After losing to Pitt, Louisville looked to bounce back against Georgia Tech and gain some positive momentum.
Turnovers again reared their ugly head, however, as the Cards were stung by the Yellowjackets 38-27.
Both squads were looking to snap two-game losing streaks. Georgia Tech began the season with a win over Florida State before falling to Central Florida and Syracuse. Louisville beat Western Kentucky then lost to Miami and Pittsburgh.
The Cards offense would be back to full strength, with Malik Cunningham good to go after being carted off the field at the end of the Pitt game. He was looking to have a much better game after throwing three interceptions against the Panthers and being sacked seven times.
Things did not begin well for the Cards. They drove the ball down to the Tech 33-yard line when Hassan Hall fumbled the ball away. The Yellowjackets finished their next possession with a 12-yard touchdown pass.
The two squads traded punts before Louisville tied things up with a three-yard pass to Marshon Ford. After Georgia Tech couldn’t get anything done, the Cards scored again on their possession, with Cunningham getting in on the action courtesy of a two-yard touchdown run to make the score 14-7.
Louisville made it three-straight possessions with a touchdown on a 26-yard pass to Tutu Atwell with about 90 seconds left to go in the first half.
The Yellowjackets were not out yet, however, quickly driving and scoring on a nine-yard gadget play before the half ended to make the score 21-14.
Georgia Tech would close the gap even further halfway through the third quarter with a short touchdown run. The Yellowjackets gained further momentum when Hassan Hall fumbled for the second time on the ensuing kickoff, giving Tech great field position that they promptly turned into another touchdown to take a 26-21 lead.
The Cards finally stopped the bleeding and regained the lead with a 11-yard touchdown run by Cunningham with less than a minute to go in the third quarter, failing the two-point conversion to make the score 27-26.
The rest of the game belonged to Georgia Tech, however, as they scored the last 20 points.
The Yellowjackets punted on their first possession of the fourth quarter, giving Louisville an opportunity to widen the lead. But another Cardinal fumble, this time by Javian Hawkins, result in another Georgia Tech touchdown to put them up 32-27.
Louisville couldn’t regain the lead, and The Yellowjackets closed the game out with two more touchdowns in the last three minutes of the game.
The score discrepancy came despite of the Cards outgaining Georgia Tech on offense. Louisville had 471 total offensive yards to the Yellowjackets 450, including 242 rushing yards.
Once again turnovers were an issue for the Cards, who remain one of the worst in the country in that stat. Hassan Hall fumbled twice and Javian Hawkins once, all recovered by the opponent and leading to scores. The Yellowjackets scored 19 points off Louisville turnovers, 26 including the turnover-on-downs the Cards had at the end of the game.
The Louisville defense did not help much either. Although Cunningham wasn’t sacked nearly as much as he was against Pitt, he was still brought down three time and the Tech defense had eight tackles for loss.
The Cards could only muster two tackles for loss and did not get one sack. Several Yellowjacket touchdowns and big plays were the result of poor tackling or blown coverages.
While Malik Cunningham had three turnovers against Pittsburgh, he turned things around this game, completing 19 of his 33 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 50 yards on 14 carries for two touchdowns.
Javian Hawkins had 26 carries for 155 yards and a fumble.
Marshon Ford caught five passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. Tutu Atwell also caught a touchdown pass.
Louisville falls to 1-3 on the season (0-3 ACC). Georgia Tech moves to 2-2 (2-1 ACC).
The Cards hope for a miracle on the road as they face their toughest opponent of the season, #5 Notre Dame, on October 17.<