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Key plays come from unexpected sources in UVA’s win at Louisville

UVA Cavalier Shield
UVA Cavalier Shield(WVIR)
Published: Oct. 10, 2021 at 6:59 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia football team has won back-to-back game on the road in the ACC for the first time in a decade, as the Cavaliers rallied to beat Louisville 34-33 on Saturday.

UVA improves to 4-2 overall, and 2-2 in the ACC.

The ‘Hoos overcame a 17-point deficit in the 4th quarter to get the win, and they got some big contributions from some unexpected sources.

Virginia senior cornerback Darrius Bratton only made two tackles in the win against the Cardinals, and they came on back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter.

The second came at the end of a 53-yard run for Louisville, when he chased down speedster Hassan Hall, and made a touchdown-saving tackle.

Bratton says, “Just out there guarding my man, and when it broke, I just ran as fast as I could, turned on the jets, and tried to save a touchdown for my team.”

“I was thinking, ‘I love you,’” said junior linebacker Nick Jackson. “I mean, he’s a fast guy. (Darrius) Bratton plays harder than ever. Being at your best when your best is needed is something that we always talk about. Bratt, that diving, saving tackle, that’s the game right there. That was the biggest play of the game.”

Head coach Bronco Mendenhall says, “He didn’t have a significant role tonight, in terms of number of plays, but there couldn’t have been a bigger play. His effort and fortitude and commitment to our team. That one, to me, I’m not going to forget as a coach.”

Louisville had to settle for a field goal at the end of that drive, rather than a touchdown, which kept the game within reach for the ‘Hoos.

And with 22-seconds left, Brennan Armstrong hit Grant Misch for the go-ahead score.

The junior tight end was not the primary target on the play.

“He was my fourth option,” says Armstrong. “I quickly jumped from one to two to three faster than I could even blink, and then I got to four, and then he was coming across on the over, and I found him.”

Misch says, “During the play, I just came through the middle, and no one guarded me. I was like, ‘Wow, he’s gonna find me.’”

“There’s not many below him on that play,” Mendenhall added, with a smile. “When we were hugging in the locker room, what a great moment for Grant Misch and Darrius Bratton. That’s what I’m taking away from this game.”

Virginia is scheduled to be back at home against Duke on Saturday at 12:30 PM.

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