Russell Athletic Bowl: Bridgewater, Louisville's D Too Much For Miami, Cards Roll 36-9

By: Barry Barnes, Founder/Senior Writer

ORLANDO, Fla – With a pep in his step while entering the huddle to face the Miami Hurricanes (9-4, 5-3 ACC), Louisville junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater known it was going to be a special night. After a defensive output from both squads for majority of the first half, Bridgewater broke out with the first touchdown of game, and he never looked back, while the defense never let up as the Cardinals steam rolled the Hurricanes, 36-9.

Bridgewater connected with junior wide receiver DeVante Parker for 26-yard touchdown pass with 7:10 remaining in the first half started to chain reaction of scores from the Florida quarterback, who finished with a career-high of 447 passing yards off 35 for 45 attempts and four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing).

Parker tied Louisville’s single-season record of 12 touchdown catches.

Louisville (12-1, 7-1 AAC) scored on seven out of nine drives, including four straight touchdown drives.

Teddy Bridgewater/Google Images

Teddy Bridgewater/Google Images

Seven times this season, Bridgewater threw for over 300-yards and thrown three touchdowns in six games.

“It was one of my best,” said Bridgewater when asked about his performance after the game. “I left everything on the field. I did the little things that coach (Charlie Strong) wanted me to do…But I couldn’t done it all without my teammates, the offensive line, the running backs, wide receivers and the defense played good.”

Louisville’s defense did not play good, they played well. The second best team in the nation in total defense completely dominated the Canes, led by senior defensive end Marcus Smith and sophomore linebacker James Burgess who looked like South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney with his destructive hits – none bigger than the tattoo he laid on running back Dallas Crawford late in the second quarter. 

James Burgess/Google Images

James Burgess/Google Images

Clearly, Miami was no match for the squad in Louisville that will join the ACC next season.

This contest was significant on several levels: Will this be Bridgewater’s final collegiate game? Will Louisville gain the upper hand in the recruiting war in the state of Florida, and in the city of Miami? The Cardinals have 37 players on their roster from Florida, and 25 of those athletes are from Miami. And when Louisville join the ACC, could they take over the conference?

The country will soon find out. 

Teddy Bridgewater/

Teddy Bridgewater/

“The way things went tonight, you know, I’ll sit down, talk to my mom, talk to the coaches and we’ll just go from there,” said Bridgewater.

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