There are losses that hurt. There are losses that sting. This was a flat out embarrassing defeat. Boston College 34, Louisville 33. The Eagles entered the game as two-touchdown underdog.
Understand that Louisville football team lost Tiyon Evans and Malik Cunningham to injuries. But the Cardinals were clearly outmatched against a struggling BC team that was averaging 283.3 yards of offense.
UofL flirted with frustration from the start. Somehow leading 23-21 at halftime, Louisville forced three turnovers yet couldn’t pull away. Conner Lytton kicked a 23-yard game winning field goal with 1:59 remaining.
There were eight lead changes in the game. When the Louisville defense needed a stop it couldn’t get it. And when Cunningham needed to absolutely make plays, he couldn’t do it.
Eagles quarterback graduate senior Phil Jurkovec was 18 of 21 for 304 yards. Zay Flowers caught five passes for 151 yards receiving. BC piled up 449 yards of offense, by far the most this season.
“One of all the guys we knew we had to stop today and beat us was Zay Flowers, “said Louisville’s Scott Satterfield. “He’s obviously a big time receiver. He got loose and made some incredible plays.”
BC Coach Jeff Hafley said earlier in the week he wasn’t going to allow Cunningham to run at will. BC lived up to his promise. The fifth year senior ran for only 52 yards on 14 carries. Still, he managed to score three touchdowns and throw for another.
Louisville had 342 yards of offense, 137 running the ball. Louisville took a 16-14 lead with 5:59 in the second quarter but the extra point attempt by James Turner was blocked.
“The blocked extra point was huge obviously when you lose by one,” said Satterfield. “Somebody leaked in. We were late coming off the ball and that should never happen. We practice that every day. You’ve got to execute.”
The bigger questions is the health of Cunningham who in the fourth quarter walked to the dressing room before the game ended. Meanwhile, Evans sat on the bench during the second half with crutches and a boot on his right foot.
“Tiyon could not come back in and we’re playing with some subs there,” said Satterfield who did not elaborate on either injury. “We’ll evaluate them when we get back.”
The UofL offensive line gave up five tackles for loss (-59 yards). “They we’re getting penetration and knocking us back on those outside zone plays,” said Sattefield. “They did a really good job on defense. They kept everything in front of them.”
Now what does Sattefield do. “Just go back to work. It only takes a couple plays for teams to for a team to bust open and they hit a few on us.
Another close game and a fourth quarter melt down for Louisville and Satterfield. He is 20-22 in his fourth season at Louisville and 12-16 in Atlantic Coast Conference games and is 4-12 on the road.