Miami was this close to ending Louisville’s College Football Playoff hopes

Nov 18, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) looks for
Nov 18, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Hurricanes quarterback Tyler Van Dyke (9) looks for / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

For the second week in a row, the Miami Hurricanes were extremely close to taking down a College Football Playoff contender. This time, it was the Louisville Cardinals that escaped.

Trailing by seven points in the waning seconds of the contest, Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke let up a Hail Mary heave. It was batted around but landed in the arms of wideout Xavier Restrepo.

Unfortunately, Restrepo was a couple of yards short of the goal-line as a gang of Louisville defenders brought him to the ground, thus keeping the Cardinals' one-loss record intact and their dark-horse Playoff hopes alive as well.

Miami went blow-for-blow for most of this game as Louisville clung to their slim hopes of making the College Football Playoff. They will now move on to the Governor's Cup against rival Kentucky and then into the ACC Championship Game against Florida State (a team that lost Jordan Travis on Saturday) needing wins in both to have any chance of making the CFP.

Of course, the Cardinals' one loss coming against a three-win Pitt team might be enough to keep them out still, but their Playoff dreams still have a pulse.

Louisville's College Football Playoff path after surviving Miami

As mentioned, the first step for Louisville making the CFP will be beating Kentucky and Florida State. In the case of the former, the rival Wildcats have been limping to the finish line in SEC play and look beatable.

The ACC Championship Game is a different story. Florida State will present the most talented team the Cardinals have seen this season. However, without Travis at quarterback, they are a far lesser group as backup Tate Rodemaker has not proven he is anywhere near the same caliber of passer. Thus, that game looks much more winnable than it once did.

Beyond that, though, Louisville coming in at No. 10 in the latest CFP rankings means they need a ton of chaos ahead of them to make it into the Playoff, especially with beating FSU without Travis likely devaluing that potential win. The Cardinals would likely need losses from Alabama, Texas, Washington and Oregon to have any chance, perhaps multiple -- and even then, it's still not a guarantee.

But thanks to some savvy, sure-handed tackling on Miami's Hail Mary, that narrow margin still remains for Jeff Brohm's team.

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