The Cardinals also earned a share of the Big East title and deprived Rutgers an undisputed league championship as well as what would have been the first BCS bowl trip in school history.
Louisville, Rutgers and Syracuse will all share the Big East crown with 5-2 records and Cincinnati can become a co-champion as well if it defeats Connecticut this weekend. Louisville will receive the league's automatic BCS berth because it will finish with the best standing among the conference teams in the final BCS rankings.
The Cardinals trailed 14-3 at halftime, but jumped in front by scoring twice in the span of 16 seconds late in the third period.
Teddy Bridgewater threw a 14-yard scoring pass to Jeremy Wright and, after Rutgers fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, Bridgewater hit DeVante Parker with a 20-yard touchdown throw.
Nick Borgese's 38-yard field goal midway through the fourth period tied the contest at 17-17.
Louisville then capitalized on an interception by James Burgess that set the Cardinals up on the Rutgers' 32 with 3:53 to play. Louisville ran four plays before Wallace came on to kick the winning field goal.
Terell Floyd clinched the victory by picking off another pass by Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova at midfield with a minute remaining.
Louisville finished the regular season at 10-2 with Bridgewater completing 20-of-28 passes for 263 yards. Nova was 13-of-28 for 284 yards. Rutgers wound up with a 9-3 mark.