January 8, 2014

Louisville defeats Miami, wins Russell Athletic Bowl

Photo by Jessica Knebel

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.

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