Comeback complete. #GoHoos | #THEStandard pic.twitter.com/nLOZmr6rU8
— Virginia Football (@UVAFootball) October 9, 2021
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For the second game in a row it came down to the final play and it worked out in Virginia’s favor in a dramatic 34-33 victory at Louisville. After UVA scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to take a 34-33 with 22 seconds left in the game, the Cardinal marched down to their own 31-yard line to set up a potential game winning field goal. But James Turner’s 49-yard attempt sailed left of the uprights and the Hoos improved to 4-2. It was Virginia’s first win at Louisville in five trips.
Thanks to 20 unanswered points in the third quarter, the Cardinals entered the final 15 minutes leading 30-13. UVA quarterback Brennan Armstrong was masterful in three fourth-quarter scoring drives. He finished with 487 yards and three touchdown passes. Armstrong’s final throw found a wide open Grant Misch in the end zone to cap UVA’s final scoring drive. The Cavaliers went 75 yards on 12 plays in two minutes to post the go-ahead lead.
Virginia had to convert two fourth-down plays during the final drive. Keytaon Thompson‘s 18-yard catch to the one-yard line that set up UVA’s final score. Thompson finished the game with nine catches for 132 yards. Ra’Shaun Henry also sparked the Virginia offense with nine catches for 179 yards. Both played key roles in filling in for UVA wideout Dontayvion Wicks, who had to leave the game in the first quarter due to an injury.
One of the biggest plays of the game was made by UVA defensive back Darrius Bratton. With Louisville holding a 30-27 advantage and under four minutes remaining, Cardinal running back Hassan Hall broke free and appeared headed for a score when Bratton tracked him down from behind after a 53-yard scamper and tackled him on the UVA 27-yard line. The Cavalier defense held and forced UL to make a field goal that improved its lead to 33-27.
The win marked the first time since 2011 that UVA has won back-to-back ACC road games after defeating Miami 30-28 on Sept. 30. Miami had its last-second field goal attempt hit off the upright to give UVA the win.
This marked the fourth time this season Armstrong has passed for over 400 yards in a contest.
It was UVA’s largest fourth-quarter comeback win since overcoming a 10-point deficit versus Syracuse in 2015. The Cavaliers won that game 44-38 in three overtimes.
Bronco Mendenhall post-game comments