Virginia's second half rally falls short at No. 11 Louisville
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Isaac Guerendo rushed for a 73-yard, go-ahead touchdown with 3:24 remaining and No. 11 Louisville rallied with 17 points in the fourth quarter to beat Virginia 31-24 on Thursday night.
Overshadowing the close outcome was a serious injury sustained by Virginia tailback Perris Jones late in the third quarter. Jones caught a 7-yard pass and fumbled after being hit on his helmet by Cardinals safety Cam’Ron Kelly and several other Cardinals. Malik Washington scooped up the ball near the right sideline and dashed down the field for the 42-yard go-ahead score to make 21-14 after trailing 14-0 at halftime.
L&N Stadium fell silent as Virginia medical personnel quickly rushed over with a flat board and a cart quickly entered the area. Players from both teams knelt and some Cavaliers prayed while Jones was treated. He was lifted on the cart with his head area wrapped. Fans applauded as he was taken from the field to UofL Hospital for observation.
The subdued atmosphere soon charged up when play resumed as the Cardinals (9-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Coast Conference) rallied to tie the game at 24 with Brent Travelstead's 35-yard field goal early in the fourth, followed by Jack Plummer's 52-yard touchdown pass to wide-open Amari Huggins-Bruce with 6:20 left.
Virginia punted on the next possession and the Cardinals needed just one play to seize the lead for good as Guerendo quickly burst through a hole up the middle and rushed into the end zone, much to the delight of 44,628.
The victory put Louisville closer to clinching a berth in the ACC championship game against No. 4 Florida State. The Cardinals need a North Carolina loss on Saturday to assure it. But it took overcoming a Virginia (2-8, 1-5) squad that shook off turnovers and a double-digit deficit to score 21 unanswered points in the third and lead 24-17 in the fourth.
Jack Griese's 1-yard touchdown run, Kam Robinson's 28-yard interception for a TD and Washington's alert scoop-and-score positioned the Cavaliers for their second ranked upset this season. They had beaten No. 10 North Carolina 31-27 last month.
Louisville will at least stand pat in the Top 25 until the weekend games shake out.
Virginia: The Cavaliers couldn't get out of their own way before Anthony Colandrea converted chunk plays with his arm and feet to get the Cavaliers into Louisville territory and eventually the lead. The Cavs remained fierce after Jones' scary injury but couldn't stop the speedy Cardinals.
Louisville: The Cardinals were ragged most of the night despite leading and finally found their composure and turned the ball to Guerendo, who added another big score after rushing for three last week.
Virginia: Hosts Duke on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Louisville: Visits Miami (Florida) on Saturday, Nov. 18.