Louisville, KY – Chad Christen nailed a 30-yard field goal in the third overtime to lift the Connecticut Huskies to a stunning 23-20 victory over the 19th-ranked Louisville Cardinals.
Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson picked off Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the end zone on the previous possession to set up Christen's deciding kick. Bridgewater played the second half and overtime with a fractured left wrist.
"He showed his toughness out there today," said Louisville coach Charlie Strong.
Louisville (9-2, 4-2 Big East) no longer controls its own destiny for an outright Big East title after suffering its second straight loss, but can still earn a share of the conference crown with a win Thursday at Rutgers.
Strong added that Bridgewater "will be able to play" against the Scarlet Knights.
Bridgewater was hurt on two occasions and returned each time. His wrist was injured on the second-to-last play of the first half when Sio Moore brought him down via a horse-collar tackle.
The sophomore standout got a cast on at halftime and returned when UConn quarterback Chandler Whitmer threw an interception in the third quarter and helped the Cardinals erase a 10-0 deficit.
Louisville failed to capitalize on the turnover, with John Wallace missing a 46-yard field goal. Wallace did connect from 19 yards in the fourth quarter before Bridgewater orchestrated a game-tying, 13-play drive late in regulation.
Starting from their own 8-yard line, the Cardinals converted a trio of third downs and Bridgewater tied the game with a 6-yard TD pass to DeVante Parker on a slant-and-go with 21 seconds remaining.
Louisville got the ball to start overtime and Bridgewater suffered a left leg injury when he was high-lowed by two defenders. Will Stein, who filled in for Bridgewater earlier in the game, completed the series, one that ended with a 37-yard Wallace field goal.
Christen extended the game for the Huskies (5-6, 2-4) by connecting from the same distance. UConn maintained possession to start the second overtime, and Johnny McEntee, an injury replacement for Whitmer, found Shakim Phillips for a 3-yard score.
"He was one-on-one and he ran a great route and made a good catch," McEntee said about the touchdown pass to Phillips.
Whitmer departed in the fourth quarter after absorbing a hard hit.
Bridgewater then made another miraculous return and tied the game on the first play of the next series, hooking up with Parker in the left corner of the end zone.
It was a sluggish start offensively as the first four drives of the game featured no first downs.
Lyle McCombs finally moved the chains with a 29-yard run and his significant gain helped set up a Christen 39-yard field goal that clipped the right upright.
UConn appeared to extend its lead late in the opening quarter, but an official review overturned an interception return for a touchdown. The Huskies, though, went up 10-0 when Nick Williams capped the ensuing 10-play trek by scoring on a 3-yard run.
The Cardinals then marched to the UConn 22-yard line, but consecutive sacks pushed them out of field goal range and derailed a promising drive.
Bridgewater completed 30-of-53 passes for 331 yards ... Whitmer had only 72 yards on 7-of-21 passing ... McCombs gained 133 yards on 29 carries ... The Huskies registered only three first downs after halftime.