TEMPE, ARIZ., JAN. 1 -- Browning Nagle threw for a Fiesta Bowl-record 451 yards, 223 during a 25-point first quarter, as 18th-ranked Louisville celebrated its first postseason appearance in 13 years today by routing 25th-ranked Alabama, 34-7.
Nagle, named the game's most valuable offensive player, completed 20 of 33 passes and threw for three touchdowns, with one interception. He completed nine of 16 for two touchdowns in the first quarter alone and was rested for most of the second quarter.
He broke the bowl record of 422 passing yards set last year by Florida State's Peter Tom Willis.
The Cardinals, making their first postseason appearance since the 1977 Independence Bowl, finished 10-1-1, the best record in school history.
Alabama, which started the season 0-3, wound up 7-5 after its worst bowl defeat since a 38-6 thrashing by Nebraska in the 1971 Orange Bowl.
The Crimson Tide had allowed only 38 points in the last seven games, but Louisville turned an interception, a fumble and a blocked punt into a 25-0 lead.
Nagle, whose first-quarter passing yardage was a record for the 20-year-old bowl, threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Latrell Ware 7:25 gone in the first quarter, tying a Fiesta mark for the longest touchdown.
Ralph Dawkins's five-yard touchdown run with 3:40 left in the first quarter made it 13-0, and Nagle hit Anthony Cummings on a 37-yard scoring pass with 54 seconds left.
Louisville completed the record-setting quarter when Ray Buchanan, named the game's defensive MVP, recovered a blocked punt in the end zone with one second left.
Alabama closed to 25-7 on Charles Gardner's bowl-record 49-yard interception return with 7:32 left in the half.
Nagle, who had a 60-yard scoring pass negated by a penalty, threw a 19-yard touchdown to Cummings for a 32-7 lead with 10:17 remaining in the third quarter.
Backup quarterback Danny Woodson was called for intentional grounding out of the Alabama end zone, giving Louisville a safety with 10:16 to play.
Crimson Tide starter Gary Hollingsworth completed only 10 of 23 passes for 59 yards with one interception before being replaced late in the third quarter.
He also was sacked three times as the Cardinals had a bowl-record six sacks.
Louisville outgained Alabama 571 yards to 189.
The Crimson Tide had beaten Louisville in both of their previous meetings -- 24-3 in 1976 and 55-6 in 1977. Both games were played at Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Nagle's 70-yard touchdown pass to Ware tied the record set in the 1983 Fiesta when Arizona State's Todd Hons hit Alvin Moore.
The Fiesta Bowl record for points in a quarter was 21, set by Arizona State in 1972 and tied by Florida State in 1988 and 1990.
Nagle's first-quarter passing yardage broke the previous mark of 213 set last year by Willis in the second quarter.