Why Louisville's loss to Virginia could prove costly

09/14/2014 11:22 PM

The Louisville football team entered the weekend with an opportunity to make a statement and get a strong leg up on the competition in the ACC, but things didn’t work out exactly how the Cards were hoping.

Early on, the game looked promising. UofL marched down the field on the opening possession and scored a touchdown after a picture-perfect play action pass for Will Gardner to Charles Standberry. Unfortunately, that’s about where things began to sour.

Over the Cards next six possessions, four would end with punts, one with an interception and another with a fumble. All of this led to true freshman Reggie Bonnafon being inserted right before halftime, and the panic button being pressed by fans about a “quarterback controversy.”

UVA would take a 10-7 lead into the break, then Bonnafon got another crack under center. Problem was he couldn’t move the offense, and UofL continued to stall out while the Cavaliers increased their lead 20-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Cards came on strong late, and ultimately took a 21-20 lead with 6:59 remaining in the game. The UofL defense even forced a punt on the ensuing possession. And with the ball back, the team would have a chance to milk the clock.

We’ll never know what would have happened, because the punt return was fumbled. Virginia kicked the go ahead field goal minutes later and held on for the win.

Not only was a victory squandered away, but a major chance to take control in the ACC Atlantic division. Florida State, the defending national champions, rule the roost, but the UofL would’ve been 2-0 in ACC play and might have been set till an away game at Clemson on October 11.

Now we’ll never know, and the team will have to fight hard to stay in the ACC race until regaining star receiver DeVante Parker.

What we do know is that Louisville is 2-1 (1-1 ACC). There is a quarterback controversy of sorts after both looked very shaky against a better than average Virginia defense. Speaking of defense, the Cards look suspect at best after looking solid in weeks one and two.

Next up is Florida International, and the Golden Panthers shouldn’t pose much of a threat. We will see how the Louisville football team bounces back. They’ve faced adversity for the first time (second if you consider Parker’s foot injury). The key to being a good football team taking a punch in the mouth and delivering a faster, stronger counter punch.

What kind of counter do the Cards have? We will see.

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