No. 11 Louisville looks to continue home dominance vs. Virginia

Field Level Media

November 08, 2023 at 5:48 am.

No. 11 Louisville looks to extend its 10-game home winning streak Thursday night against a Virginia team that has already played road spoiler once this season.

The Cardinals (8-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) are 5-0 at home this season and haven’t lost there since Sept. 16, 2022, against Florida State.

The Cavaliers (2-7, 1-4) were victorious on their most recent visit to Louisville in 2021, overcoming a 30-13 fourth-quarter deficit for a 34-33 win.

More recently, Virginia gained some confidence on the road with a 31-27 victory at then-No. 10 North Carolina Oct. 21 and a hard-fought 29-26 overtime loss at Miami Oct. 28.

“The team we are playing is very competitive,” Louisville coach Jeff Brohm said Monday of the Cavaliers. “They’ve lost five games by less than four points, and they beat North Carolina on the road.

“They will challenge us, so we’re going to have to play well and practice well. It’s a quick turnaround, but I think our guys understand what’s at stake.”

Louisville has not allowed a touchdown since Oct. 14. The Cardinals followed up a 23-0 win at then-No. 20 Duke on Oct. 28 with a 34-3 thrashing of Virginia Tech on Saturday.

“We have good athletes on defense. They like to play aggressively,” Brohm said. “We have the perfect mix of a few veterans who have played football, but also a lot more guys who didn’t have experience yet and they’re hungry and out to prove themselves.”

The defense held the Hokies to 140 total yards and allowed just 2-for-13 conversions on third and fourth downs. Isaac Guerendo rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns, while Jack Plummer completed all but one of his 12 pass attempts for 141 yards and a score to lead the Louisville offense.

Louisville knows it can’t afford a letdown against Virginia if it wants to remain on track for an appearance in the ACC championship game.

The Cavaliers followed up two strong road games with a dud at home Saturday, losing 45-17 to Georgia Tech after losing starting quarterback Anthony Muskett on the fifth play of the game to a right ankle injury.

True freshman Anthony Colandrea took over for Muskett and completed 21 of 37 passes for 200 yards with two TDs and an interception. Muskett is not expected to play at Louisville on a short week.

Malik Washington caught 11 passes for 109 yards and leads the ACC with 79 receptions and 1,044 yards.

The Yellow Jackets racked up 514 yards against Virginia, including 305 on the ground.

Cavaliers safety Jonas Sanker, who recorded a team-high 10 tackles, said there was plenty of blame to go around.

“Georgia Tech didn’t run against one player for however many yards they ran for. They ran against our defense. They ran against UVA,” Sanker said.

“Whatever it takes (to fix it), we’re gonna do it. So we’re gonna come back next week and we’re going to correct the things we messed up.”

Louisville holds a 6-5 lead in the all-time series with Virginia.