Isaac Guerendo has a TD home run to give Louisville a 31-24 lead over Virginia.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – – While the Louisville Cardinals were happy with a big win, a scary injury to an opposing player brought some relief.

Perhaps his greatest achievement was regaining his focus after the incident.

Isaac Guerendo rushed for a 73-yard touchdown with 3:24 left and No. 11 Louisville rallied with 17 points in the fourth quarter to beat Virginia 31-24 on Thursday night.

The close result was overshadowed by a serious injury suffered by Virginia defender Perris Jones late in the third quarter.

Jones caught a 7-yard pass and fumbled after being hit in the helmet by Cardinals safety Cam’Ron Kelly and several other Cardinals.

Malik Washington caught the ball near the right sideline and ran down the field for a 42-yard score to make it 21-14 after trailing 14-0 at halftime.

L&N Stadium remained silent as Virginia medical personnel quickly rushed to the area with a flat board and a cart.

Players from both teams knelt and some Cavaliers prayed while Jones received treatment. He was lifted onto the cart with his head wrapped. Fans cheered as he was taken off the field to UofL

Hospital for observation.
Virginia football spokesman Jim Daves said via text message Friday that Jones has regained movement in all of his extremities and will remain in the hospital overnight.

The updated status of the player was also posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We’re getting some encouraging news, but I don’t want to say anything until we have it officially,” Virginia coach Tony Elliott said immediately after the game. “He’s going to have an MRI.”

Kelly said: “I just pray for him. I told him my piece while he was lying on the stretcher. I have nothing but love for him. I hope he recovers quickly.

The subdued atmosphere quickly heated up as play resumed as the Cardinals (9-1, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) rallied and started the game with a 35-yard field goal from Brock Travelstead in the fourth quarter to making the score 24-0, followed by a 52-yard field goal from Jack Plummer’s touchdown pass to a wide-open Amari Huggins-Bruce with 6:20 left.

Virginia fumbled on its next possession and the Cardinals needed just one play to take the lead for good when Guerendo quickly burst through a hole in the middle and burst into the end zone, for the greatest pleasure of 44,628.

“Proud of our guys for hanging in there when things weren’t going the way we wanted them to, playing to the end and finding a way to make big enough plays to win the game and make some stops at the end, you know, that’s how football works works ”Louisville coach Jeff Brohm said.

Guerendo carried six times for 94 yards. Jawhar Jordan had 95 yards on 17 attempts, including a 42-yard burst that set up Louisville’s first score, a 4-yard throw from Plummer to Joey Gatewood. Plummer was 19 of 28 for 243 passing yards.

Louisville made it 14-0 when Jimmy Calloway caught the deflection in the end zone after Daniel Sparks’ blocked punt attempt by D’Angelo Hutchinson.

The win moved Louisville closer to clinching a spot in the ACC championship game against No. 4 Florida State.

The Cardinals need a loss at North Carolina on Saturday to ensure that. But it took a Virginia team (2-8, 1-5) that shook off turnovers and a double-digit deficit to score 21 unanswered points in the third and lead 24-17 in the fourth.

Jack Griese’s 1-yard touchdown run, Kam Robinson’s 28-yard interception for a touchdown and Washington’s scoop-and-score have the Cavaliers ranked second-best this season.

They defeated No. 10 North Carolina 31-27 last month. For a while, Virginia appeared to be on its way to another big win thanks to freshman quarterback Anthony Colandrea filling in for the injured Tony Muskett.

Colandrea overcame four sacks and an interception and completed 20 of 31 passes for 314 yards and the 42-yard touchdown.

He also rushed 14 times for 89 yards, helping the Cavaliers to a 434-423 overall victory over the Cardinals.

Louisville got the field when it mattered most, outscoring Virginia 187-133.

Leading the Cavaliers one last time, Colandrea reached the Cardinals’ 45, but was rushed by defensive end Ashton Gillotte and threw incomplete on fourth down.

From then on, the Cavaliers’ hearts and minds were focused on Jones. Like everyone at the stadium.

“We wanted to do it for him,” Virginia Bandit linebacker Chico Bennett said. ‘… I told him: ‘We have what he does for you, we love you.’ We have it

Louisville will remain in the top 25 at least until the end of the weekend’s games.

Virginia: The Cavaliers couldn’t pull away before Anthony Colandrea converted big plays with his arms and feet to move the Cavaliers into Louisville territory and eventually take the lead.

The Cavs remained combative after Jones’ horrific injury, but couldn’t stop the speedy Cardinals.

Louisville: The Cardinals were in tatters most of the night despite an early lead and finally regained their composure. Once again, they handed the ball to Guerendo, who scored another big goal after scoring three against Virginia Tech last week. 

Virginia: Host Duke on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Louisville: Visit Miami (Florida) on Saturday, November 18.
—— Get notified about the latest AP Top 25 poll throughout the season. Sign up here —— AP college football: 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *