LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw for 487 yards, capping that performance with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Grant Misch with 22 seconds left to give the Cavaliers a stunning 34-33 comeback victory over Louisville on Saturday.
Virginia (4-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed 30-13 with 89 seconds left in the third quarter before starting its comeback, but then they had to watch the Cardinals (3-3, 1-2) have one last chance.
Malik Cunningham got them to the Virginia 31 in those final seconds. However, James Turner’s 49-yard field goal attempt as time expired sailed left and the Cavaliers rushed out of Cardinal Stadium with an improbable victory.
Armstrong completed 40-of-60 passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Cavaliers led 13-10 at halftime, but they gave up 20 points in the third quarter. Louisville mounted its comeback behind junior running back Hassan Hall, who ran for 162 yards on 14 carries. His 52-yard run on the first series of the second half gave Louisville its first lead of the day.
Then, after Virginia punted from its own 34 with less than four minutes left in the game, Hall, who had his first career 100-yard game, broke off a 53-yard run that looked like it would seal it. But the Cavaliers forced Louisville to settle for a 40-yard field goal from Turner with 2:22 remaining to give Armstrong one last chance to be a hero.
Ra’Shaun Henry caught nine passes for 179 yards, and Keytaon Thomspson got 132 yards on his nine receptions for the Cavaliers.
Virginia: Just when it looked like the Cavaliers would squander an opportunity for victory, they found a way to rally from three scores down on the road. Still, it would not have been necessary had the Cavaliers not left points off the board in the first half. They racked up 282 yards in the half but that only yielded 13 points as they settled for Brendan Farrell field goals of 25 and 22 yards after driving inside the Cardinals 10.
Louisville: What should have been a satisfying come-from-behind victory for Louisville turned into a second consecutive last-minute, frustrating loss for Scott Satterfield’s team. Outside of the two big runs by Hall and a 24-yard run by Malik Cunningham, Louisville’s rushing game did little against the ACC’s worst rushing defense. But the defense ended up being the biggest culprit as the Cardinals allowed Virginia to convert 9-of-19 third downs, including three that were longer than 10 yards.
Virginia hosts Duke next Saturday afternoon.
Louisville is off next week and will return to face Boston College at home on Oct. 23.