Louisville Edges Virginia

 

 

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (gocards.com and AP) - Brandon Radcliff rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns as Louisville beat Virginia 38-31 on Saturday.

The Cardinals (6-4, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) broke open a 24-24 tie game with two fourth-quarter touchdowns. James Quick forced Virginia's Olamide Zaccheaus to fumble on a punt return, setting up L.J. Scott's 1-yard score with 8:30 remaining.

Radcliff's 36-yard touchdown run capped a 96-yard drive with 2:57 left for a 38-24 lead.

Virginia (3-7, 2-4) tried to rally as Matt Johns threw his fourth touchdown pass with 1:16 remaining to cut the lead to 38-31. The Cavaliers then recovered the onside kick but were flagged for illegal formation, allowing Louisville to run out the clock.

Louisville rushed for 266 yards - its fifth 200-yard rushing performance of the season - and is now bowl eligible for the sixth year in a row.

The Cardinals' fourth-straight win continues the turnaround following an 0-3 start and avenged last year's 23-21 loss in Charlottesville.

It was another close call for Virginia, who has had seven games decided by seven or fewer points. The Cavaliers have lost four of those games.

Louisville quarterback Kyle Bolin finished 10 of 21 with 139 yards passing. Former quarterback Reggie Bonnafon completed his only attempt for a touchdown, a 20-yard halfback pass to Jaylen Smith.

Tight end Cole Hikutini led Cardinals' receivers with four catches for 59 yards.

Matt Johns completed 25 of 41 for 260 yards and four TDs. Canaan Severin caught eight passes for 116 yards and three TDs. Running back Taquen "Smoke" Mizzell caught nine passes for 89 yards and rushed 14 times for 40 yards.

Hikutini hurdled Virginia cornerback Darius Latimore for 17 yards in the second quarter and followed it up with a 21-yard touchdown catch on the next play to give the Cardinals a 17-14 lead with 6:47 left before halftime. It was tied at 17 at halftime after Virginia's Ian Frye drilled a 46-yard field goal as the clock expired.

Louisville scored on the opening drive after halftime on a 9-yard Radcliff run. Virginia linebacker Zach Bradshaw stripped Bolin and recovered a fumble near midfield early in the fourth quarter. The Cavaliers capitalized four plays later as Johns' 23-yard pass to Severin tied the game at 24 with 10:14 remaining.