Armstrong’s three TDs lead Virginia past Louisville
Brennan Armstrong had two touchdown runs and a touchdown pass to lead Virginia to a 31-17 win over Louisville on Saturday in Atlantic Coast Conference action in Charlottesville, Va.
Armstrong passed for 203 yards and ran for 60 more for the Cavaliers (3-4, 3-4 ACC) against the short-handed Cardinals (2-6, 1-6) in a game that was postponed one week due to COVID-19 concerns at Louisville.
The Cardinals were missing seven players, including leading rusher Javian Hawkins and top receiver Tutu Atwell. The school did not say whether their absences were related to injuries or COVID-19 issues.
Louisville’s Malik Cunningham passed for 161 yards and rushed for a career-high 197 yards — 127 before halftime — and two touchdowns, but also lost a costly fumble inside Virginia territory with 8:22 left in the game.
Cavaliers cornerback Nick Grant ripped the football out of Cunningham’s hands at the Virginia 35-yard line. Eight plays later, Armstrong ran 9 yards up the middle to put the Cavaliers ahead 31-17 with 4:29 to play.
Louisville outgained Virginia 478-368 but also turned it over three times, raising its season total to 18 turnovers.
Virginia linebacker Noah Taylor put the game’s first points on the scoreboard with an 85-yard interception return midway through the first quarter.
Louisville got a career-long 48-yard field goal from James Turner and trailed 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Four plays after an interception by Marlon Character, the Cardinals took their only lead at 10-7 on Cunningham’s 19-yard scramble.
The Cavaliers responded with an 8-yard touchdown run by Armstrong to take a 14-10 halftime lead.
Louisville gambled and failed to convert a fourth-and-2 run near midfield on the opening possession of the second half. Five plays later, Armstrong gave Virginia a 21-10 lead with a 9-yard toss to Lavel Davis Jr. in the end zone.
Cunningham completed a 46-yard pass on a flea flicker to Marshon Ford down to the 1-yard line, then ran it in for the score to get Louisville within 21-17 with 2:49 left in the third.
Brian Delaney’s 23-yard field goal extended the Cavaliers’ lead to 24-17 with 10:01 to play.
–Field Level Media