We knew that the American Athletic Conference was going to cost Louisville a chance at the BCS Championship. We just didn't know it was going to be via a loss.
And that loss might have cost them an Orange Bowl bid in the process.
Central Florida scored with 23 seconds left to shock Louisville 38-35 on a two yard pass from quarterback Blake Bortles to former quarterback Jeff Godfrey.
This was supposed to be Louisville's final test on the march towards an undefeated season in a very weak American Athletic Conference. And it came at home on a Friday night in front of a national television audience. Oh, and should we mention that Louisville was also up 28-7 in the third quarter after returning a fumble for a touchdown? This wasn't one of those fluky road losses that can fell teams from time to time.
Consider the test failed, and as collateral damage, it also felled the Heisman hopes of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, despite Bridgewater's 29-38 for 341 yards and two touchdowns passing performance.
After the Cardinals found themselves trailing for the first time all season at 31-28 with less than eight minutes left, Bridgewater looked like the potential first round pick that he is in leading the Cardinals on a scoring drive that culminated in a 15-yard touchdown run by Dominique Brown.
But the Cardinal defense didn't back him up. After being gashed on the ground by UCF running back Storm Johnson on the drive to take the field goal lead, the Cardinals' defense left wide open holes in the zone through the air and Bortles capitalized. Then, on third and goal from the Louisville two, he faked the handoff to Johnson and rolled to his right. Godfrey, the man who lost his job to Bortles at quarterback last season, was wide open. Touchdown Knights.
Now, the path to the Orange Bowl wildly enough runs through Orlando.
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