sophomore Brandon Radcliff. With Dyer out of the lineup, fellow senior Dominique Brown should become a bigger part of the offense for the bowl game.

It’s a disappointing end after such a promising start to Dyer’s career.

After being named a Freshman All-American at Auburn, Dyer left the program in 2011 when he was indefinitely suspended. The running back transferred to Arkansas State to play under then-head coach Gus Malzahn. Dyer never played for the program after a run-in with campus police. The talented player finally found himself at Arkansas Baptist, a school without a football program. Dyer took a year to get his life in order before finally transferring to Louisville.

Unfortunately, Dyer’s career ended at Louisville just like it did everywhere else.

Kicking again fails Notre Dame as Irish fall to No. 24 Louisville

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It happened again.

A week after foot-inflicted vomit cost it a win over Northwestern, holder/back-up quarterback Malik Zaire and kicker Kyle Brindza were determined to not let it happen again.

It happened again.

Brindza missed a 32-yard field goal with 50 seconds remaining, and Notre Dame fell to No. 24 Louisville 31-28 at a soggy Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday evening. The loss is Notre Dame’s third in a row and fourth in five games, sending a once-promising season into absolute free fall.

Of course, a three-point loss can’t be blamed on a solitary kick, and this is no exception. Trailing 31-20 in fourth quarter, Everett Golson hit William Fuller for a 28-yard touchdown and ran in a two-point conversion to pull the Irish within 31-28 with 11:17 to go, and then benefitted from a missed field goal on the ensuing possession. Starting at its own 20 with 5:03 to go, Notre Dame moved to a first-and-goal at the 10 with a golden opportunity to win the game, but Golson was sacked on second-and-goal from the 9 and threw incomplete on third down, setting up Brindza’s fateful field goal.

Notre Dame lost this game at the point of attack, as Louisville’s Brandon Radcliff rushed 17 times for 136 yards and a touchdown, while Michael Dyer added 13 rushes for 61 yards and quarterback Reggie Bonnafon added 35 rushing yards and two touchdowns to go with 180 yards and a score through the air.

Golson completed 16-of-24 passes for 236 yards and two touchdowns, but threw an interception in Notre Dame territory that set up a Louisville field goal in the second quarter, and coughed up a fumble that the Irish eventually recovered but killed a promising drive in the process, turning a 2nd-and-6 at its own 44 to a 3rd-and-38 at the 12. Both mistakes contributed to a 17-6 halftime deficit for Notre Dame.

The Irish scored consecutive touchdowns to grab a 20-17 lead midway through the third quarter, but Bonnafon hit DeVante Parker for a 21-yard touchdown to put Louisville back on top at the 5:46 mark of the third quarter, and Radcliff raced in from 15 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter to provide the winning score.

The win pushes Louisville to 8-3 on the season and gives the Bobby Petrino‘s bunch a shot at a 10-win campaign with a win over Kentucky next week and in the bowl game.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, closes out the regular season at USC next week. Other than bowl positioning and the satisfaction of beating a rival, the Irish will travel to Tinseltown with purpose of improving this 2014 season from “completely” to only “moderately” disappointing.

Golson struggles as No. 24 Louisville leads Notre Dame 17-6 at the half

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This wasn’t part of the plan when Everett Golson was training on the California beaches with George Whitfield last year. One of the best quarterbacks in the country in September, Golson has been outplayed through one half by true freshman Reggie Bonnafon as No. 24 Louisville leads Notre Dame 17-6 at a rain-soaked Notre Dame Stadium through one half.

Golson has completed 6-of-9 passes for 121 yards, but threw an interception deep inside Notre Dame territory to set up a Louisville field goal, and coughed up a fumble late in the half that the Irish recovered but killed a promising drive nonetheless as a 2nd-and-6 at the Notre Dame 44 turned into a 3rd-and-38 at the 12.

Bonnafon has completed 5-of-14 passes for 101 yards and a Hail Mary interception, but leads all rushers with 10 carries for 55 yards and the game’s only touchdowns. Michael Dyer has also rushed 10 times for 49 yards.

Louisville’s touchdown drives came on marches of 75 and 93 yards in the first quarter. The Cardinals have out-gained the Irish 215-141 and hold a 12-6 edge in first downs.

Louisville will receive the ball to open the second half.

No. 2 FSU’s 23-game winning streak on the ropes, trails Louisville 21-7 at the half

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Thursday night in college football has a long history of seeing highly-ranked favorites see its dream season turn into ash in front of a raucous stadium, and it looks like another upset will get added to the lore tonight. Louisville has pounded No. 2 Florida State to the tune of a 21-7 first half lead in the ‘Ville.

After a scoreless first quarter, Michael Dyer put Louisville on top with a four-yard scoring dash at the 12:13 mark of the second quarter, and then pushed the lead to 14 with a 12-yard jaunt seven minutes later. The Cardinals then pushed the lead to 21 – and thereby put FSU’s 23-game winning streak on life support – with an 11-yard scoring strike from Will Gardner to Gerald Christian.

Florida State stole back momentum immediately after falling down by 21 by cooly marching 78 yards in six plays, saved by a third-and-goal rush at the 1 where a Karlos Williams fumble rolled into the end zone and was recovered by Seminoles tight end Nick O’Leary.

The 21-point deficit – brief as it was – is the largest Florida State has faced on its 23-game streak.

Todd Grantham‘s defense, ranked second nationally in pass efficiency defense heading into tonight with seven touchdowns allowed and 15 interceptions, has lived up to its billing, intercepting Jameis Winston twice (on consecutive passes, no less) and turning both opportunities into touchdowns.

Florida State’s defense, on the other hand, has let Louisville get what it wanted on the ground and through the air. Gardner has thrown for 179 yards, and Dyer already has 95 yards and that pair of touchdowns on 14 carries.

The lead could actually be larger, as a 71-yard pass from Gardner to DeVante Parker on the first play from scrimmage gave the Cardinals a first-and-goal from the four inside the game’s first minute, but a fourth-and-goal pass from Gardner to Christian fell incomplete.

Florida State will get the ball to open the second half on the biggest possession of the season for both teams. A Florida State touchdown makes the score 21-14 and officially pulls the game back into toss-up territory. A stop keeps Louisville in control, and FSU’s status as the second-ranked team back on life support.