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UCF Storms No. 8 Louisville, 38-35

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UCF running back Storm Johnson gouged the Louisville defense for nearly 200 total yards and two touchdowns Friday as the Knights ended the Cardinals' perfect season and likely ruined Teddy Bridgewater's shot at back-to-back BCS bowl games. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images.
UCF running back Storm Johnson gouged the Louisville defense for nearly 200 total yards and two touchdowns Friday as the Knights ended the Cardinals' perfect season and likely ruined Teddy Bridgewater's shot at back-to-back BCS bowl games. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images.

UCF overcame a 21-point deficit in the third quarter and scored the game-winning touchdown with 23 seconds left, upsetting eighth-ranked Louisville on the road, 38-35, on Friday.

With the loss, Louisville (6-1, 2-1) went from a longshot BCS championship contender to unlikely to play in a BCS bowl.

The Knights (5-1, 2-0), meanwhile, seized control of the newly-formed American Athletic Conference.

Playing at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville scored less than a minute before halftime and tacked on two more touchdowns in the third quarter to command a 28-7 advantage. Halfway through the fourth quarter, UCF took a 31-28 lead.

Dominique Brown's 15-yard touchdown run with 3:00 left gave the Cardinals a 35-31 advantage, but Blake Bortles connected with Jeff Godfrey from 2 yards, and a Top-10 team fell for the third time in a seven-day span.

Bridgewater completed 29-of-38 passes in a nearly-flawless performance (the Cards dropped at least one pass and the final play of the game was a desperation heave). The All-America candidate threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns in the loss and no longer can be considered a serious Heisman Trophy candidate.

Former Miami running back Storm Johnson, now a junior, had a breakout game, accounting for 188 total yards and two touchdowns. Entering the game, Louisville's defense only allowed 229.5 yards per game — to entire teams.

South Florida and Houston, also unbeaten in the AAC, remain on UCF's schedule.

Louisville must collect itself and face the Bulls on the road next Saturday for a noon ET kickoff. The Cardinals also host Houston and play at Cincinnati, though they likely will be favored in every game.

The AAC champion gets a spot in the Orange Bowl against the ACC champion, assuming that team isn't in the BCS title game. The AAC's No. 2 team, which national sites likely will project as Louisville as of this week, plays in the lowly Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 28 against the ACC's third-place team.