MOBILE, Alabama (Ticker) -- Ben Roethlisberger ended his college career in style.
Roethlisberger threw for 376 yards and four touchdowns as 15th-ranked Miami Ohio tied a school record with its 13th straight win, a 49-28 victory over Louisville in the GMAC Bowl.
At 6-5 and 240 pounds, the strong-armed Roethlisberger has been projected as a high first-round pick in the NFL draft. But he did not reveal his intetions until after the GMAC Bowl, when he announced he will skip his senior season and head to the pros.
"I love this guy, it's the right thing to do for him," Miami coach Terry Hoeppner said. "Obviously, I would love to have him back, but I think it's the right thing to do. From what everebody tells us, he's going to go high (in the draft)."
Roethlisberger did nothing to hurt his NFL stock by throwing all of his touchdown passes in the first half, when the RedHawks (13-1) jumped to a 35-7 lead.
"It was a good half for us," Roethlisberger said. "It means a lot to win this game and have a great season. We came out, we did well, we eliminated turnovers and played pretty good football. It was key for us."
J.R. Russell caught three TD passes to help Louisville cut the deficit to 35-28 after three quarters, but the RedHawks regained a 14-point cushion early in the fourth on a three-yard run by Mike Smith.
Any chance of a comeback ended when safety Matt Pusateri picked off Stefan LeFors and returned the interception 35 yards for a score with 7:57 left.
LeFors threw for 224 yards and was intercepted three times.
"We tightened it up and I was proud of the way we came back," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. "We got a couple of opportunities in the third quarter when we drove the ball down there and didn't convert and then again when we blocked the punt and we missed a field goal. So we had our chances, but we just couldn't get it done when it was on the line."
The RedHawks (13-1) own the nation's longest current winning streak and matched the school record set from 1972-74. The only loss for Miami Ohio was its season opener against Iowa.
"When they got within seven, the character of this football team was revealed once again, Hoeppner said. "Moving down the field, we answered and pretty much put it away at that point."
The wide-open affair featured 1,089 total yards, including 597 by the RedHawks.
Martin Nance of Miami caught nine passes for 168 yards, including a 12-yard TD from Roethlisberger late in the first quarter that made it 21-0. Roethlisberger, who completed 21-of-33 passes, also threw TD passes of 28 and 26 yards yards to Michael Larkin and 16 yards to Matt Brandt.
Miami was playing its first bowl game since the 1986 California Bowl. It was the RedHawks' first bowl win since a 20-7 triumph over South Carolina in the 1975 Tangerine Bowl.
Russell had seven catches for 144 yards for Louisville, which went 9-4 in its first season under Petrino. The Cardinals also got 128 yards on 12 carries from Lionel Gates.
Miami's Calvin Murray carried 15 times for 142 yards, including a two-yard TD that made it 14-0.