The Louisville Cardinals’ chances of reaching the College Football Playoff are all-but over, after they suffered a 36-10 to the Houston Cougars at TDECU Stadium on Thursday evening.
Louisville were in a hole from the moment the game started, fumbling the opening kickoff which allowed Houston to take a 7-0 from the first play from scrimmage and they never looked back.
Both teams now share a 9-2 record this season and Bobby Petrino admitted that his Cardinal team “blew it” when referring to the possibility of them making the season-ending Playoff.
Jackson has off-night as Cougars stifle him in comfortable win
Following the first minute score from Duke Catalon to open the game, Houston’s running back accumulated both a rushing and receiving touchdown in the second quarter as the home side built a seemingly unassailable 31-0 halftime lead behind an impressive showing from quarterback Greg Ward JR.
Lamar Jackson showed signs of life at the start of the third quarter, hitting tight-end Cole Hikutini for a 12 yard touchdown, but that was as good as it got the fifth ranked team in the country as their playoff hopes went up in tatters.
The odds-on favourite for the Heisman trophy, Jackson, was sacked an incredible 11 times by Houston’s defence and managed just 33 rushing yards from 25 attempts in by far his worst performance of the season. He also completed less than half of his 43 passes for just 211 yards as Houston shut down Louisville’s offence, not surrendering 50 yards totals to either a rusher or a receiver.
Petrino admits Louisville were ‘outcoached’ on tough night
Coming into this game, there was still a slim chance of Louisville ending the season as one of the playoff committee’s top four teams, yet that chance is now extinct.
“We blew it” claimed Bobby Petrino. “We got beat by their offense, got beat by their defense, got beat by their special teams,” added the head coach.
The 55-year-old continued his damning indictment of affairs, admitting that “They outplayed us, outperformed us, outcoached us.”
A two-loss Louisville will now be rooting for Wake Forest to stun Clemson on Saturday, which would hand the Cards a spot in the ACC Championship Game and an unlikely shot at keeping their playoff hopes alive.