SOUTH BEND—Louisville didn’t panic when Notre Dame, aided by a 61-yard punt return, scored two quick touchdowns early in the third quarter to take the lead.The Cardinals answered with a pair of touchdowns of their own, stopped Notre Dame at the 9-yard line and avoided overtime when Notre Dame’s Kyle Brindza missed a 32-yard field-goal attempt as the Cardinals held on for a 31-28 victory Saturday.
”Things were a bit rough there for a minute,” Louisville quarterback Reggie Bonnafon said. ”We just kept our composure and knew that we were going to turn it back around and keep executing our game plan and that’s what happened.”
Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said he was happy for his players.
”We knew it was going to be a fourth-quarter game,” Petrino said. ”They competed extremely hard. I think our assistant coaches on offense did a great job on the sideline of calming our guys down, keeping our poise.”
The Irish had a chance to force overtime but Brindza missed a 32-yard field goal wide right with 51 seconds left. It was the second straight time a missed field goal cost Notre Dame a game. Brindza missed a field goal in overtime a week earlier against Northwestern.
”We’ve lost back to back games because we couldn’t put down a ball and kick it 32 yards,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said.
Bonnafon ran for a pair of touchdowns and threw a 21-yard scoring pass to DeVante Parker for the Cardinals. Bonnafon was 8-of-31 passing for 180 yards with one interception.