Louisville football is no stranger to close games.
The Cardinals three conference wins this season have come by a combined 12 points. Louisville defeated Boston College 41-39 for its first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) victory since 2017 and outlasted Wake Forest 62-59 a week later.
After leading Virginia 28-14 late in the fourth quarter, Louisville needed to bat down a Hail Mary attempt as time expired to seal a touchdown victory over the Cavaliers Oct. 26 at Cardinal Stadium.
Louisville has shown its capable of winning close games and the ability to make things uncomfortably interesting in October’s slate of conference games. First-year Cardinal head coach Scott Satterfield doesn’t think his team is good enough to blow opponents out, so close games are unavoidable.
“We have to fight and claw for everything we get, that’s why every yard we get, we’re not sliding, we’re trying to get it,” Satterfield said. “You almost feel like you’ve got to make the right call every single time in order to give our kids the best chance to win football games.”
Things appeared to be comfortably set up for Louisville to improve to 5-3 after Javian Hawkins scored a touchdown with 2:46 left in the fourth quarter to give the Cardinals a 28-14 lead against Virginia. The Cavaliers had an answer, going 69 yards in 15 plays to cut their deficit to one touchdown with 21 seconds left.
Virginia recovered the ensuing onside kick, a special teams mistake that plagued the Cardinals against Wake Forest Oct. 12. Bryce Perkins’ throw was knocked down by Seth Dawkins as time expired as Louisville escaped Virginia’s last-ditch effort.
“We’re a scrappy bunch, we’re playing for each other and sometimes you’re going to win games like this,” Satterfield said. “It’s just the way it’s going to be for us. We’re playing some good teams.”
Louisville’s eight opponents have a combined record of 42-20 and each team has a record of .500 or better.