LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville quarterback Jack Plummer could do little wrong on Saturday, and it led to a career day for the fifth-year senior quarterback.
Plummer completed 18-of-21 passes for 388 yards and a career-high five touchdowns to lead the Cardinals (4-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) to a 56-28 victory over the Eagles (1-3, 0-2) on Saturday afternoon.
Louisville used a bevy of big plays to rack up 585 yards on offense. Plummer, who also added a 9-yard rushing touchdown, had seven passes go for at least 27 yards, including four of his touchdowns. He also completed 15 consecutive passes, the fourth-highest total in Cardinals history.
Plummer credited his teammates for giving him protection in the pocket and for getting open to allow him to have the third-best passing yardage game in his career.
“We saw glimpses of that in all the games we’ve played, where we put stretches of football together on the offensive side of the ball where it looked really good,” said Plummer, who was pulled midway through the fourth quarter. “Just to be able to do that for almost a whole game felt really good.”
Before playing at Cal last season, Plummer played his first three seasons under current Louisville coach Jeff Brohm at Purdue.
Brohm noted that most of Plummer’s throws during Saturday's completions streak were downfield.
“I thought Jack was as sharp as he’s ever been,” Brohm said.
Jawhar Jordan also enjoyed a big game as he ran 18 times for 134 yards and two scores and caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from Plummer to start the second half. The redshirt junior also had runs of 42 and 33 yards and a 40-yard kickoff return.
Ahmari Huggins Bruce caught three passes for 110 yards and two scores. The junior’s 55-yard touchdown reception from Plummer on Louisville’s second play of the second half made it 56-21 with 10:04 left in the third quarter.
The Eagles found themselves down 28-0 before the offense finally started clicking midway through the second quarter. Sophomore quarterback Thomas Castellanos ran for a 39-yard touchdown and completed 17-of-33 passes for 265 yards and three scores.
Boston College coach Jeff Hafley lamented his team’s flat play. The offense was stuffed on a fourth-and-2 play at the Louisville 42 on the game’s opening drive, and the Cardinals never looked back.
“I thought we were really flat early on in the game,” Hafley said.
As Louisville was building its lead, Brohm deployed some tricks from his playbook to mixed success. Tackle Willie Tyler trying a cartwheel during a Plummer bootleg didn't work. However, another did, and it helped the Cardinals score a touchdown in the final minute of the first half.
After the Eagles scored to make it 35-14 with :33 left in the half, Brohm had the Cardinals line up as if they would take a knee for their 25 and be content with getting the ball to start the second half. However, Plummer instead snuck a handoff to Jordan. It led to a 42-yard gain. One play later, Plummer found Jamari Thrash behind the Eagles secondary for a 42-yard touchdown pass that pushed the Louisville lead back to 28 points.
It’s not the first time Brohm has used that play. His team at Western Kentucky employed it in the 2016 Boca Raton Bowl against Memphis.
“They’re fun to do,” he said. “Our players enjoy it. We practice it once a week because, as coaches, we don’t want to screw it up.”
Boston College: Just like last week, the Eagles found themselves down big. However, a porous defense kept the offense from being able to claw back into the game. BC entered Saturday with the 115th-ranked rushing defense (187.3 yards per game) in the Football Bowl Subdivision, but Louisville also gashed an Eagles secondary that was 26th nationally in passing yards allowed (174.7 ypg).
Hafley called it uncharacteristic.
“We haven’t had play like that since I’ve been here,” he said. “I wish I had a clear answer. I’ve got to find it.”
Louisville: With the win, the Cardinals are 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the ACC for the first time since 2016. It’s a solid start to the season for first-year coach Jeff Brohm, but the tougher stretch of the schedule still looms.
Boston College returns home for a Saturday afternoon contest against Virginia.
Louisville travels to N.C. State for a Friday night game.