By Conner Farrell —
After nearly a month-long hiatus from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, the football team returned to secure a 38-21 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers. Quarterback Lamar Jackson paced the Cardinal offense registering 195 passing yards, 147 rushing yards, and four total touchdowns (three passing and one rushing).
With this being the team’s sixth win of the season, the Cards are bowl eligible for the seventh year in a row and 18th time in 20 seasons. Although, the high preseason aspirations were not met this season, a sigh of relief can be had for the Cardinal faithful knowing that there will be a postseason.
Defense steps up
Following a string of disappointing games, the Cardinal defense finally had a game that they can hang their hat on. Holding Virginia’s offense to 277 total yards and only allowing 63 rushing yards there was an obvious collective spark around the defensive side of the ball.
The defense also forced two turnovers, one being a strip sack forced by defensive end James Hearns and the other being an interception by safety Dee Smith. Hearns also set a new school record with three forced fumbles to go along with his three sacks.
Junior cornerback Jaire Alexander returned for the third time this season and contributed right away racking up four tackles and making one pass break-up.
Coach Petrino sounds off on victory
“I thought our defense did a great job of dominating the line of scrimmage,” coach Bobby Petrino said.
Petrino also added that this is likely the healthiest the defense has been all year.
“We’ve had to fight through a lot of adversity, we just want to finish the season strong,” Petrino said.
Jackson keeps racking up the accolades
It seems like this could be a takeaway from this team every week, but it should recognized how many impressive feats quarterback Lamar Jackson has been able to accomplish during his tenure at U of L. Jackson became the first player in FBS history to have consecutive 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yard rushing seasons.
Jackson also had his 10th game this season with 300 yards of total offense, tying his own Louisville record for most 300-yard games in a season.
You can follow Conner Farrell on Twitter @ConnerFarell9.
Photo by Laurel Slaughter / The Louisville Cardinal