LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Kentucky put together a tremendous defensive effort against highly touted Louisville quarterback Dave Ragone Sunday night and the Wildcats handed the 18th ranked Cardinals a stunning 22-17 setback.
The 6-4, 250-pound Ragone was considered a dark horse for the Heisman Trophy. The school had bobble-head dolls made and the senior had two opportunities to raise his stock in nationally televised home games against Kentucky and Florida State.
The Wildcats were ranked 109th in total defense last year and figured to be easy pickings for Ragone, who threw for 3,056 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. But Kentucky kept pressure on him the entire game and never let him get comfortable.
Ragone completed just 14 of 39 passes for 193 yards, one touchdown and a costly interception with just over three minutes to play. He also was Louisville's leading rusher as he frequently found himself running for his life.
Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen, meanwhile, opened the scoring with a 64-yard throw to Ernest Simms six minutes deep in the game and the Wildcats built a 16-0 lead on an eight-yard run by Artose Pinner with 3:58 remaining in the first half.
Louisville closed to within 16-7 at the break and Broderick Clark returned the second-half kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
The Cardinals took a 17-16 lead when Nate Smith kicked a 24-yard field goal, but the rest of the scoring was produced by the Wildcats on field goals of 32 and 31 yards by taylor Begley.