After a week off from the college football grind, Louisville heads back into conference play with a game against Boston College.
In a game that saw more offense than both teams had seen in years, backup quarterbacks going in and coming out and going back in again and some smooth-looking Muhammad Ali uniforms, the Cards won their first conference game in almost two years 41-39.
Boston College had already won three games this season but may find it hard to get the last three victories they need to get to bowl eligibility. Their offense does feature one of the best running backs in the country in AJ Dillon, who had already racked up over 600 yards and six touchdowns coming into this game.
The Cards came into the game looking to snap a two-game losing streak against the Eagles and are right along with Boston College in needing every win they can get to make a bowl game.
Micale Cunningham, formerly known as Malik, started at quarterback for the Cards with Jawon Pass missing his third straight game.
Boston College’s first drive took them all the way to the Louisville four-yard line, before AJ Dillon was stripped of the ball and the Cards got a touchback. The Louisville offense marched 80 yards in six plays ending in a three-yard touchdown run by Cunningham.
The Eagles responded quickly though, scoring on a 72-yard pass play after the Louisville defense apparently forgot about a BC tight end.
On their next series the Cards showed that they too can complete long passes, with Cunningham throwing to Seth Dawkins for a 59-yard touchdown.
The first quarter had almost 400 yards of offense between the two teams.
The Eagles were able to tie it up a few minutes into the second quarter on a ten-yard touchdown pass.
Coach Scott Satterfield swapped Cunningham for Evan Conley midway through the second quarter. The third-string quarterback was able to lead the Cards down the field on his first possession that ended with a three-yard Javian Hawkins touchdown run to have Louisville regain the lead. Cunningham would return for the next series, however.
In the closing minutes of the second half, Hassan Hall would run the ball in from six yards out to get a 28-14 lead. But with 30 seconds left in the second quarter, the Eagles scored on a 13-yard touchdown pass and made the conversion to make the score 28-22.
Blanton Creque missed a 44-yard FG as the half ended.
Louisville put up 412 yards of offense in the first half, the most since 56-10 win over Syracuse in 2017.
Boston College retook the lead on a 19-yard touchdown pass and ensuing extra point. The Cards got it back on a 34-yard field goal to make the score 31-29. The Eagles kicked a field goal of their own with three and a half minutes left to retake the lead.
Cunningham went down again late in the third quarter and Conley came back in, throwing his first touchdown pass of the game on a 23-yard pass to Dez Fitzpatrick with 14 minutes left in the game.
Shortly thereafter the Eagles responded with a touchdown on a 37-yard trick play to make the score 38-36. They would kick a field goal a few minutes with three and a half minutes left to get a 39-38 lead.
The Cards would respond with a 41-yard field goal of their own to retake the lead but giving Boston College the ball back with about a minute left to go. The Louisville defense were able to keep the Eagles out of field goal range and seal the victory.
The position of tight end can be one of the most versatile on the football field. A hybrid of an offensive lineman and a wide receiver, they can set up outside the tackles and provide extra blocking for run plays, or they can run into the open field and provide a sizable passing threat.
The Louisville defense seemed to forget that tight ends were a thing for most of the game. While the Cards’ D kept AJ Dillon contained for a good chunk of the contest, they did struggle with passes to the tight end up the middle. They did have a couple turnovers in the game, including a key interception early in the fourth quarter.
The offense had no such problems with anyone and everyone seemingly able to throw, catch or run for 100+ yards at will.
Cunningham completed 13 of his 18 passes for 288 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 43 yards on six carries and a touchdown.
Conley finished throwing 10-16 for 140 yards and a touchdown.
Javian Hawkins was the leading rusher with 25 carries for 172 yards and a touchdown. Hassan Hall also ran in a touchdown.
Seth Dawkins led the team in receiving with six catches for 170 yards and a touchdown. Dez Fitzpatrick caught five passes for 108 yards and a touchdown. Tutu Atwell caught eight passes for 110 yards.
The Cards move to 3-2 on the season (1-1 ACC). Boston College falls to 3-3 on the year (1-2 ACC).
Louisville hopes to continue their conference winning streak against #22 Wake Forest on October 12.<