No. 10 Louisville downs Miami to reach ACC title game


For the first time ever, Louisville will play for the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in football.

Jack Plummer’s 58-yard touchdown pass to Keon Coleman Jr. with 4:17 left in the game proved to be the winning score for visiting No. 10 Louisville in its 38-31 triumph on Saturday over Miami in South Florida.

Louisville (10-1, 7-1 ACC) will face No. 4 Florida State for the conference title in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 2.

The victory marks the first double-digit-win season for the Cardinals since 2013, their lone campaign in the American Athletic Conference. Meanwhile, Miami (6-5, 2-5) will finish with a losing record in conference play for the second straight season.

The Cardinals clinched the win over the Hurricanes by forcing a third consecutive incomplete pass in a fourth-and-goal situation from Louisville’s 4-yard-line. Miami put itself in a position to tie the game with under two minutes to play by driving 75 yards in eight plays, but the Canes couldn’t find the endzone.

Miami got the ball back with 19 seconds left but failed to score. The Hurricanes completed a Hail Mary pass with 5 seconds left, with Xavier Restrepo hauling in a 45-yard completion, but he was brought down 4 yards short of the goal line.

Plummer completed 24 of 37 passes for 308 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Louisville also got rushing touchdowns from Isaac Guerendo and Evan Conley, who were key parts of a Louisville rushing attack that piled up 162 yards on 34 carries.

Tyler Van Dyke completed 24 of 39 passes for 327 yards for Miami, throwing one touchdown. Mark Fletcher Jr. led the Canes’ rushing game with 126 yards and two scores on 17 carries.

The contest was a back-and-forth one that featured five lead changes. Miami led 21-20 at halftime. Just before intermission, Louisville defensive back Trey Franklin was ejected for targeting.

Miami defensive back Kamren Kinchens came up with the lone turnover in the game, picking off Plummer in the first quarter. Louisville defensive end Mason Reiger tallied the only sack of the contest.