After trailing by 17 to start the fourth quarter, Virginia used a big fourth quarter performance to defeat Louisville 34-33. Brennan Armstrong’s touchdown to Grant Misch put the Cavaliers ahead with 22 seconds remaining. James Turner’s 49-yard field goal to win the game as time expired was wide left.
Virginia entered the game with the second-best passing offense in the nation, averaging nearly 400 yards per contest. Brennan Armstrong and the Cavaliers struck first after an 85-yard opening drive capped off by two third-and-long conversions and a Billy Kemp IV touchdown reception.
Malik Cunningham answered quickly with a 91-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Harrell on the first play on the following drive, marking the fifth-longest pass completion in Louisville program history.
The rest of the half was filled with a slew of field goals, with Virginia leading 13-10 at the half. After averaging 398 passing yards per contest, the Cavaliers recorded a staggering 274 yards in the first half. Penalties, third-down conversions, and turning the ball over hindered the Cardinals in the first 30 minutes.
Right out of the gates in the third quarter, Hassan Hall broke off a 52-yard touchdown run to put Louisville ahead 17-13. The big-time run was his first score of the year, after missing some time this season due to nagging injury issues.
On the following possession, JUCO transfer Trey Franklin intercepted Armstrong’s pass and gave the Cardinals stellar field position right outside red zone. James Turner’s field goal put Louisville up 20-13 with 7:54 left in the third period.
Hall continued to churn out yards on the ground, topping the 100-yard mark before the quarter’s end. Jalen Mitchell’s short touchdown run gave the home team a 27-13 advantage shortly after.
The Cardinal defense’s big quarter continued with a Kenderick Duncan Jr interception that set up yet another James Turner field goal.
Virginia then began attempting to make a comeback, recording a 75-yard drive capped off by a Keytaon Thompson rushing touchdown to cut the deficit to 10.
After forcing a quick three-and-out, the Cavaliers struck again as Armstrong found Jelani Woods in the end zone from three yards out to make it a three-point contest.
Turner’s 40-yard field goal pushed the lead back to six with 2:22 left in the game. The Cavaliers converted two fourth-down conversions to get near the goal line and went ahead with Armstrong’s touchdown to Misch with less than 30 seconds to play.
Armstrong finished with 488 yards passing and three touchdowns, while Ra’Shaun Henry caught nine passes for 179 yards. Thompson recorded nine catches for 132 yards for the Cavaliers.
Cunningham finished with 270 yards passing and a touchdown, while Hall recorded 14 carries for 162 yards and a touchdown.