Updated: Saturday, October 2, 2004 8:51 PM EDT
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(22) Louisville 59, East Carolina 7
East Carolina Pirates
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LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (Ticker) -- Eric Shelton had only 12 carries against East Carolina but he made them count.

Sparked by Shelton's school record-tying five touchdown runs, No. 22 Louisville cruised to a 59-7 victory over East Carolina in a Conference USA matchup.

Shelton, who picked up 129 yards rushing, produced a 67-yard run midway through the first quarter to give Louisville (4-0, 2-0 C-USA) a 7-0 lead.

East Carolina (0-4, 0-2) tied the game, 7-7, on a 20-yard pass from James Pinkney to Sean Harmon. Then Shelton took over.

The 6-2, 247-pound junior recorded scoring runs of one and three yards in the second quarter and one and 39 yards in the third to open a 35-7 cushion. Shelton's five TDs were the most by a Cardinal since Leroy Collins accomplished the feat in 1998.

"Eric is running the ball really well right now. He's gotten a lot of the touches in the last two games and he's made the most of it," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said. "He had two really nice long runs today and he did a great job on the goal line as well."

The Pirates were there own worst enemy, committing five turnovers that Louisville converted into 21 points.

"I think this was a bad performance against a very good team," East Carolina coach John Thompson said. "Louisville is a very good team. They beat the dog out of us."

The Cardinals also got strong play from quarterbacks Brian Brohm and Stefan LeFors. Brohm, a true freshman, completed 12-of-16 passes for 186 yards and a TD while LeFors connected on 12-of-14 attempts for 148 yards and a score.

Brohm and LeFors, who have combined to complete 75 percent of their passes this season, were able to spread the ball around against the Pirates, finding 11 different receivers.

"Our quarterbacks did a nice job today of hitting the receivers in the hands," Petrino said. "One reason our passing percentage has been high is because both of our quarterbacks are making good decisions on when and where to throw the ball."

Louisville's defense did the job as well, registering 12 tackles for a loss, including four sacks. The Cardinals have surrendered only 28 points in their first four games, the lowest total through four games since 1947, when opponents managed only 23 points.

"I was really happy with the way our defense created turnovers and gave us a short field," Petrino said. "Our defense and special teams did a great job of setting things up for us and our offense took advantage of those opportunities."

The win sets up a huge game for the Cardinals in their next outing. Louisville travels to the Orange Bowl to take on No. 4 Miami on October 14.

"I'm already thinking about Miami. We're excited about playing them," Petrino said. "I came here to coach in games like this and our players came here to play in games like this. We'll be focused and intense, and we'll get on the plane, fly down there and tee it off."

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