'Canes clip the Cards

Associated Press

MIAMI -- Flat on his back on the Orange Bowl turf, Brock Berlin writhed from the hit he had just taken. The Louisville Cardinals had him down, but not out.

Berlin rose slowly and stayed in the game, sparking a second-half rally to help the No. 3-ranked Miami Hurricanes beat No. 18 Louisville 41-38 Thursday night.

"I was hurting pretty good," said Berlin, who bruised his chest in the second quarter&; "But I never considered coming out of the game."

Good thing for the Hurricanes (5-0), who needed Berlin's three touchdown passes. They erased a 17-point deficit over the final 20 minutes and came from behind twice in the fourth quarter to remain in the race for their sixth national championship since 1983.


"Brock Berlin played a super game, especially in the second half," coach Larry Coker said. "He was on fire."

Berlin threw for 308 yards -- 215 after halftime -- and directed the winning drive, a 56-yard march capped by Frank Gore's 1-yard run with 49 seconds left.

"We kind of got ourselves in a hole," Berlin said. "Some things weren't working. But we proved what type of character our team has."

Gore's touchdown capped a seesaw fourth quarter. Devin Hester scored on a 78-yard punt return to put Miami ahead 34-31, but Louisville (4-1) regained the lead when freshman backup quarterback Brian Brohm directed an 80-yard touchdown drive.

Stefan LeFors threw three touchdown passes for the Cardinals before being sidelined with a concussion in the fourth quarter.

"There's no such thing as a moral victory," LeFors said.

The Cardinals had touted the game as perhaps the biggest in school history, and they rose to the occasion. The Hurricanes narrowly averted only the second loss in their past 30 games at the Orange Bowl.

"We came out and threw everything we had at them," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. "I thought we had them. Unfortunately we didn't."

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