For a while the University of Louisville football team was getting pushed around, getting run over. Kinda like its predecessor from a year ago, falling behind early, giving up a big lead. But enough of that.
Any resemblance between this team and that one is purely an illusion. You know, like night and day. There was no quit in the Cardinals on Saturday. Could have, should have, and seemed to be on the verge of winning early in the fourth quarter.
Nine minutes, 39 seconds in the game, UofL up 24-21 over Florida State, an ACC win within its grasp. Unbelievable, after UofL falling 21 points behind the Seminoles in the first 15 minutes.
Still in the game with just over two minutes to go even though FSU had taken a four-point lead after intercepting a Malik Cunningham pass. The Cardinals had stopped the Seminoles on the one-yard line.
Ninety-nine yards to go for the first conference win since 2017. Behind by four points, within reach. Hope emerging after despair. The beginning of hope?
Wasn’t going to happen. Florida State would luck out, get a second chance after a third missed field goal by Ri Aguayo. Whoops, well forget that. UofL roughing the kicker, still another costly penalty at precisely the wrong time. FSU running back Cam Akers would not be denied again. Scoring his third touchdown of the day, sealing a 35-24 Louisville loss.
Cunningham keeps getting better, but he was unable to overcome four costly penalties, including a block in the back that negated a Rodjay Burns touchdown on a punt return. Two false starts ended promising UofL drives. The roughing-the-kicker was the finishing blow.
Cunningham finished 16 of 27 for 286 yards, with the two touchdowns and interception. Dez Fitzpatrick led UofL receivers with seven catches for 133 yards and a touchdown. Running backs Javian Hawkins andHassan Hall combined for 109 yards.
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Cunningham had to be carried off the field on a cart after getting injured on the final play of the game. UofL stats guru Kelly Dickey reported that Cunningham’s father said it was a sprain, indicating his son would be ready for Boston College in two weeks.