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LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Blake Bortles threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Godfrey with 23 seconds left and Central Florida stunned No. 8 Louisville by rallying for a 38-35 victory on Friday night, ending the Cardinals' perfect start.
Down 28-7 midway through the third quarter, the Knights (5-2, 2-0 American Athletic Conference) scored three touchdowns in a 7:22 span to tie the game. Storm Johnson had a 1-yard TD run and a 20-yard reception for another score, and William Stanback ran 12 yards for the tying TD.
UCF then went in front on Shawn Moffitt's 34-yard field goal with 7:36 remaining.
Louisville (6-1, 2-1) reclaimed the lead on Dominique Brown's 15-yard run with three minutes to go, but the Knights drove 75 yards in 11 plays to take the lead for good on Bortles' TD and then held off the Cardinals' comeback attempt.
Teddy Bridgewater made one last desperate heave into the end zone as time expired, but the Heisman Trophy contender was unable to find anyone. The Knights then rushed the field in jubilation as a small gathering of fans in one section chanted "UCF, UCF!"
Bortles finished 21-of-32 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns while Johnson rushed for 109 yards and a TD on 18 carries, leading a spirited comeback during which the Knights outgained the Cardinals 269-210 in the second half to finish with a 446-445 edge.
It was Central Florida's second win over a ranked team in 27 attempts. It also came in the lone conference meeting between the schools; The Cardinals are headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.