Louisville hosted UCF on Friday night in what became a wild back-and-forth battle, with both teams trading leads and big drives, but the action really picked up late in the fourth quarter.
UCF, trailing by seven, marched down the field to score a game tying touchdown thanks to the legs of quarterback Dillon Gabriel, scampering into the end zone with 1:21 left on the clock. That set the table for Louisville to try and answer with a scoring drive of their own or else the game would go to overtime, barring something crazy. Because this is college football, naturally something crazy happened.
Malik Cunningham, who had one of his best games in recent memory on Friday, rolled right with 30 seconds to play and tried to fit a pass over a lineman, who tipped it in the air and picked it off himself in Louisville territory, giving UCF a great chance to set up a game-winning field goal attempt.
It is a wildly athletic play from the big fella to tip it up, locate it, and haul it in for the interception. However, on the very next play, Louisville would answer back with a tipped ball interception of their own, except they were able to run it back for a touchdown and win the game.
— ACC Football (@ACCFootball) September 18, 2021
It was the absolute nightmare situation for UCF, which was just trying to get to a makeable field goal distance, only to have a pass behind a receiver bounce into the air and fall into the waiting arms of a Cardinals DB, who knew exactly what to do with it and make a house call. UCF’s effort at a miracle to end the game ended in disaster, as the ball got lateraled back to Gabriel, who ended up getting hit hard and was on the ground for a considerable amount of time after the game was over grabbing at his left shoulder/collarbone area.
For Louisville, it was a huge win as Scott Satterfield was starting to feel some heat under him after the opening week loss to Ole Miss, and this will hopefully get them back on the right track. For UCF, it’s a gutting way to lose, but more importantly, they’ll be concerned about the status of their starting quarterback for next week and beyond.