LOUISVILLE, Ky. (ESPN.com news services) -- Miami started the day by stomping on the Louisville Cardinals logo in the middle of field. That might be that last sign of swagger the Hurricanes show for a while.
Three hours later, it was the Louisville fans on the field after one of the biggest wins in school history.
Something had to give when Miami's defense, which had allowed just 200 total yards per game (7th in the country), clashed with a high-powered Louisville offense that, entering Saturday, led the country in total offense (651 yards per game) and scoring offense (60.5 points per game). And while the Cardinals didn't light up the Hurricanes the way they lit up Temple a week earlier (in a 62-0 rout), Bobby Petrino's bunch did what it had to do to satisfy the faithful at Papa John's Cardinals Stadium.
Prior 13 home games
No. 12 Louisville dominated No. 17 Miami 31-7 on Saturday, gaining the signature win it's been searching for under coach Bobby Petrino even as the Cardinals (3-0) lost another Heisman Trophy hopeful to injury.
Quarterback Brian Brohm strained thumb ligaments in his right (throwing) hand in the third quarter and will miss four to six weeks, ESPN's Joe Schad reported. He threw for 181 yards and a touchdown before giving way to backup quarterback Hunter Cantwell, who finished off the Hurricanes with 113 yards and a touchdowns pass .
"I think it just shows how deep we are and how much talent we have," said Brohm, who expects to be back by the time the Cardinals host No. 5 West Virginia on Nov. 2. "Just to go out there on home field and put it to Miami like that, it felt good."
Miami fell to 1-2 for the first time since 1997 and will probably find itself out of the rankings for the first time since 1999 when the new poll comes out Sunday.
"Well it was pretty obvious today we were embarrassed," Miami coach Larry Coker said. "Our players are embarrassed. Our coaches are embarrassed. We thoroughly got whipped."
The Cardinals had already lost one Heisman Trophy contender for the season, when running back Michael Bush broke a leg in the season opener.
Kolby Smith, one of a committee of backs used to replace Bush, ran for two touchdowns as Louisville beat a ranked opponent from a Bowl Championship Series conference for the first time since 2002.
"They're always saying that we can't win the big one," Smith said. "They're saying that we've beat up on other teams, and we haven't beat a ranked team. Miami, you take your hat off and they're a good program, but to go out and win a game in that fashion, it says a lot about our team."
Miami quarterback Kyle Wright threw for 278 yards, but spent most of the second half running from a fierce Louisville pass rush that sacked him four times and harassed him countless others.
The Cardinals rallied from an early deficit to take a 10-7 lead at the half on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Brohm to Mario Urrutia. They were marching again on their first drive of the third quarter when Brohm fell on his hand while scrambling away from pressure.
He came up holding his hand, and was replaced by Cantwell, who started two games for the Cardinals last season -- including a Gator Bowl loss to Virginia Tech -- after Brohm injured his right knee in a win over Syracuse last November.
If Cantwell was nervous, he didn't show it. Smith scored on a 4-yard run one play after Cantwell entered the game. On the next possession, Cantwell stepped up and threw a 45-yard strike to Harry Douglass, with Brohm cheering from the sideline, waving a towel with his left hand and wearing an ice pack on his right.
"Last year, in the Gator Bowl, I came away from that game thinking I took something away from the team and the university of Louisville and it felt good to go out there and give some of it back," Cantwell said.
Two plays after the pass to Douglass, Smith bulled over from the one and the Cardinals had a 24-7 lead, the same advantage they had over Miami two years ago and over West Virginia last year. Both times, the Cardinals let the game slip away.
Not Saturday, as Louisville's defense dominated a punchless Miami offense that took just one snap on Louisville's side of the field in the second half until the game's final minute.
"In the fourth quarter, we had more motives to finish it out," Louisville center Eric Wood said. "When you go through an entire offseason and all you're told is, 'Finish, finish, finish.' It gets drilled into you."
The Hurricanes, who were 5-0 as an underdog under Coker, couldn't muster the kind of performance necessary to keep up.
"I guess emotions got the better of a lot of guys and we went out there and couldn't back it up on the field," Miami offensive lineman Anthony Wollschlager said. "You can't smack somebody in the face and back down."
Miami came out fast, battering Brohm on Louisville's first two drives.
Miami took the lead on a 1-yard run by Tyrone Moss and had a chance to extend it after Louisville's George Stripling fumbled deep in Cardinals territory. But Miami's Charles Jones fumbled at the Louisville 8, and the Cardinals responded with a 10-play drive that ended with a 22-yard field goal.
Urrutia's touchdown gave the Cardinals the lead for good.