After a roller coaster of a game that once again went down to the wire, the Cards beat the Cavs 28-21.
Virginia flirted with the top 25 rankings earlier this season and are coming off a drubbing of Duke last week. They have had issues on the road, however, including a puzzling loss at Miami a few weeks ago.
The Cards were looking for their third conference win of the season and to get one more victory closer to a coveted bowl game. Lamar Jackson was in attendance, sending as many positive vibes as possible.
Louisville’s first possession didn’t go so well, with Micale Cunningham getting sacked on fourth down and then the Cavaliers scoring with a six-yard run on their first series.
The Cards responded quickly though with a 77-yard touchdown pass to Tutu Atwell to tie it up.
Virginia would regain the lead on a 19-yard touchdown run shortly into the second quarter.
Louisville would struggle mightily as the second quarter wore on. Coach Scott Satterfield gave Evan Conley a look at quarterback but the freshman did not perform as he had in past games and soon the Cards went back to Cunningham.
Despite these setbacks, the Louisville D was still able to keep Virginia from scoring again in the first half and they went into halftime with a 14-7 Cavalier lead.
The second half was almost all Louisville.
The Cards tied it up halfway through the third quarter on a two-yard run by Javian Hawkins.
As the fourth quarter began, they took their first lead of the game on a 25-yard touchdown run by Cunningham.
And with less than three minutes left Louisville scored again with another Javian Hawkins touchdown run for 17 yards.
But the game was far from over.
With 20 seconds left the Cavaliers scored on a four-yard pass to make the score 28-21 and then recovered the ensuing onside kick.
Micale Cunningham threw 6-10 for 126 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 97 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown.
Javian Hawkins was the leading rusher with 28 carries for 136 yards and two touchdowns.
Tutu Atwell led the team in receiving with six catches for 122 yards and a touchdown.
The defense deserves special commendation. They stopped Virginia from scoring when the Cards offense was floundering in the second quarter. And had several sacks and turnovers against the Cavaliers.
It wasn’t all good news however. Louisville’s record-breaking kicker Blanton Creque was injured in the fourth quarter and later seen on crutches.
Also special teams really, really, really need to work on their onside kick recovery.
Louisville moves to 5-3 on the season (3-2 ACC). Virginia falls to 5-3 (3-2 ACC).
The Cards head back on the road trying to get their sixth win against Miami on November 9.<