Smith, Louisville bulldoze Syracuse to remain perfectOct 21, 2006 - 7:23 PM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Kolby Smith and Anthony Allen are helping Louisville forget about the loss of Michael Bush.
Smith rushed for a career-high 165 yards and two touchdowns while Allen added a pair of scores on the ground to lead sixth-ranked Louisville to a 28-13 Big East Conference triumph over Syracuse.
It was the ninth consecutive conference victory for the Cardinals (7-0, 2-0 Big East), who are off to the second 7-0 start in school history and the first since 1925.
Louisville coach Bobby Petrino was pleased with the Mountaineers' performance heading into their Big East showdown with No. 4 West Virginia on November 2.
"This is just the position we wanted to be in going into the West Virginia game," he said. "We're looking forward to it now."
A preseason favorite for a Bowl Championship Series bid, Louisville saw its hopes take a serious blow when Bush suffered a broken leg in the season-opening win over Kentucky. The 247-pound running back, who ran for 23 touchdowns last season, will miss the rest of the season.
But the Cardinals had no problems running the ball Saturday thanks to Smith, a senior who reached his single-game career high on just 16 carries.
"I want to break the game open," said Smith, who shattered his previous career high of 96 yards against Syracuse last season. "The line opened some lanes and the fullback got his man, and the wide receivers blocked downfield."
"(Smith) was one of my first recruits, so I'm glad to see him have that kind of success," Petrino added. "He was pressing when Michael went down. We were blocking better for him, too."
While the 5-11 Smith provided the lightning, the 225-pound Allen brought the thunder, scoring twice from inside the 10.
Syracuse (3-5, 0-3) jumped out to a 6-0 lead on a pair of second-quarter field goals by Patrick Shadle. But Louisville took the lead for good with 58 seconds left in the half on Allen's first TD, a three-yard scamper.
"The defense did a great job of keeping them out of the end zone in the first two quarters," Petrino said. "It easily could have been 17-0."
Smith scored on a five-yard TD run with 10:39 remaining in the third quarter to give the Cardinals an eight-point cushion, and Allen plunged into the end zone from a yard out just two seconds into the final period to push the lead to 21-6.
Allen ran for 45 yards on 10 carries while Brian Brohm completed 18-of-26 passes for 203 yards for Louisville, which has won six consecutive road games. Brohm was making his second start after missing two games with a right thumb injury.
Perry Patterson went 24-of-38 for 303 yards and a TD for Syracuse, which fell to 3-3 all-time against Louisville.
"You build on the fact that we did some things better," Orange coach Greg Robinson said. "Louisville is No. 6 in the country. We truly had a chance to possibly go to overtime right there at the end. It was legit. We have to build on that."
The feisty Orange cut their deficit to 21-13 on Patterson's 37-yard scoring strike to Bruce Williams with 5:09 remaining. But the Cardinals sealed the victory on Smith's second TD, a 31-yard scamper with 1:43 left.
"We didn't want to give the ball back," Smith said. "You never know what could happen when it comes down to the last minutes."
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