Louisville, Ky – November 9, 2023 – Matthew Hudson
A rare Thursday night game for the Louisville Cardinals as they welcomed the Virginia Cavaliers to town. Louisville came into the game on a 2-game winning streak, a streak in which their defense had only allowed 3 points. Louisville had outscored their opponents 57-3 since their road loss to Pittsburg. All the talk around L&N stadium has started to shift away from winning games and towards winning the conference championship.
The 1st half was completely dominated by the Cardinals, Virginia only got within scoring distance once only to miss a FG attempt. Louisville was able to punch it in twice during the half and took a 14-0 lead into the half. The 2nd half was a completely different ball game. Virginia stormed back with 21 unanswered points to take the lead. The teams traded FGs in the 4th quarter before a big pass by Plummer tied the game back up 24-24. The Cardinals outlasted the Cavaliers and were able to make just enough play when it counted in the 4th quarter. Isaac Guerendo’s late TD run turned out to be the difference as Louisville squeaked past Virginia 31-24.
Jack Plummer had a good game minus one glaring mistake, the pick six by Robinson that tied the game up. Plummer finished the game 19-28 with 243 passings yards and 2 TDs.
Virginias QB Anthony Colandrea had a slow first half but made up for it in the 2nd with some huge passes. Colandrea finished 20-31 with 314 yards.
Jawhar Jordan still doesn’t look like his normal self. His usual acceleration and speed seem to be a little slower coming off his injury. Jordan still had a good game by many people’s standards, he ended the night with 17 carries and 95 yards. Issac Guerendo finished with 6 carries and 94 yards.
Louisville Defense was lights out in the first half only allowing 127 yards to the Cavaliers and 0 points. In the 2nd half the defenses had a lot rougher time. Both teams had trouble getting the other teams’ offenses off the field. While only 14 points were scored in the first half 41 were scored in the 2nd.
The Virgina Defense’s game plan seemed to be to load the box against the Louisville Offense. Jawhar Jordan was still able to find a seem outside and gashed them for a 42-yard run. Jordan still didn’t look 100% as he was uncharacteristically caught from behind on the run. The drive was capped off with a 4-yard play-action pass from Jack Plummer to Joey Gatewood. Louisville takes the early lead 7-0.
Special Teams showed up on a slow scoring night. First the Louisville Punter Brady Hodges pinned the Cavaliers back on their own 2-yard line with a beautiful coffin kick. Then Louisville blocked the Cavaliers punt attempt in the endzone for a TD. Punt blocked by D’Angelo Hutchinson and recovered in the endzone by Lou Calloway. Louisville leads 14-0 over the Cavaliers.
Virginia was the first to score in the 3rd quarter. The Cavaliers with a long 11 play 80-yard drive got their first points of the night. Jack Griese with the 1-yard TD run to get Virgina on the board Louisville leads 14-7.
Just 10 seconds later a huge mistake by Jack Plummer as he threw an INT to Kam Robinson at the 28-yard line. Robinson was able to avoid a few Cardinals and get into the endzone for the 28-yard pick six. Virginia tied the game up 14-14.
After a quick 3 and out by the Cards the Cavalier Offense got the ball back at their own 39. What looked like a disaster on Virginias 5th play turned into a blessing as a fumbled carry turned into a 42-yard fumble recovery for a TD. Malik Washington returned the Fumble. Cavaliers now lead 21-14 over Louisville.
Ball Carrier Perris Jones was injured on the play and had to be taken by ambulance to the University of Louisville Hospital. No updates were given by the end of the game. Prayers that he is in good health and makes a full recovery.
Louisville was finally able to get on the board in the 2nd half. After a 10 play 52-yard drive Brock Travelstead connected on a 35-yard FG to bring the score to 21-17 in favor of Virginia.
Virginia was able to bounce back and match Travelstead’s FG with one of their own. Will Bettridge made a 38-yard FG to extend Virginia’s lead back out to 7. Viginia in front 24-17.
What looked like a very boring game in the 1st half turned out to be one of the best Cardinal games of the year. Louisville came back behind the clutch passing of Jack Plummer. Plummer connected with Ahmari Huggins-Bruce for the 52-yard TD pass. Cards tied it back up 24-24 with just 6 minutes left in the game.
Isaac Guerendo broke loose a 73-yard TD run to regain the lead for the Cardinals. Guerendo only had 23 yards on the night until that run. Cards back on top 31-24 with 3:25 left in the 4th.
The next game for the Louisville Cardinals will be against the Miami Hurricanes on November 18 at 12 Noon in Miami.