Louisville | Teddy Bridgewater

Command performance for Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater against Miami Hurricanes

 

Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater accounted for four touchdowns in what might be his final game for the Cardinals.

Loading...
 
Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater breaks a tackle by Miami's Thurston Armbrister 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 breaks a tackle by Miami's Thurston Armbrister 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

Special to the Miami Herald

The chant from the red-clad multitude behind the Louisville sideline could be heard as early as the second quarter.

“One more year!”

If Saturday night truly was Teddy Bridgewater’s final collegiate game, though, consider Louisville’s 36-9 Russell Athletic Bowl romp a command performance for both NFL scouts and the fan base he leaves behind.

And, perhaps wistfully, for the Miami hometown that saw what became of the one who got away.

If Bridgewater’s career-best 447 yards and three touchdowns passing weren’t enough, his 1-yard TD run early in the final quarter provided the exclamation point.

Facing fourth-and-goal, Bridgewater rolled to his right, put on a burst and dashed across the goal line in front of three UM defenders. Then as a teammate lifted him off the ground near the Louisville’s sideline, the former Northwestern standout put his hands together in the “U” symbol — then criss-crossed his arms in the incomplete-pass signal.

It would be hard to ask for a better farewell script than that. In a sense, it would almost be a shame to waste it by coming back for a senior season.

Louisville fans, of course, might opt to disagree.

“Right now, I have a lot of time [to consider the NFL],” Bridgewater said after being named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

Unfazed after being dropped for a safety on Louisville’s second offensive snap, Bridgewater led the Cardinals to scores on seven of their next eight possessions. He topped the 400-yard mark for the first time this season and just the third time in his career.

“We just had to take what they gave us,” Bridgewater said. “But it wasn’t only me. I’ve said all year long that I have the best wide receivers in the country.”

Bridgewater completed 35 of 45 passes, and the numbers could have been even more scintillating. Four of his incompletions came on drops by his receivers, and Devante Parker came down with a nice sideline reception out of bounds in the third quarter.

The signature play, though, might have come with time winding down in the first half. Facing third-and-6 from the Cardinals’ 44, Bridgewater rolled to his left, reversed direction and turned the corner near the right sideline before firing a strike to Damian Copeland for 21 yards and a first down.

Three plays later, Bridgewater found former Northwestern mate Michaelee Harris in stride for a 13-yard TD strike just 30 seconds before halftime that gave the Cardinals a 22-2 cushion.

Bridgewater’s three TD passes gave him 31 for the season, breaking the school record set by Brian Brohm in 2007. He now stands 27-7 as a starter, matching Dave Ragone for the most wins in school history.

“Teddy’s been an amazing presence since he been here,” Louisville coach Charlie Strong said. “I love the way he controls our offense out there. He’s just an outstanding football player.”

All that’s left is to consider whether to put his name in the NFL Draft.

ESPN’s Todd McShay has projected Bridgewater to be the No. 1 pick in his “Mock Draft 1.0” published Thursday on the network’s website. Though he ranks as the ninth-best prospect overall, the Houston Texans would have to consider a quarterback if they have the top pick.

Bridgewater has said from the outset that he will take some time to make a decision, sitting down with his mom and other family members to weigh his options.

“I feel that I’m ready, but I also feel that I’m not. That can go either way,” he told reporters who swarmed around him last Monday in Orlando. “You always have an area to improve on. After this game, I’ll evaluate everything.”

Then again, a bigger hint may have come from a Twitter post he sent before the Cardinals departed for Orlando.

“Sacrificed a lot of personal glory for the people around,” he tweeted, “because I’ve always been apart [cq] of something much bigger than myself. It’s my time.”

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