Back Hot Read: Louisville Rallies at Virginia

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Hot Read: Louisville Rallies at Virginia

By Matt Osborne
SouthernPigskin.com
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Louisville battled back from a sluggish start to pull out a dramatic 32-25 victory over Virginia on Saturday afternoon.

Louisville battled back from a sluggish start to pull out a dramatic 32-25 victory over Virginia on Saturday afternoon.

Here are five takeaways from the Cardinals’ victory.

1. Before everyone starts to talk about the Virginia defense “contained” Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, keep in mind that Jackson totaled over 450 yards of total offense and four touchdowns on the afternoon. Jackson made just enough plays to keep the Cavalier defense on its heels, and a number of his better runs were ultimately negated due to penalty. He also further proved that he is more than capable of beating the opposition utilizing his arm alone. His late touchdown pass to Jaylen Smith is just the latest play that can be added to his Heisman Trophy resume.

2. Against a team like Louisville, you must make every opportunity count. Unfortunately for Virginia, the Cavaliers twice came away with no points when they had chances to get on the board. The Cavaliers had the football in Louisville territory late in the first half but were stopped on fourth down with a chance to add to their 10-7. Later on in the game, when up 17-7 in the third quarter, Virginia took over in the red zone following a turnover but was unable to move the football. Sam Hayward’s 30-yard field goal was no good, giving Louisville a little bit of momentum following its mistake.

3. If there is a unit that had a disappointing performance for the Cardinals in the come-from-behind victory it would unquestionably be the offensive line. Louisville was averaging right around three yards per carry until Jackson broke through for a few lengthy gains on scrambles late in the contest. The Cardinals also allowed Virginia to take down Jackson in the backfield five times. Louisville’s elite skill players on offense don’t always require the best blocking in the world in order to be effective, but the offensive line must do a better job of blocking moving forward in the team hopes to contend for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

4. If there is one thing you can say about this Louisville football team under Bobby Petrino it is that they never quit, regardless of the circumstance. The Cardinals very easily could have thrown in the towel when Virginia had the football inside of the red zone in the third quarter looking to build upon its ten point lead. That did not happen, however, as Louisville kept Virginia from extending its lead and ultimately scored consecutive touchdowns to take the lead in the fourth quarter. This team has tremendous fight and resolve, and those characteristics point to the leadership of the head coach and the quarterback.

5. A quick shout out to Virginia’s Bronco Mendenhall and Micah Kiser for outstanding performances. Though it ultimately ended up being insignificant, the decision to go for two after cutting the lead to one with a couple of minutes left in the game was absolutely correct. Mendenhall has his team playing with confidence and attitude since getting off to a rough start to the campaign. Meanwhile, Kiser paced the Cavaliers’ defense with 14 tackles and two sacks on the afternoon. He appears to be well on his way to All-ACC honors at the end of the year.

Matt Osborne - Matt Osborne currently serves as the director of recruiting and lead editor for Southern Pigskin. His work has been published in a number of national publications, including USA Today. Although he loves all levels of football, Matt's number one joy in his life is his relationship with Jesus Christ. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattOsborne200. For media requests, please email Matt at matt@southernpigskin.com.