It might be a different opponent for the Virginia football team, but it was the same storylines. The Cavaliers fell for the 15th straight time on the road after Louisville beat UVA 38-31 . The Cavs now move to 3-7 on the season, eliminating the 'Hoos from bowl contention for the fifth year under Mike London. This loss also ensures UVA will have a fourth straight losing season.
Things did not seem bleak at kick off for Virginia. The offense kicked things off with an impressive drive. The Cavs converted four third downs to march up the field for a touchdown. Matt Johns found a wide open Evan Butts in the corner of the end zone for the two-yard touchdown to cap off a 75-yard, 15 play drive that took 7:53 off the clock. The Cardinals did thought did not wait long to answer. Louisville's run game took its offense inside the ten, but the Cavalier defense did not fold. Bobby Petrino's men were forced to settle for a 20-yard field goal and were still down by four.
After trading a few punts in the second quarter, it was the Cardinals who broke the pattern. Lamar Jackson rushed for 45-yards setting up a Reggie Bonnafon 20-yard touchdown to Jaylen Smith. After just four plays and 1:27 off the clock, the Cardinals took their first lead of the game. However, the Wahoos prove they can make a quick statement as well. Albert Reid found a hole and ran for 35-yards setting up a Canaan Severin 30-yard touchdown. The 1:30 touchdown drive was the fastest drive for the Cavs all season.
But the Virginia defense couldn't keep the Cardinals off the board. After a pass inteference call on Tim Harris and a face mask on Zach Bradshaw gave Louisville 30 free yards, Kyle Bolin was able to end the drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Cole Hikutini for the three point lead.
The Wahoos tied it up at 17 with a 46-yard Ian Frye field goal to end the half. The Cavs finsished the first half with 212 yards of total offense. But the Cardinals were not going to lay down in the second half.
In just three minutes, Louisville found the end zone with a Brandon Radcliff 9-yard touchdown, and Virginia's offensive woes continued in the third quarter. After starting the game going 4-for-4 on third down, the Cavs were 0-for-5 until mid way through the third quarter. But the conversion did not amount to anything.
Fast forward to the final two minutes of the quarter, where Micah Kiser recovered a Bolin fumble and handed the Virginia offense great field position on the Louisville 20-yard line. However, the Wahoos could not cash in on their first takeaway of the game after Frye missed his first field goal in 13 attempts. But the Cavs had another shot at redemption.
On the ensuing drive, Zach Bradshaw sacked Bolin, forcing the fumble and then recovering for the Wahoos. This time the Cavaliers did not miss their opportunity. Severin showed off tremendous athleticism on this drive, not only did he go up high for a 18-yard completion, he also found the open space for the 23-yard touchdown reception to tie the game up at 24. But the magic was shortlived for the Wahoos.
After the UVA defense forced the Cardinals to punt, Olamide Zaccheaus fumbled the punt return after a well timed James Quick tackle and the Cardinals were on Virginia's five-yard line. Louisville only needed two plays to convert and the home side was back on top by seven.
The Virginia offense could not answer, and the UVA defense could not stop the run. Radcliff has his way with the Cavs running for 31-yards and then a 36-yard touchdown, which put the Cardinals up by two scores. But the Cavaliers continued to fight. Severin, back from sitting out after an injury, picked up a 16-yard touchdown, giving the 'Hoos hope.
Ian Frye lined up an onside kick which UVA recovered, however, the 'Hoos were called for an illeagal formation and were forced to rekick. Louisville recovered the second onside kick, sealing the game for the Cardinals.
For the seventh time during this 14-game losing streak on the road, the 'Hoos fall after being tied or ahead at the half.