By Noah Allison
The U of L Cardinal football team handedly disposed of in state program
Eastern Kentucky University 44-7 on Saturday, improving to 2-0 on the season.
Junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater stayed perfect on the opening drive of
games this year going 5-5 for 58 yards and capping it off with an eight-yard
touchdown pass to Damian Copeland. Copeland has surpassed his season total of
two touchdowns last year with three touchdown receptions through the first two
games of this season. Bridgewater is a total of 46-60 passing, with 752 yards and
nine touchdown passes through the first two games.
In a game that the Cardinals displayed their dominance, it is clear that the
mentality of the program is unique this year with many unable to truly gauge the
Cardinals ability considering their first two opponents. A 44-7 victory only brought
questions of offensive rhythm in a game where the offense stalled and settled for
field goals three times in the red zone, and a rushing game that had 199 rushing
yards and one touchdown last week against Ohio only had 78 yards and one
touchdown against the EKU defensive line.
Without looking too much into the woes of the offense, Teddy Bridgewater
still displayed masterful quarterbacking, successfully sending the ball to his
weapons to make plays all game. Junior wide receiver DeVante Parker had two
touchdowns on five catches and 134 yards.
“Devante is a playmaker if you look at the throw we threw down at the end
zone, he’s so athletic he jumped up and took the ball of the defensive back head. He’s
fast enough to where he can stretch the field, which he did on that post route. He’s
an exciting player to watch,” head coach Charlie Strong said. “You have DeVante out
there, but then you have seven (Damian Copeland) sitting on the other side also and
then you’ve got guys inside with Eli Rogers and four (Robert Clark), and then with
the tight ends playing as well. You allow the quarterback to find open guys. Teddy
told me before the game that DeVante would have 200 yards receiving today and he
ended up with 134. I think he just knew what the coverage was and he felt like he
could get him open. He missed him on a couple of throws. If it wasn’t for that he
probably would have been close to 200.”
The second biggest receiving threat on the day was Florida transfer, red-shirt
junior, tight end Gerald Christian, who had five catches for 74 yards and his first
touchdown as a Louisville Cardinal.
“I was just happy to be back. I had a good game, but I still know I can get a lot
better with assignments and technique. But making some catches and scoring a
touchdown always feels good,” Christian said. Christian and fellow red-shirt junior,
wide-out Robert Clark, both went to William T. Dwyer High School in Palm Beach
Gardens, Florida. They both went to high school together, they both went to Florida
together, and they both transferred from Florida to U of L together.
“He’s my best friend. It felt good to see him have such a good game last week;
we are so close that when one of us does well we are just as happy for each other.
He was telling me before the game that since he scored last week it was my turn to
get a touchdown. It felt good to get my touchdown this game,” Christian said.
Defensively the Cardinals starting line-up started to impose its will as much
as Card Nation would like to see. Three fumbles were forced and four different
Cardinals had a sack with senior middle linebacker leading the Cardinals with two.
“The coaches on the defensive staff have high expectations for us, so we have
to surpass those expectations and play Cardinal defense like I know we can,” junior
free safety Calvin Pryor III said. “In camp Coach put a big emphasis on forcing
turnovers so as a defense we take pride in that now. We take pride in creating turnovers and getting the ball back for our offense so they can go score.”
The Cardinals play rival University of Kentucky in Lexington on Saturday at noon.