Russell Athletic Bowl | No. 18 Louisville 36, UM 9

Miami Hurricanes routed by Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville in bowl return

 

Miami was dominated by Louisville and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in its first bowl game since 2010.

Loading...
 
Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater scores early in the fourth quarter. The Miami Hurricanes vs. the Louisville Cardinals during the Russell Athletic Bowl at Orlando's Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on Saturday, December 28, 2013.
Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater scores early in the fourth quarter. The Miami Hurricanes vs. the Louisville Cardinals during the Russell Athletic Bowl at Orlando's Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium on Saturday, December 28, 2013.
AL DIAZ / MIAMI HERALD STAFF


sdegnan@MiamiHerald.com

During a long, painful NCAA ordeal, the Miami Hurricanes self-imposed bowl bans in 2011 and 2012.

Their first trip back to the postseason was equally excruciating.

With the help of a gifted quarterback that chose Louisville over his hometown Canes, the Cardinals embarrassed Miami 36-9 on Saturday in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

“Obviously, disappointed,” UM coach Al Golden said. “We got beat in all three phases. There are no excuses.”

Junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the former Miami Northwestern star who committed to play for the Canes in high school before former coach Randy Shannon was fired, completed 35 of 45 passes for a career-high 447 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for another.

To give Bridgewater an extra-special farewell and Miami more misery, Louisville had the quarterback run a keeper on fourth-and-1 with 12:19 left at the Citrus Bowl. The 21-year-old swept right and, naturally, into the end zone, as Louisville fans roared “Ted-dy! Ted-dy! Ted-dy!”

Bridgewater, embraced by teammates, threw up the “U” and quickly criss-crossed his hands in a “No way” sort of motion, ending it with what appeared to be a semi throat-slashing gesture.

“I would just like to apologize to the University of Miami,” Bridgewater said after the game. “I was out of line doing that.”

He will now decide whether to leave early for the NFL. If he does, he is expected to be the first quarterback taken in the draft — and possibly No. 1 overall.

Saturday’s performance, witnessed by 51,098 fans, enhanced that possibility.

“This moment right here is all about the team,” said Bridgewater, who wouldn’t give a time frame on when he would make his decision.

Miami junior tight end Clive Walford, who led the Canes with four catches for 82 yards, had been contemplating turning pro but said after the game he decided after the second catch to return.

The Hurricanes ended their season at 9-4 and failed to reach 10 victories for the third time while having the chance since they last did it with 11 wins in 2003.

No. 18 Louisville finished 12-1.

With the loss, Miami has gone from 6-6 to 7-5 to this nine-win campaign in Golden’s three seasons.

Golden said that despite the way the season ended, he was “really proud of Stephen [Morris] and this group of seniors and what they’ve been through and what they’ve endured in moving us forward. We’re going to miss them greatly for all that they’ve contributed and for their leadership through a really tough three years.”

It was a horrible day for Miami’s offense, which generated 174 yards — 14 of those on the ground. The Canes were 0 for 11 on third-down-conversion attempts.

Morris completed 12 of 27 passes for 160 yards in his career finale. He was sacked four times.

“Obviously, it wasn’t a performance I wanted to have, this being my last game here,” Morris said. “Give credit to Louisville.”

The Canes defense allowed 554 yards. It was the sixth time in the past eight games that Miami gave up at least 500 yards.

Louisville converted 8 of 14 third-down attempts.

When asked if he would evaluate the staff and perhaps make changes, Golden said: “I’m going to evaluate the whole program.”

It started out so promising for Miami on Saturday.

The Hurricanes created a buzz on Louisville’s second offensive play when Deon Bush flattened Bridgewater in the end zone for a safety during the Cards’ opening possession. Miami led 2-0 with 11:51 left in the first quarter. UM’s Pat O’Donnell, the nation’s No. 3 punter, set up the score with a beautiful punt that just died on the 2-yard line.

UM took the kickoff and went three-and-out.

The Cardinals then scored nine consecutive points on field goals of 36 and 43 yards in the opening quarter and 42 yards with 12:47 left in the first half. At that point, Bridgewater had completed 9 of 14 passes for 106 yards.

Miami had a hard time protecting Morris and harder time getting its offense to click.

Bridgewater, on the other hand, despite his team’s early ineptitude with numerous penalties, kept moving the Cardinals toward the end zone. Finally, midway through the second quarter, he hit DeVante Parker with a 26-yard touchdown pass — UM freshman cornerback Artie Burns was boxed out by Parker.

The Cardinals led 16-2 with 7:10 left in the half.

All-American defensive end Marcus Smith pummeled Morris on the ensuing drive, causing him to lose the ball. Brandon Dunn recovered for the Cards, but Louisville was finally stopped and forced to punt.

After an uncharacteristic 20-yard shank by O’Donnell, Louisville took over at its own 40-yard line with enough time left — 1:45 — to pad its lead. Leave it to Bridgewater to make it happen. On third-and-6 from the 44, Bridgewater made one of his trademark escapes and scrambled from a charging Shayon Green, then Tyriq McCord. Finally, he beat Tracy Howard in coverage with a 21-yard completion to Damian Copeland.

Three plays later, Bridgewater hit junior Michaelee Harris — also out of Miami Northwestern — for the 12-yard TD. John Wallace missed the extra point, but the Cardinals led 22-2 with 30 seconds left in the half.

Read more UM stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">Tough road:</span> Hurricanes linebacker Denzel Perryman (52), with Thurston Armbrister, relishes the challenge of playing in Lincoln, Nebraska, on Saturday. ‘I can’t wait for this matchup.’

    UM Football

    Miami Hurricanes show no fear of going to Nebraska

    UM’s defense, better statistically this season after three games, is going into Saturday’s game against Nebraska’s explosive offense confident it can hold its own

  •  
UM quarterback Gray Crow is shown during the team's spring scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

    UM notebook

    Gray Crow moves back to quarterback for University of Miami

    “No, it’s not easy,” Golden said of Crow’s situation. “The idea behind the move back in July was give him an opportunity to play, based on our depth at quarterback. We were hoping he could help us at H-back, at fullback, at long-snapper or in some way on special teams. He talked to us [Tuesday] and we moved him back.”

  •  
FILE- In this Sept. 6, 2014, file photo, Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya watches from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA football game against Florida A&M in Miami Gardens, Fla. Kaaya was walking through the Miami campus earlier this week, totally unbothered and unnoticed as he strolled around Lake Osceola. Call it a rare moment of solitude for the Hurricanes' quarterback, who has been thrust into the fire as a freshman starter and is now getting ready for No. 24 Nebraska on Saturday night.

    UM Football

    Miami Hurricanes QB Brad Kaaya to face huge test at Nebraska

    With Kevin Olsen no longer at UM and Ryan Williams nearing his comeback, Kaaya says he's ready to enter hostile territory.

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category