Lamar's legend grows: QB throws game-winning TD vs. Virginia

Published: Oct. 29, 2016 at 9:56 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 30, 2016 at 5:09 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Lamar Jackson continued to add to his growing legend Saturday.

The University of Louisville sophomore quarterback's 29-yard touchdown pass to Jaylen Smith with 13 seconds left lifted the fifth-ranked Cardinals to a 32-25 triumph over host Virginia in a hard-fought Atlantic Coast Conference game in Charlottesville, Va.

Jackson's TD pass capped a huge comeback by UofL (7-1, 5-1), which trailed the upset-minded Cavaliers by 10 points late in the third quarter before rallying.

The Heisman Trophy frontrunner finished the game with 451 yards of offense and four touchdowns. Jackson completed 24 of 41 passes for 361 yards and four TDs with one interception while also rushing 18 times for 90 yards.

However it wasn't the best start for Jackson & Co., who trailed 10-7 at halftime and 17-7 late in the third. But that's when the Cards caught fire.

First Jackson engineered an eight-play, 80-yard drive that he capped off with an 8-yard TD pass to Reggie Bonnafon.

Louisville punted on its next possession, but quickly got the ball back when Jaire Alexander intercepted UVA QB Kurt Benkert and returned it to the Cavs' 12.

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Three plays later UofL was in the end zone again thanks again to another Jackson to Bonnafon touchdown pass - this one from 10 yards out. That put the Cards up 21-17 with 13:47 to play.

Then, after UofL's defense forced Virginia to punt, Louisville took a 24-17 lead on Blanton Creque's 32-yard field goal.

The Cavs (2-6, 1-3), however, had one big drive left in them. They responded to Creque's field goal with a 14-play, 75-yard scoring drive, which included a pair of fourth-down conversions. Benkert's 4-yard touchdown pass to Doni Dowling with 1:57 to play was followed by Benkert's pass to Albert Reid for the go-head two-point conversion. That made it 25-24 UVA.

However, that proved to be more than enough time for Jackson to lead Louisville on the game-winning drive.

With the Virginia students assembling for an anticipated field-storming, Jackson started things off with an 18-yard run. However, after a 7-yard run by Brandon Radcliff, he threw back-to-back incompletions. That's when, facing fourth-and-3 from the 50, Jackson connected with Cole Hikutini for a 5-yard game. Back-to-back runs of 9 and 7 yards by Jackson then set up his touchdown pass to Smith. The two then hooked up for the two-point conversion to account for the final margin.

UofL dominated the game offensively, outgaining UVA 508-322 in total offense. Jamari Staples, who had a 15-yard TD reception from Jackson in the first quarter, finished with seven catches for 120 yards for the Cards.

UofL plays at Boston College next Saturday. Kickoff time has yet to be announced.

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