After going undefeated in their nonconference schedule, the #18 Louisville Cardinals hosted the #17 Miami Hurricanes and ESPN College Gameday to start their ACC slate.
Much like last season, The Canes rolled over the Cards 47-34.
Last year’s matchup between the two teams may have been Louisville’s worst and weirdest loss. While the score was 59-21 Miami. It wasn’t really even that close. The Cards secondary was torched for six-passing touchdowns and the offense couldn’t respond in kind, partially due to early injuries to Malik Cunningham and Mekhi Becton.
This was the first game between ranked teams this college football season, and both squads were looking to prove their worth.
Louisville scored first with a 40-yard field goal, but Miami quickly responded, marching down the field and finishing with a 17-yard touchdown pass to go up 7-3.
The Canes scored again on a short run late in the first quarter.
The Card chipped away at the lead a little bit with another field goal early in the second quarter. The Louisville defense kept Miami out of the endzone, but couldn’t keep their kicker out of field goal range as the Canes nailed two more in the second quarter to get up 20-6 as the first half wound down.
The Cards had opportunities offensively heading into halftime but squandered them, turning the ball over in each of their last two possessions.
Louisville wasn’t out yet, however, as they opened the first half with a seven-play, 75-yard drive ending in a 19-yard run by Javian Hawkins to make it a one-score game.
But while the offense stepped up, the defense still struggled, as Miami ran the ball 75-yards for a score on their next play from scrimmage to make the score 27-13.
Luckily the Cards weren’t done scoring, scoring on the next possession with a six-yard touchdown pass to Tutu Atwell.
The Canes responded quickly, however, with a 75-yard touchdown pass to take a 14-point lead. They would add another field goal at the end of the third quarter to make the score 37-20.
Miami added another field goal early in the final quarter to take a 20-point lead.
Louisville still fought, scoring on a four-yard pass to Marshon Ford with seven minutes left in the game. But the defense couldn’t stop the Cane, who scored again with a little over five minutes left to get the score to 47-27.
The Cards showed a little spark of life with around two minutes left.
Cunningham passed to Tutu Atwell for a 19-yard touchdown, then their special teams recovered the onside kick.
Louisville couldn’t capitalize however, as Cunningham fumbled the ball away with a minute left.
The Cards lost despite outgaining Miami 516 yards to 485.
Cunningham finished throwing 26-36 for 307 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
Tutu Atwell was the leading receiver with eight catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns. Marshon Ford also caught a touchdown pass.
Javian Hawkins had 164 yards rushing on 27 carries with one touchdown.
The Cards will look to bounce back as they head to #25 Pittsburgh on September 26.<