UCF Upsets No. 8 Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Blake Bortles and Central Florida had one final rally left, and it was sufficient to topple Teddy Bridgewater and No. 8 Louisville.
Bortles threw a 2-yard touchdown cross to Jeff Godfrey with 23 seconds remaining, and the Knights surprised the Cardinals with a 38-35 victory Friday night time, ending Louisville’s good start.
“I stated, ‘Let’s get some 2-minute calls ready,'” Bortles said. “We knew we had been going to should go 2-minute… Our offensive line did a fantastic job, and our receivers did an important job of getting yards after the catch.”
Down 28-7 midway via the third quarter, the Knights (5-1, 2-zero American Athletic Convention) responded with three touchdowns in a 7:22 span. Storm Johnson had a 1-yard TD run and a 20-yard reception for an additional rating, and William Stanback ran 12 yards for the tying TD.
UCF then went in front on Shawn Moffitt’s 34-yard area aim with 7:36 remaining.
Louisville (6-1, 2-1) reclaimed the lead on Dominique Brown’s 15-yard run with three minutes to go, but the Knights drove seventy five yards in 11 performs to take the lead for good on Bortles’ TD and then held off the Cardinals’ comeback try.
Bridgewater made one last desperate heave into the end zone as time expired, but the Heisman Trophy contender was unable to search out anyone. The Knights then rushed the sphere in jubilation as a small gathering of fans in one section chanted, “UCF, UCF!”
“What are you able to say? It was a heck of a game,” Knights coach George O’Leary said. “Both teams performed their hearts out. That was a fantastic drive, and it was an important win in a troublesome setting.
“Obviously, it is a big win. It is a big win due to the conference. We had great effort and nice execution… We could have hung our heads, but we got after it.”
Bortles finished 21-of-32 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns while Johnson rushed for 109 yards and a TD on 18 carries, main a spirited comeback during which the Knights outgained the Cardinals 269-210 in the second half to complete with a 446-445 edge.
It was Central Florida’s second win over a ranked workforce in 27 attempts. It came in the lone convention assembly between the schools; the Cardinals are headed to the Atlantic Coast Convention next season.
“It felt good seeing that clock hit zero,” Godfrey said in an elated Knights locker room. “It was an incredible feeling inside, a great win for this system and UCF Nation.”
Struggling towards a protection that entered the night time allowing a nation-greatest 7.3 points per game and ranked No. 2 in opposition to the run, UCF finally discovered room to run when Johnson started to chop and bounce his option to further yardage.
Bortles chipped in with crisp passing, particularly on the 20-yard move to Johnson following a fumble restoration on the Cardinals’ 15.
The mixture of Johnson and Bortles ruined Louisville’s homecoming and its 100th sport at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium before a crowd of fifty five,215.
“You may’t dwell in misery or live in a loss,” Bridgewater stated after the Cardinals’ first loss since final November to Connecticut. “We’re the type of crew that has mature guys, and I’m pretty certain our guys are switching their focus to South Florida. One loss would not determine the entire season.”
Bridgewater completed 29-of-38 passing for 341 yards and two touchdowns. He welcomed again prime receiver DeVante Parker from a shoulder harm, connecting for a 29-yard go on Louisville’s opening drive.
Bridgewater additionally went to former high school teammate Eli Rogers, who finished with 10 receptions for 95 yards, together with an 18-yard touchdown that gave Louisville a 7-zero lead.
Ryan Hubbell’s fumble that hit the pylon for a touchback and a punt on the subsequent drive prevented the Cardinals from expanding the lead, and UCF scored on its fifth possession.
Johnson’s 23-yard reception helped delay the seventy one-yard drive, however Stanback’s recovery of Rannell Corridor’s fumble at the 4 turned out to be the important thing play. Stanback scored on the subsequent play.
Louisville responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive ending with Bridgewater’s 10-yard TD cross to Parker in double protection simply before halftime. The Cardinals then emerged from the locker room to drive seventy five yards for a 21-7 lead on Brown’s 20-yard touchdown run up the center.
Louisville appeared to be in management after James Fast’s 30-yard return of punter Caleb Houston’s fumbled snap made it 28-7, but UCF wasn’t fazed.
“We tell our youngsters to never, by no means surrender,” O’Leary stated. “Our kids have been leaping to the music. I knew we had been going to be OK.
“We had a couple of good issues happen, and it lit a fireplace.”