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UCF 38 Louisville 35, Cardinals collapse late

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Louisville blows 28-7 third quarter lead to Central Florida and now faces a steep climb to win the AAC.

Andy Lyons

At one point it looked like Louisville would win in a rout. At 28-7, having scored on a fumbled punt attempt, Louisville had command of the game. It all unraveled after that. Central Florida scored three times in succession in the third quarter to tie the game at 28. Then, after allowing Louisville to drive the length of the field to take a 35-31 lead, the Knights drove for the game winning touchdown to steal the game and put a stranglehold on the AAC automatic BCS bid.

For the first time this year, Louisville's defense didn't have an answer for UCF as it continually pounded the Cardinals and kept them off balance for the entire second half. Louisville was gashed by Storm Johnson repeatedly and when they weren't quarterback Blake Bortles had plenty of time to make throws and keep critical drives alive, especially the final drive that sealed the win for UCF.

The Cardinals will need a ton of luck in the second half of the season if they hope to return to a BCS bowl. But that's not really what matters right now. Figuring out what went wrong defensively matters more. The Cardinals have eight days to recover before heading to South Florida and try to keep UCF from beating them twice.