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College Football | BOWL ROUNDUP

Louisville Shuts Down BYU

January 01, 2002|From Associated Press

The Louisville Cardinals thought they would have to use offense to defeat Brigham Young. The defense made that plan unnecessary.

Dave Ragone threw for 228 yards and three touchdowns, and the defense came up with five sacks and three interceptions as No. 23 Louisville beat No. 19 Brigham Young, 28-10, Monday in the Liberty Bowl at Memphis, Tenn.

Ragone described the defensive play as unbelievable.

"They shut down one of the best offenses I've ever seen," he said of the Cougars, who have the nation's top unit.

For BYU (12-2), the loss marked yet another disappointing end to a season that held the promise of being an undefeated one only a month ago.

The Cougars lost their third consecutive bowl game and 10th in their last 14 despite an offense that averaged 542.8 yards and set a school record by averaging 46.7 points. But All-American running back Luke Staley, the nation's leading scorer, was out because of ankle surgery.

Louisville kept the Cougars from finding a rhythm.

The defense held BYU quarterback Brandon Doman to 18-of-37 passing for 192 yards. The defense repeatedly gave the Louisville offense a short field, and three of the Cardinal touchdown drives were 54 yards or shorter.

Defensive tackle Bobby Leffew and his teammates hoped they could keep the Cougars to 25 points. They wound up limiting BYU to its lowest point total of the season and a season-low 276 yards.

Ragone, Conference USA's offensive player of the year, tossed touchdown passes of one, 34 and 27 yards. He was 19 of 28, and Deion Branch had six catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.

*

Clemson 49, Louisiana Tech 24--Woodrow Dantzler tied a school record with four touchdown passes and Tiger Coach Tommy Bowden got his first postseason victory in the Humanitarian Bowl at Boise, Idaho.

With snow falling from kickoff into the third quarter, Dantzler completed 15 of 23 passes for 218 yards. He ran 15 times for 57 yards before leaving with the Tigers (7-5) leading, 42-10, after the third quarter.

The Bulldogs (7-5), champions of the Western Athletic Conference in their first season in the league, tackled poorly in the cold weather and quarterback Luke McCown's two third-quarter interceptions led to two Clemson touchdowns.

*

North Carolina 16, Auburn 10--The Tar Heels (8-5) dominated on defense, and Ronald Curry provided just enough offense to defeat the Tigers (7-5) in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta.

Curry scrambled for a 62-yard touchdown and the Tar Heels kept Auburn out of the end zone for nearly 59 minutes, holding on for a victory that capped a successful first year for Coach John Bunting.

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