The University of Louisville football team needed a spark in the first quarter against Temple on Saturday, trailing 14-7 on a cold, rainy afternoon.
And Ryan Hubbell delivered.
Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson called a play the Cardinals had been working on all week and sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater hit Hubbell down the middle of the field.
The junior tight end did the rest, outrunning the Temple secondary for a 72-yard touchdown catch to tie the game at 14. The Cardinals went on to score a 45-17 victory over the Owls and remain undefeated at 9-0.
"We knew it was going to be there," Hubbell said. "The play worked like we thought it would and I ended up being wide open.
"I think it (changed the momentum) and from then on we didn't go down."
U of L coach Charlie Strong said the staff felt like that was a play they could use against the Owls. Hubbell finished with two catches for 92 yards.
"We knew it would be there because they are two deep and we knew if we stretched the field to the outside, the safeties would come up the hash and the tight end down the middle would be wide open," Strong said. "Hub catches it, and just to see him run away - I thought he was going to get caught and he kept looking around, but I saw a guy and said, "Score!" We were down 14-7 and that got the game tied back up. It was a big play for us."
U of L and Temple were tied at 17 but the Cardinals never trailed again after the Hubbell catch and run put them ahead.
But Hubbell sure did catch some grief from his teammates.
He said some of them were teasing him about his speed, especially after WHAS-840 radios Paul Rogers call saying "We didn't know he had that kind of speed," was played over the loud speaker later in the game.
"Some of (his teammates) were giving me some crap about looking slow," Hubbell said. "But that's OK. It's always nice when you can look back on something like that and laugh. It was good."
Hubbell said he knew he was that fast, "Oh, yes," and several of his teammates said they figured he was going to make it into the end zone.
"I had no doubt in him," running back Jeremy Wright said. "I felt if he was going to catch that ball, he knew what he had to do to help us win."
Hubbell did that, making the play that changed the game.
"I looked back a couple times, probably more then I should have, but I made it in so it all worked out," Hubbell said.