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No. 19 Louisville holds off North Carolina 39-34

Associated Press Modified: September 15, 2012 at 8:32 pm •  Published: September 15, 2012

At the start, North Carolina was out of sync and dug its hole with two first-half turnovers that Louisville quickly converted.

"We came out playing football from another universe or something," Tar Heels tight end Eric Ebron said.

Right after Louisville marched 62 yards for its first touchdown and a 6-0 lead, Renner lofted a pass right at Louisville's Marcus Smith.

Bridgewater made it 12-0 on the next play, eluding the rush to find Charles Gaines wide open in the end zone on a post pattern.

After John Wallace's 22-yard field goal made it 15-0, Renner hit Morris for 15 yards, which would have left the Tar Heels with fourth down. But he fumbled after coming down with the ball, upheld on review, and was recovered by Adrian Bushell at North Carolina's 45.

Seven plays later Bridgewater hit Eli Rogers for a 15-yard score with the sophomore alone for the final 10. A rout was building at that point, and the Cardinals didn't let up.

Louisville went into sustained-drive mode, at least by its standards. The Cardinals went 84 yards but in just five plays, highlighted by Bridgewater's 36-yard crossing pass to Andrell Smith for first down at the Tar Heels' 44 and an 11-yarder to Scott Radcliffe.

Wright carried twice for the final 33 yards, capped by a 12-yard run. The next one went 10 plays and 69 yards, ending with Nick Heuser's 4-yard TD pass from Bridgewater.

"Last week we learned to come out and put our foot on the gas from the start," Bridgewater said. "This week, we learned we have to finish."

North Carolina got on the board with Renner's 44-yard scoring pass to Morris, cutting the lead to 29-7. The junior also hit Eric Ebron for a 2-yard TD in the third quarter and Highsmith for a 9-yard score early in the fourth.