It's no secret that I'm a Louisville fan. Knowing that about me, it should be no surprise that this is my favorite highlight. I could pick a number of different plays as my favorite but this one from the win over Florida State in 2002 is my favorite for several reasons. The play above is Henry Miller's overtime touchdown run that gave Louisville a 26-20 win over Florida State.
First, it saved what turned out to be a disappointing 2002 season. In 2002, Louisville was coming off of consecutive Conference USA titles, had won 11 games the year before, and entered the season ranked in the preseason polls. Louisville promptly went out and lost the season opener to rival Kentucky and lost again to Colorado State two weeks later. Florida State entered the game ranked #3 in the country (clearly overrated but no one knew it at the time, still they did wind up winning the ACC that year).
Second, it happened the day I moved to Louisville. I didn't grow up in Louisville. I grew up in Tampa, FL. How did I grow to care about Louisville football when I was every bit as much a Gator fan (and so was my father)? My dad was always enamored with former Miami and Louisville head coach Howard Schnellenberger and former Louisville quarterback Jay Gruden played high school football at Chamberlain High School just a few blocks from my home (it would eventually be where I would play high school football as well). So we always paid attention to Louisville from a distance. I packed up my stuff and moved here for a number of reasons in 2002 and drove a U-HAUL from Greenville, SC to Louisville that morning. I unpacked, settled in, and the first Louisville game I ever got to watch in the city was this one. An upset of a top 5 team. Pretty cool.
Third, it was instantly an iconic moment for the city and the program. Louisville has always struggled to get big time programs to play here. To have Florida State in town and on a Thursday night with a national television audience, it was already big for Louisville. To top it off, there was a torrential downpour (you can see it in the clips above) and Louisville fans for the most part stayed through it to make it one of the more famous moments in Louisville history.
What's your favorite highlight? Tell me in the comments below and I'll check them out. Can be football or basketball.