Posted October 19, 2013 on
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Central Florida Golden Knights
Eighth-ranked Louisville couldn't believe how it let Central Florida slip from its grasp.
Credit UCF quarterback Blake Bortles and the Knights for not giving up after falling behind, resolve that toppled Teddy Bridgewater and the Cardinals.
Bortles threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Godfrey with 23 seconds remaining and the Knights stunned the Cardinals with a 38-35 victory on Friday night, ending Louisville's perfect start.
Much of the season remains for the Cardinals (6-1, 2-1) to fulfill their goal of winning the inaugural American Athletic Conference title before heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference next year. It will just involve chasing the Knights (5-1, 2-0) after coming unraveled in the second half.
''Our goals are still there and we still have a chance to win the conference,'' Louisville coach Charlie Strong said. ''Now, we're one win behind them (UCF). We've got to continue to play well and get better. We can improve.''
The Knights meanwhile are eager to see if things can get better after mounting two huge comebacks to beat the highest-ranked team they have ever faced.
''I said, `Let's get some 2-minute calls ready,'' Bortles said. ''We knew we were going to have to go 2-minute. ... Our offensive line did a great job and our receivers did a great job of getting yards after the catch.''
Down 28-7 midway through the third quarter, the Knights responded with three touchdowns in a 7:22 span. Storm Johnson had a 1-yard TD run and a 20-yard reception for another score, and William Stanback ran 12 yards for the tying TD.
UCF then went in front on Shawn Moffitt's 34-yard field goal with 7:36 remaining.
Louisville reclaimed the lead on Dominique Brown's 15-yard run with three minutes to go, but the Knights drove 75 yards in 11 plays to take the lead for good on Bortles' TD and then held off the Cardinals' comeback attempt.
Bridgewater made one last desperate heave into the end zone as time expired, but the Heisman Trophy contender was unable to find anyone. The Knights then rushed the field in jubilation as a small gathering of fans in one section chanted ''UCF, UCF!''
''What can you say? It was a heck of a game,'' Knights coach George O'Leary said. ''Both teams played their hearts out. That was a great drive and it was a great win in a tough environment.
''Obviously, it's a big win. It's a big win because of the conference. We had great effort and great execution. ... We could have hung our heads, but we got after it.''
Bortles finished 21 of 32 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns while Johnson rushed for 109 yards and a TD on 18 carries, leading a spirited comeback during which the Knights outgained the Cardinals 269-210 in the second half to finish with a 446-445 edge.
It was Central Florida's second win over a ranked team in 27 attempts. It came in the lone conference meeting between the schools.
''It felt good seeing that clock hit zero,'' Godfrey said in an elated Knights locker room. ''It was a great feeling inside, a great win for the program and UCF Nation.''
Struggling against a defense that entered the night allowing a nation-best 7.3 points per game and No. 2 against the run, UCF eventually found room to run when Johnson started to cut and bounce his way to extra yardage.
Bortles chipped in with crisp passing, especially on the 20-yard pass to Johnson following a fumble recovery on the Cardinals 15.
The combination of Johnson and Bortles ruined Louisville's homecoming and its 100th game at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium before a crowd of 55,215.
''You can't live in misery or live in a loss,'' Bridgewater said after the Cardinals' first loss since last November against Connecticut. ''We are the type of team that has mature guys and I am pretty sure our guys are switching their focus to South Florida. One loss doesn't determine the whole season.''
Bridgewater finished 29 of 38 passing for 341 yards and two touchdowns. He welcomed back top receiver DeVante Parker from a shoulder injury, connecting for a 29-yard pass on Louisville's opening drive.
Bridgewater also went to former high school teammate Eli Rogers, who finished with 10 receptions for 95 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown that gave Louisville a 7-0 lead.
Ryan Hubbell's fumble that hit the pylon for a touchback and a punt on the next drive prevented the Cardinals from expanding the lead, and UCF scored on its fifth possession.
Johnson's 23-yard reception helped prolong the 71-yard drive, but Stanback's recovery of Rannell Hall's fumble at the 4 turned out to be the key play. Stanback scored on the next play.
Louisville responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive ending with Bridgewater's 10-yard TD pass to Parker in double coverage just before halftime. The Cardinals then emerged from the locker room to drive 75 yards for a 21-7 lead on Dominique Brown's 20-yard touchdown run up the middle.
Louisville seemed to be in control after James Quick's 30-yard return of punter Caleb Houston's fumbled snap made it 28-7, but UCF wasn't fazed.
''We tell our kids to never, never give up,'' O'Leary said. ''Our kids were jumping to the music. I knew we were going to be OK.
''We had a couple of good things happen and it lit a fire.''
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AROUND THE WEB
Teddy Bridgewater is known as the best quaterback in the NFL Draft, but tonight the star of the gmae was the UCF defense. Louisville were up by 21 points in the third quarter and UCF rallied and beat the Cardinals, 38-35. Storm Johnson and the Knights deserve to be ranked. Wow, what a huge upset. […]
The University of Central Florida Knights did the unexpected Friday night when they mounted an incredible second half comeback to beat the No. 8 team in the nation, the Louisville Cardinals. Quarterback Blake Bortles had an awesome game throwing for 250 yards and two touchdowns.
With his performance in mind it seems like a great time to bring up the fact that he has one smoking...
Teddy Bridgewater QB Louisville #5
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Comments: Bridgewater shows all the skills necessary to excel at the next level. His touch on passes is special and he can make every throw on the field. Additionally...
Florida State and Miami both climbed up the polls, and Central Florida joined
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The Knights are ranked No. 21 in the Associated Press poll and No. 25 in the
coaches' poll following Friday night's stunning 38-35 win at Louisville in which
Blake Bortles found Jeff Godfrey for the game-winning touchdown with 23 seconds
For the third consecutive week, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s Heisman odds have dropped. After the first two weeks of the season, Bridgewater was listed with the highest odds of winning the award. However, midway through the season four other candidates have better odds.
With six more games left, Bridgewater can still get make a late push, but I think he’ll need...
Teddy Bridgewater and the Louisville Cardinals have been flirting with losing for a couple weeks and this time the near misses finally hit home.
After getting out to a 28-7 lead in the third quarter UCF fired back with 24 unanswered points to take a 31-28 lead in the fourth quarter with 8:31 left to play. Bridgewater did what he was expected to do and...
On Friday, Louisville Cardinals quarterback and Heisman hopeful Teddy Bridgewater will be placed into the national spotlight yet again, when his undefeated squad takes on Central Florida.
Because Bridgewater is expected to go high in the next NFL Draft, perhaps even No. 1 overall, many scouts will be on hand to watch the junior signal caller. This includes one scout, who spoke...
And the big guys can thank...
A 31-7 run by the Knights and Blake Bortles' 11-play, 75-yard drive put his team up 38-35 with 23 seconds left gave Teddy Bridgewater little chance to do anything other than a Hail Mary to resurrect their season.
Here's the highlights...
"I said, 'Let's get some 2-minute calls ready...
The real Teddy Bridgewater is currently facing off against UCF in some Friday night football action. Louisville selling these #5 teddybears.
I wonder how much of that money goes to Teddy himself?
Awwwww so cute. And obviously has no link what-so-ever to Teddy Bridgewater, #5 and star quarterback for the Louisville Cardinals. Nope. Everything is on the up-and-up here.
Well at least Louisville wasn’t caught selling merchandise to exploit famously-injured players.
Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
Central Florida has replaced eighth-ranked Louisville as the team to beat in the American Athletic Conference and now looks toward earning the BCS bid that comes with the league crown.
The Knights quickly changed the landscape in the upstart conference by rallying to upset the favored Cardinals 38-35 on Friday night. With the win, UCF (5-1, 2-0) quashed Louisville's hopes of...
Louisville is leading 14-7 going into halftime against the University of Central Florida. Teddy Bridgewater has been nothing but efficient completing 16 of 19 attempts for 206 yards and 2 TDs. Stay tuned for the second half and make your own opinion of where this program is.
The post Louisville up 14-7 going into Halftime appeared first on NCAA Football Zone.
Does Louisville have to win tonight by a large margin in order to impress the voters and move their ranking in the polls? It is very possible that they end this season undefeated and yet not be considered for the National Championship. Last week Teddy Bridgewater and his Louisville teammates failed to impress on National Television and with many of the NFL Scouts eyeing Teddy’s...
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