The Louisville Cardinal appeared to get back on track last week following their shocking upset to the Central Florida Knights at home a few weeks ago. They came out with a renewed focus and dominated the South Florida Bulls in a 34-3 blowout led by another strong day from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. With the winless Connecticut Huskies next up on the schedule next weekend, look for Bridgewater to take his game to the next level and have his best game yet as a college quarterback.
To date, Bridgewater’s best statistical game came last season against the Syracuse Orange. Bridgewater completed 36 of 49 passes for 424 yards and three touchdowns. It remains the most completions and yards that he’s thrown during his time at Louisville, though his career best for touchdowns in a game is five (done twice so far). Against UConn, all of those records will be in jeopardy as Bridgewater appears poised to go off.
All season long, Bridgewater has been excellent through the air. He’s averaging 319.6 yards per game with 23 touchdowns and just two interceptions as he completes 73.7 percent of his passes. He’s thrown for more than 300 yards in six games this season, but hasn’t hit the 400-yard mark in 2013. The closest he came was 397 against FCS Eastern Kentucky. Despite his consistent high-level of play, the loss against UCF has taken some of the wind out of the sails of Bridgewater’s Heisman Trophy campaign.
That by itself would be more than enough motivation for Bridgewater to go off against UConn, the No. 9 ranked scoring defense in the AAC this season. Having a huge game would be a major boost to his profile and perhaps get him talked about for college football’s highest individual honor once again. But the Cardinals also have a bit of revenge on their brain against the Huskies.
Last season, UConn came to Louisville and knocked off the Cardinals 23-20 in triple overtime, frustrating Bridgewater and the Louisville offense, holding the quarterback to just a 56.6 completion percentage and intercepting him once. It was a major blow to the Cardinals’ national image that they had to fight to get back with the upset of the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. That’s not a misstep that Charlie Strong and Bridgewater would like to repeat.
So with more motivation than they need and an opponent suffering an epic free-fall in 2013, Teddy Bridgewater is poised to have his best day yet as the leader of the Louisville offense. Will it be enough to restore his place in the Heisman Trophy conversation?