Tag Archives: Teddy Bridgewater

Photo by Austin Lassell

This is Louisville

By Noah Allison

As sudden as life is here comes the month of February. First semester started long ago, Teddy throwing touchdowns is but a blissful memory, and here is our men’s basketball team heading into the month of February with us.

With one month of regular season play left the defending national champion Louisville Cardinals have an 18-4 record. There is a great support for these heroes of Cardinal lore, but there is also a genuine level of expectation that is not being met.

The Cardinals entered the year ranked number three overall, with returning seniors Russ Smith and Luke Hancock back to defend the title, and a cast of experienced members of the championship team returning with them. But there were questions about the schedule; at first glance the college basketball culturally familiar opponents were limited to a few.

North Carolina, Kentucky, Memphis, UConn and Cincinnati were the teams that U of L had history with. In the meantime the rest of the schedule were games Card Nation expects to win, and must win until getting to face a true test of a team.

And it goes without saying now, that almost all of those possible statement games the Cardinals played, they lost. Which is starting to make a statement itself.

Yet, one can’t get carried away.

Entering the month of February one year ago the Cardinals record stood at 17-4. They had just ended a three game losing streak in the Big East, and they had some things to figure out.

This current team has overcome and had to face its fair share adversity in the form of injuries, growing pains and the dismissal of junior power forward Chane Behanan.

In the loss to North Carolina, they were missing lay-ups all game, if they fall like they normally would, the Cardinals may win.

Against UK they fought shot for shot with Kentucky and took the lead with roughly seven minutes left. From that point forward leading scorer Russ Smith didn’t score. If Smith had continued his Russdiculous rhythm then maybe the Cards win.

Against Memphis the Cards were a few rebounds and a little maturity away from winning.

Against Cincinnati the Cards came from 17 down to take the lead, and again failed to rebound at crucial times and broke down due to lack of maturity.

All of these things could have changed the outcomes and any or all of those losses could be wins.

The Cardinals, for all the problems they face as a team could have figured out how to win those games. And if they had how worried would Card Nation be right now? The Cardinals still have a home game against UConn and tough road games against SMU, Memphis and Cincinnati and the AAC Tournament to figure out who they are as a team.

The Cards of last year continued to adjust to growing pains throughout February and that is when they figured it out, because they had to. The potential is there with this team; there have been too many segments of brilliance throughout the season to legitimately count them out of anything.

The only thing to do now is appreciate 17-4, and the fact that there are players like Luke, Russ and Montrezl Harrell, and a coach like Rick Pitino to put the winning formula together.

It is college basketball and this is Louisville. This is when things get interesting

Photo by Jessica Knebel

Louisville defeats Miami, wins Russell Athletic Bowl

By Annie Moore

In what would prove to be both Charlie Strong and Teddy Bridgewater’s last game for the University of Louisville, the famously Floridian duo led the Cardinals to a victory over the University of Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Five minutes into the game, Bridgewater was sacked in the end zone for a safety, and it looked as if the Cardinals were in for a long night. These two points would turn out to be the last for Miami until the fourth quarter.

Louisville went on to score 36 unanswered points, and Bridgewater put on a clinic in his final act going 35/45 for 477 yards and three touchdowns.

The game was largely viewed as both an ACC debut for the 2014 conference addition Cardinals, and the biggest challenge on a widely-dismissed weak Louisville schedule.

“We’ve always heard that our schedule wasn’t that tough, but we were able to play a quality opponent.  That’s why you play the game, to compete,” Bridgewater said. “I’m so proud of my team and the way we played today.”

The bowl marked the Cardinals’ second-consecutive bowl victory over a Florida school, and the third of the Strong era.

One week after the game, Louisville found itself less the Head Coach and offensive leader. Bridgewater announced his entering the draft just four days after the game on New Years Day, and Strong took the head coaching position at the University of Texas at Austin a week after the game.

Louisville continues its search for a head coach and prepares to gather itself and look towards its debut season in the ACC.

Photo Courtesy of Kevin C Cox/Getty Images

Charlie Strong takes head coaching job at University of Texas

By Annie Moore

 

Less than a week after losing its starting quarterback, the University of Louisville football program took another big hit on Saturday. Head Football Coach Charlie Strong accepted an offer to become the Head Coach at the University of Texas.

After much media speculation Friday night and all day Saturday, Strong officially accepted the offer Saturday night. Strong spoke with Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich following a staff meeting Saturday morning before making the commitment official. It was reportedly important to Strong to speak to Jurich before the announcement was made.

Before Coach Strong’s arrival, Louisville had three-consecutive losing seasons. Strong was 37-15 in his four years at Louisville, including three bowl wins and two consecutive double-digit win seasons.

Strong’s $3.7 million base salary at Louisville made him one of the top ten highest-paid college football coaches in the country.

Strong is the third big name to announce his departure from Louisville in the past week. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Safety Calvin Pryor both announced earlier in the week that they would enter the 2014 National Football League draft.

Despite his desire to meet with Jurich before making it official, Strong neglected to hold a meeting with the team. Many players found out their coach was leaving through social media and television reports.

This is an ongoing story, the Louisville Cardinal will monitor and provide updates as they become available. 

Photo by Austin Lassell

Teddy Bridgewater to enter NFL Draft

By Annie Moore

“After discussing all the options with my family and the coaching staff, I have decided to forgo my senior season and declare for the NFL Draft.”

 

And with that, Louisville’s quarterback for the last three years announced he was leaving. Teddy Bridgewater announced Wednesday he will forgo his senior season to enter the 2014 National Football League draft.

 

Bridgewater’s statement came on the heels of an outstanding 2013 season, which included a win over his hometown team, Miami University in the Russell Athletic Bowl just four days prior to his announcement. In the game against Miami, Bridgewater went 35-for-45, and had a career-high 447 yards and three touchdowns.

 

Bridgewater broke the University of Louisville record for number of touchdown passes in a single season with 31 this previous year.

 

Bridgewater was 30-9 in his years at Louisville, including two bowl wins, two conference titles, and two double-digit win seasons.

 

“I can’t express how much my time at Louisville has meant to me. I will cherish every moment on the field and off the field, and every bond that I built. I will forever represent the university with the utmost pride and respect.” Bridgewater said.

 

Bridgewater will leave Louisville as arguably the best to wear the red and black, and leaves big shoes to fill for returning quarterbacks, redshirt freshman Will Gardner, freshman Kyle Bolin and junior Brett Nelson.

 

Using his personal twitter account Wednesday, Teddy Bridgewater messaged Will Gardner saying “Now it’s your turn! #DoWork”

 

The University’s football program will no doubt need Gardner or one of the other QB’ to step up as it enters its freshman season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

 

Teddy is projected to go first overall in the draft, and the Houston Texans have the first pick. The Texans made a deal with former Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien, and are looking to take a quarterback in the draft.

 

Bridgewater graduated from the University of Louisville early, earning a degree in Sports Administration in just three years.

 

“I didn’t know much about Louisville when I made the decision to attend,” Bridgewater said.  “But in the end, it was one of the best decisions I could have ever made.”

Photo Courtesy of Lauren Kremer, the News Record

Louisville keeps Keg of Nails

By Annie Moore

Teddy Bridgewater led the Cardinal offense to a victory in an overtime thriller against rival Cincinnati in what looks to be the final Keg of Nails, at least for a while. 23 completions in 37 attempts for 255 yards and three touchdowns don’t even cover the late-game heroics of the team leader.

The Cards struck first early in the first quarter. Sixth-year senior QB for the Bearcats, Brendon Kay was picked off on Cincinnati’s first drive by Charles Gaines. Louisville took over at its own 40-yard line and in just four plays and 1:47, Bridgewater connected with DeVante Parker for the first touchdown of the game to give the Cards the 7-0 lead after the extra point from John Wallace.

In the second quarter, Wallace put three more points on the board for Louisville with a made field goal, before Kay ran it in for Cincinnati to put the score at 10-7 at the half.

The Bearcats struck again in the third quarter, again at the hands of Kay. Kay rushed for a two-yard TD to give UC its first lead of the game.

The fourth quarter saw explosive offense from both sides. The Cards drew first blood in the fourth, when Damien Copeland caught a 22-yard pass from Bridgewater to put the cards back on top. It was this drive that showcased Bridgewater’s heroics most prominently. After single-handedly converting a fourth and 12, Bridgewater under immense pressure threw a perfect pass to Copeland in the corner of the end-zone to give the Cards the advantage.

“I thought he was sacked,” Said Cardinals Head Coach Charlie Strong. “He was moving around in the pocket and I thought the guy pulled him off and then all of the sudden he threw it and I thought it was going out of the back of the end zone, but then (Damian Copeland) makes the catch. It was an unbelievable play by Teddy.”

It looked for a minute like Teddy’s efforts were going to be to no avail, when just 45 seconds letter, Ralph David Abernathy IV rushed for a 15-yard touchdown, putting the Bearcats back on top.

But Bridgewater and his troops weren’t done. Louisville’s offense marched back down the field and 11 plays, 60 yards and 4:44 later, the Cards were back on top 24-21.

The Bearcats had the ball with just over two minutes on the clock. Kay led the offense back down the field but had to put its fate in kicker Tony Miliano, who was just 5-14 on the season. Miliano made the field goal to tie the game at 24-24 at the end of regulation.

UC won the toss to start overtime and elected to be on defense to start. After a drive where Louisville’s offense looked anything but lights out, a pass-interference call in the end-zone on Leviticus Payne for the Bearcats, put Louisville just two yards away from the end-zone. Dominique Brown rushed to put the Cardinals on top 31-24.

The Bearcats could not respond and for the second-consecutive Keg of Nails victory for the Cards in overtime. With Louisville moving to ACC play next year, it is the last installment in this celebrated rivalry.

“I am just excited. I actually told my mom that I wanted to cry,” Bridgewater said. “Tears of joy. I am just proud of this team and we showed that we have heart. We still have a lot to play for. It is not about us, it is about this brand on the front of our jerseys. The guys fought and I am extremely proud of those guys.”

Following the win, Louisville accepted a bid to go to the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, FL on December 28.

 

Photo by Austin Lassell

U of L defeats Memphis 24-17

By Dalton Ray

Since 2007 the Cardinals’ football team has not seen a victory on the team’s senior day. That drought came to an end Saturday, as the Cards were able to defeat the University of Memphis 24-17, putting their record on the season at 10-1.

Many of the seniors who played their last game in Papa John’s Stadium Saturday were a part of head coach Charlie Strong’s first recruiting class.

“Just to see the seniors go out the right way, we just wanted to see that happen for them. So much they’ve given to this program and now they will be able to go to their fourth straight bowl game…21-3 (as a class) in their last 24 games that’s impressive,” Strong said.

Many question whether this will be the last game for junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater as well. The Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist swiftly redirected questions afterwards regarding his future to talking about how important the win was for the seniors and the team, again noting how much they’ve done for the program.

Seniors such as: Hakeem Smith, Damian Copeland, Roy Philon, home-town product Brandon Dunn, Senorise Perry, Marcus Smith, Preston Brown wanted to finish their final home game as a Cardinal with a bang.

Just hours before the game senior middle linebacker Preston Brown found out his grandfather had passed. Brown honored his grandfather recording a team-high of nine tackles and a defensive touchdown off a fumble recovery in the first quarter, the first touchdown of his collegiate career coming in his last home game. The fumble was forced by defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins and the score gave the Cards an early lead and momentum.

“It was great getting the touchdown for my grandpa. I put on a show for him,” Brown said.

Bridgewater’s lone touchdown was a 40 yard pass to junior wide receiver DeVante Parker. Parker made one defender miss and simply out ran the rest of the defense down the sideline for the score. After John Wallace’s field goal the halftime score was 17-3. Wallace’s field goal gave him 16 on the year which puts him second all time for field goals in a season.

After halftime, the Cardinals came out strong and scored on the opening possession, capping off a 14-play, seven-minute drive. As it looked like the Cardinals would pull away in the second half the offense seemingly just spun its wheels and wouldn’t score anymore points in the final 23 minutes of the game. Penalties and untimely sacks plagued the final three possessions.

“We cannot lose focus, we have to continue to play and finish,” Strong said.

Memphis running back Paxton Lynch ran a four-yard touchdown in at the start of the fourth quarter and pulled the Tigers within 14 points. As the wind refused to let up on this chilly senior day in November the Cardinals found themselves in a similar situation, up a few scores and relying on the defense to hold off the cavalry.

The next offensive possession the fans saw a very rare three straight incompletions from Bridgewater. Lynch would again lead his Tigers offense down and score this time on a 12-play, six-minute drive. Jesse Milleson hauled in the catch in the back of the end zone and silenced the home crowd.

As the offense came back on to the field all that was needed was a score to ice the game and secure a victory. After two quick first downs, Memphis’ fourth sack on the day would put Teddy and the offense in huge hole as they faced a third and 15 with barely three minutes left. Ryan Johnson came onto punt after a short completion and Memphis’ Reggis Ball ran directly into Johnson, drawing a roughing the kicker and giving the Cards a fresh set of downs.

The offense would make the visiting Tigers pay for their mistake, as they would waste an additional two and half minutes off the clock. On a fourth and 10 at the 15-yard line with 44 seconds left the Cardinals decided to forgo the field goal attempt and looked to finish off their opponent. Bridgewater would end up displaying his infamously known sliding skills and scramble for nine yards, coming up just short and turning the ball over on downs.

One last defensive stand was asked for and the defense came through. With the 24-17 win the Cardinals are now 10-1 and now have their first consecutive double-digit win seasons in school history. The Cardinals will have their season finale at rival Cincinnati on Dec. 5 at 7:30 pm on ESPN.

 

Photo by Jessica Kneel

Football defeats Houston 20-13

By Sam Draut

Dominique Brown churned out 137 yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns to lead No. 19

Louisville to a 20-13 victory over Houston.

“The line did a good job of blocking early for him and he was able to run through blocks. The

thing he doesn’t do is get knocked back. He runs physical and strong and as the game goes on he

gets stronger and stronger,” U of L head coach Charlie Strong said.

After a 12-play, 77-yard opening drive that ended with a 13-yard Brown touchdown, the

Cardinal offense stalled for most of the first half and Houston took a 13-10 lead into halftime.

“We had a disappointing first half. We jumped out to a 10-0 lead and we felt like we could

continue to play well and then add more points to it. We kind of got complacent and got

comfortable. Offensively we didn’t do a good job of continuing to move the ball,” Strong said.

Teddy Bridgewater orchestrated a seven-play, 70-yard touchdown drive in the first possession of

the second half, giving the Cardinals a 17-13 lead. The junior quarterback finished 19-29 for 203

yards.

Bridgewater did not throw for a touchdown, snapping his streak of 21 games with a touchdown

pass. Also, his 203 passing yards was Bridgewater’s season low.

With the passing attack stagnant, U of L relied on Brown to carry the load. The junior running

back logged career highs in carries and rushing yards including 50 yards in the third quarter.

“I feel good but this is not an individual performance. The offensive line did a great job up front

on lead blocks. Our tight ends did a great job, our quarterback is doing a great job every night with

getting us in the running game,” Brown said.

The Cardinal defense controlled the line of scrimmage, limiting Houston to 74 rushing yard on

29 carries. Senior defensive tackle Roy Philon finished with a career high seven tackles, one sack

and three tackles for a loss.

Philon and defensive ends Marcus Smith and Lorenzo Mauldin each finished with one sack,

contributing to another dominant performance by the defensive line.

“It’s really hard work, it started back in camp when we all clicked together as a defensive line, we

all believe and trust in one another,” Philon said.

The 7-3 Cougars were limited to 195 total yards of offense and just 41 yards in the second half.

“I’m feeling really good about the defense right now. The only thing that matters is that we got

the win. The guys played hard,” Pryor said. “As a defense right now I feel like we’re stepping up

in big moments. We’re number one on third down for a reason. Guys are getting home, guys are

playing coverage. We’re just playing as one right now.”

U of L has two remaining games as they sit behind Central Florida, who currently holds sole

possession of first place in the AAC. The Cardinals face Memphis next Saturday at Papa John’s

Cardinal Stadium at noon.

“We’re only going to worry about what we can control. We have to focus on ourselves. We still have a

season and something to play for so we’re not paying attention to that at all,” Bridgewater said. “It is college

football and anything happens, so we’ll just continue to focus and shift.”

Photo by Austin Lassell

Bridgewater and Pryor III named college football award semifinalists

By Sam Draut

Two of the University of Louisville’s standout players have been recognized for their on-field achievements this

season.

Junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is a semifinalist for the Maxwell Award, given to the Collegiate Player of

the Year.

The winner will be announced on Dec. 12. Bridgewater was selected with 15 other student-athletes, including

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and Alabama quarterback A.J.

McCarron.

Bridgewater has thrown for 2,557 yards and passed for 23 touchdowns, which ranks third nationally. He has

thrown for 300 yards in six of his eight games. Also, his 73.7 percent completion rate is good for second in the

country.

Bridgewater leads an offense that averages 39.4 points a game which is ranked 20th nationally and a passing

offense which averages 333.6 yards per game which is ranked 13th nationally.

Junior Safety Calvin Pryor III is a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation’s outstanding defensive

back.

The Thorpe finalist will be announced Nov. 25. Pryor was selected with 14 other student athletes including

Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves, Ole Miss cornerback Cody Prewitt, and Ohio State safety C.J. Barnett.

Pryor leads U of L with three interceptions and is second in the team in tackles with 47, 32 of which are solo.

Pryor is second on the team with two forced fumbles and has four tackles for a loss.

The Pryor led defense has held opponents to just 10.6 points per game and 244 yards of total offense per game.

Both players have been three-year starters at their respective positions, leading U of L to a 25-9 record during

their careers.

A Louisville football player has never been selected for either the Maxwell Award or Jim Thorpe Award in their

history.

The 7-1 Cardinals face Connecticut on Fri., Nov. 8 at 8:30 p.m. in East Hartford, Conn.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Football improves to 7-1

By Sam Draut

The number 18 University of Louisville football team defeated South Florida 34-3 on Saturday at Raymond

James Stadium in Tampa.

After being dealt its first loss last week, the 7-1 Cardinals were led by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater who threw

for 344 yards completing 25 of 29 passes for two touchdowns. Bridgewater has thrown for over 300 yards six times

this season.

The defense returned to form after giving up 446 yards of total offense and 38 points last week. U of L held the,

2-5 Bulls to just 133 total yards and eight first downs.

“You can’t let one game beat us twice and we weren’t going to let that game last week come and beat us again,” U

of L head coach Charlie Strong said.

Led by linebackers Preston Brown and James Burgess who finished with four tackles a piece, the defense allowed

just 38 yards rushing on 20 attempts.

“Those guys are a reliable group of guys and they live up to expectations,” Bridgewater said.

Defensive end Marcus Smith finished with two of the Cardinals four sacks.

The U of L offense controlled the tempo, dominating time of possession at 41:43 compared to USF’s 18:17.

Dominique Brown highlighted the rushing attack in his first start of the season, running for 134 yards on 18

carries. Also, he led the team with six receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown.

The Cardinal offense started the game with a nine play 90 yard drive that was capped off by a 20 yard touchdown

pass from Bridgewater to Damian Copeland. The balanced drive included four passing plays for 46 yards and six

runs for 44 yards.

Midway through the second quarter, tight end Gerald Christian scored on a 69-yard pass from Bridgewater,

putting U of L up 17-3.

“That’s a play that’s been working for us all season. It’s a play action and those guys just execute their

assignments,” Bridgewater said.

Bridgewater’s last drive of the day ended with a five-yard touchdown pass to Brown. The 14 play 81 yard drive

put the Cardinals up 27-3.

Cornerback Charles Gaines added an interception that he returned 70 yards for a touchdown solidifying the

score at 34-3.

“We can always improve. We’ve got an open date coming up where we can improve on our fundamentals and

techniques and get ready for the next one,” Strong said.

U of L has a bye next week and will face the Connecticut Huskies on Nov. 8 in East Hartford.

“We know that we let one slip away, but we still have five more opportunities to win and we took care of one

today. We’ll continue to fight and take it one game at a time,” Bridgewater said.

Photo by Austin Lassell

Louisville football falls to UCF

By Annie Moore

Louisville football proved it was anything but invincible in front of a record crowd at Papa John’s Cardinal

Stadium Friday night. The Cards were defeated by the University of Central Florida Knights 38-35 in their first

loss of the season.

The Cards struck first in the first quarter when Teddy Bridgewater connected with Eli Rogers in the end zone to

put Louisville up 7-0 after an extra point from John Wallace.

The Knights responded in the second quarter when William Stanback capped off a 4:56 UCF drive with a four-
yard rush up the middle to tie the game at 7-7 after an extra point from Shawn Moffitt.

Louisville struck back on its next drive when Bridgewater threw a pass to DeVante Parker up the middle for 10

yards to put the Cards back on top 14-7 with less than a minute left in the half.

The Cards wasted little time getting back in the end zone, extending the lead to start the third quarter.

Dominique Brown carried the load for the majority of the Card’s second-half opening drive. Of the 75-yard drive,

58 belonged to Brown. Brown scored Louisville’s third touchdown of the game, rushing for 20 yards to put the

Cards up 21-7.

On the next UCF drive, Senorise Perry forced a fumble on UCF punter Caleb Houston that was recovered by

Louisville’s James Quick who ran it back 30 yards for a third-consecutive Cardinal touchdown.

At this point, Louisville had a 21-point lead and seemed to have the game soundly within its grasp, but the

Knights would never say die as they responded with 21 unanswered points.

After a touchdown from Storm Johnson, UCF was within two touchdowns. The following Louisville drive,

Perry fumbled on the 17-yard line, which was recovered by UCF defender John Maag.

The Knights took over on Louisville’s 15-yard line and wasted little time punching it in the end zone again to

bring it within one touchdown.

The Cardinals couldn’t capitalize on its next drive, and punted to the Knights who started its drive at its own 44-

yard line. Yet again, UCF’s offense capitalized on a Cardinal defense that looked like a shadow of itself. Stanback

punched it in again to put the score at 28-28 headed into the fourth quarter.

Louisville’s offense could not finish a drive and was forced to punt on its first possession in the fourth quarter.

UCF marched strongly back down the field with the momentum swinging heavily in its favor, and settled for a field

goal to put it up 31-28 with 7:36 left in the game.

Brown yet again came through for the Cards on the next drive, rushing 15 yards to put the Cards back up 35-31

with three minutes to go.

All Louisville’s defense needed to do was get a stop, but as it had all night, it failed to even put a dent in anything

the Knights wanted to do.

“Defensively that’s the first time we played bad,” Head Coach Charlie Strong said. “We just didn’t tackle well.”

UCF Quarterback Blake Bortles completed a pass to Jeff Godfrey to put the Knights back on top 38-35 where it

would stay for the rest of the game.

It would seem this loss dashed the hopes of Louisville returning to a BCS Bowl, and that was on the minds of the

team after the game.

“When you’re undefeated, you think about the big game and all that stuff,” senior middle linebacker Preston

Brown said. “But all that’s out the window now with the conference we play in. Now, we’ve just got to win the

conference and hopefully still get to a BCS game.”

But the team seemed optimistic, remembering that last season’s Sugar Bowl Champion team lost not once, but

twice.

“You can’t live in misery,” Bridgewater said. “You can’t live in a loss. One loss doesn’t determine the whole

season.”

The Cards next travel to Tampa, Fla. to take on the USF Bulls.