LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — After losing to No. 23 Louisville 35-7 on Saturday, FCS school Missouri State was just glad to be done with FBS schools from power conferences.
"I know I'm happy with the games to over with," said Missouri State coach Terry Allen, whose Bears opened the season with a loss to Kansas State. "We came out of it with relatively no injuries, except our pride and we can heal that.
"The great thing is we get to get home."
While the Bears aren't proud about allowing 86 points the past two weeks, they took heart in not being embarrassed. They trailed then-No. 22 Kansas State 9-6 in the third quarter last week before the Wildcats ripped off 42 unanswered points.
Saturday was more of a methodical beating by Louisville (2-0). Missouri State trailed only 18-7 after Cadarrius Dotson caught a six-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ashton Glaser with 51 seconds left in the first-half.
And despite being outgained 329-111 in the first half, the Bears didn't flinch.
"I was not disappointed in our defensive play in the first half," said Allen. "I thought we played a bit better offensively as the game went on."
But then, so did Louisville. An 11-play, 75-yard drive in the third quarter provided a 25-7 lead, as Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater hit Ryan Hubbell with a two-yard touchdown pass. Matthew Nakatani's 45-yard field goal made it 28-7 with 10 minutes to play.
Missouri State ended up being outgained 475-249 and rushed for just 99 yards on 31 attempts. Glaser finished 14 of 23 for 125 yards and was intercepted and sacked.
Bridgewater, on the other hand, had his best day, while Louisville's defense had its best game to date. The sophomore completed 30 of 39 passes for a career-high 344 yards and touchdowns to tight ends Nate Nord and Ryan Hubbell.
Like last week's win against Kentucky, he got everybody involved early and often, with seven of his 10 targets catching at least three passes.
"He's what, 19?" Nord said. "He plays like he's in his 30s. He's just fun to play with. Everybody wants to help him."