Louisville blows out Miami, Teddy Bridgewater takes bowl MVP


Ty Wright / Valencia Voice

Teddy Bridgewater went 35-45, for 447 yards through the air, and recorded three passing touchdowns and one rushing, as he went on to be named the MVP of the Russell Athletic Bowl.

ORLANDO — Teddy Bridgewater may have very well played his final game in a Louisville Cardinal uniform, but it was one that put the junior quarterback in the school’s record books.

Bridgewater went 35-45, for 447 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air, while adding a rushing touchdown, as the Cardinals defeated the Miami Hurricanes 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl in front of an announced attendance of 51,098 at the Citrus Bowl.

Miami started the game with a safety on Louisville’s first offensive possession, but that was all the scoring the Canes would do until the 10:23 mark of the fourth quarter.

“We got beat in all three phases.” said Miami head coach Al Golden following the game. “There’s no excuses. We didn’t play well enough, give a lot of credit to Louisville they played really well, executed well.”

The Hurricanes were held to 119 yards through the first three quarters of the game, while the Cardinals had 408 total yards entering the final quarter.

Louisville’s offense on the other hand started off slow, but in the second quarter Bridgewater found his rhythm. He would go on to throw 2 touchdown passes during the second 15 minutes, including a 27-yard pass to DeVante Parker, who finished the game with 142 yards receiving and a touchdown.

The Cardinals would go into halftime leading the Canes 22-2, while also out-gaining Miami 280-83.

“I’ve been saying this the whole season; we have one of the best teams.” said Louisville head coach Charlie Strong after the game. “We’re one of the best teams in college football. the way we played tonight, you can understand why.”

Bridgewater would go on to throw his record breaking touchdown pass in the third quarter, when he hit Dominique Brown on a screen for his school record-setting 31st passing touchdown of the season. The touchdown extended Louisville’s lead to 29-2, as they went into the fourth quarter.

A rushing touchdown would cap off the game for the junior quarterback out of Miami Northwestern High School, as Bridgewater would extend the Cardinals lead to 36-2 in the fourth quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. It’s also worth noting that Bridgewater was named the bowl game’s MVP for his performance.

“It meant a whole lot, not only for some of the guys from the state of Florida going against a hometown school, but we were going against a quality opponent.” said Bridgewater after the game. “That’s what we’ve been waiting for all year.”

Following the touchdown Bridgewater would go on to throw up the “U” during his celebration, only to follow it up with a throat slashing-type of taunt. He would later apologize for the gesture at the post-game press conference.

Bridgewater now faces one of the toughest decisions of his career, as he has until Jan. 15 to decide whether he will declare for the NFL draft or return to Louisville for his senior season.

The Cardinals held the Hurricanes to 174 yards of total offense, which was Miami’s worst offensive performance of the season. The Canes finished the game with 14 yards rushing, while going 0-11 on third down conversions.

“We know it would be critical on third down to get off the field.” said Strong about his defense.

The Russell Athletic Bowl marked the return to postseason play for Miami, after the University self-imposed a bowl ban in back-to-back years.

Miami now hopes to build from the bowl experience and continue to build the program up to it’s former glory.

“We have to do a better job coaching, we have to continue to build our program and just move forward.” said Golden about the Hurricanes future.