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September 18, 2005

Elvis Dumervil sets another NCAA sack record

Two games, two NCAA records. Not a bad start to the season, eh?

Louisville senior defensive end Elvis Dumervil set an NCAA record with six sacks as part of his 12 total tackles, two forced fumbles and seven tackles for a loss in a 31-24 win over Kentucky. Two weeks later, Dumervil sacked Oregon State quarterback Matt Moore three times, forced two more fumbles and totalled six tackles to set an NCAA record for the most sacks in the history of football in consecutive games.

"He should have had four sacks; I thought he missed one," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said with a smirk after the game. "He's done an excellent job, and he was so much energy on the sideline and helped everybody else I thought on the sideline."

With nine sacks in just two games, Dumervil could the single season sack record at Louisville. The single season record isn't as assured as it may seem since former Cardinal and NFL star Joe Johnson set the pace at 17 sacks for the season in 1993. For those keeping track, Dumervil also has 18 tackles and four forced fumbles in two games. Dumervil tied Ben Sumpter's 1992 season record of four forced fumbles, and the senior from Miami, Fla. now has 10 games to break the record.

Despite unreal success rushing the quarterback, Petrino said he may be more impressed with Dumervil's leadership on the sidelines. The 6-foot, 251-pound senior was elected one of three defensive team captains before the season along with defensive tackle Montavious Stanley and linebacker Brandon Johnson.

"Besides playing the game really well and rushing the quarterback like he is, he's doing a great job of leading for us," Petrino said after the Cards 63-27 win over Oregon State on Saturday.

Early in the game Saturday, Louisville was down 10-0 to the Beavers when the Cardinals began a dramatic turn-around. First, the offense pushed the ball downfield- moving past a scripted set of plays that Petrino normally runs. Then, the U of L defense ignited an emotional explosion on the sidelines that carried the Cards to a 28-point second quarter. Dumervil slammed into OSU quarterback Matt Moore, forcing a fumble that was quickly snapped up by true freshman defensive end Earl Heyman. Within two minutes, the momentum swung from Oregon State to Louisville, and the more than 42,600 fans in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium went wild with applause.

"I thought our defense was really what got us going," Petrino said. "We got the good touchdown offensively when we opened it up a little bit and then our defense started hitting the quarterback, and once you start hitting the quarterback we got turnovers, made a lot of big play."

Stay logged on to CardinalSports.com for more coverage of Saturday's impressive 63-27 win over Oregon State.


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