WATCH: Louisville answers interception with game-winning pick six, UCF’s Dillon Gabriel hurt on final play

Written by on September 17, 2021

Gloom turned to glory for Louisville in the final minute of its Friday night thriller against UCF. Linebacker Jaylin Alderman intercepted Knights quarterback Dillon Gabriel and returned it 66 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with 13 seconds left to lift the Cardinals to a 42-35 victory. The game-clinching defensive score came just one play after Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham had a pass of his own tipped and intercepted.

Cunningham’s pick gave the Knights the football near field goal range in a tie game with 25 seconds remaining, but Gabriel’s pick-six afforded the Cardinals a much-needed victory to improve to 2-1. The back-to-back interceptions were the first turnovers of the game for either team and added a wild, late wrinkle to an entertaining shootout. 

As the hero of game, Alderman actually came on as a replacement for injured Louisville starter Monty Motgomery. The true freshman had just one tackle through his first two games, but now he has a highlight worth remembering.

The pick-six was not the only development from the stunning ending, however. With five seconds left, the Knights attempted a hook and ladder from their own 28-yard line. The play failed, but the more concerning development could be with Gabriel, who was tackled awkwardly as he tried to lateral the ball. 

The nature of Gabriel’s injury hasn’t been diagnosed yet, according to Knights coach Gus Malzahn. The quarterback was carted off of the field after the final buzzer and later seen wearing a sling. 

The Knights are off next week before playing at Navy on Oct 2. Louisville plays at Florida State next week. 

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