Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - In what was likely his final game at
Louisville, junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater put an exclamation point on a
stellar collegiate career with the Cardinals.
Bridgewater threw for a career-high 447 yards and three touchdowns while also
rushing for a score, and the Louisville defense stifled Miami-Florida en route
to a 36-9 triumph in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Saturday.
Billed by most as the top quarterback prospect for the 2014 NFL Draft,
Bridgewater completed 35-of-45 passes and became Louisville's all-time leader
for TD tosses in a single season with his 31st scoring strike of the year.
Bridgewater was named the game's MVP, marking the second straight year he's
taken home MVP honors in a bowl game after last year's 33-23 win over Florida
in the Sugar Bowl.
Louisville (12-1) held the Hurricanes to just 174 total yards, including a
minuscule 14 on the ground, and an 0-for-11 mark on third down, as the
Cardinals secured their second 12-win season in school history and first since
Louisville's stout defense caused problems for Stephen Morris throughout the
game, with the senior signal-caller completing just 12-of-27 passes for 160
yards for the Hurricanes (9-4), who were making their first postseason
appearance since 2010 following a self-imposed two-year bowl ban due to
improper benefits from a booster.
Gus Edwards found the end zone from two yards out early in the fourth for
Miami's only offensive score of the game.
The only points Miami managed in the first half came on Louisville's second
play from scrimmage, as defensive back Deon Bush blitzed off the edge and
brought down Bridgewater in the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 lead.
John Wallace capped each of Louisville's next three touches with a field goal,
connecting from 36 and 43 yards in the first frame before burying a 42-yarder
early in the second to make it 9-2 Cardinals.
Following a Miami three-and-out, Bridgewater completed all four of his passes
on a seven-play, 80-yard march that he finished with his 28th TD pass of the
DeVante Parker pulled in three of Bridgewater's tosses on the trek, including
a 26-yard scoring strike in the front of the end zone that made it 16-2.
Miami moved inside the Louisville 10 on its next touch thanks in large part to
a 15-yard taunting penalty against Louisville's Charles Gaines following an
incompletion on 3rd-and-5 from the Hurricanes' 49.
However, three plays later, defensive end Marcus Smith hit Morris from behind
and stripped the ball, which Louisville pounced on at its own 13-yard line.
After the teams exchange punts, Bridgewater completed the final five passes of
a six-play series that he capped with a 12-yard TD pass to Michaelee Harris.
Wallace missed the extra point, though, leaving the Louisville lead at 22-2
heading into halftime.
Louisville increased its cushion by opening the second half with a lengthy 12-
play, 85-yard scoring sequence.
Bridgewater converted all three third downs on the trek, including a 3rd-and-4
from the Miami 24 that saw Senorise Perry catch a short screen and bounce off
a defender as he rumbled 24 yards into the end zone for a 29-2 lead.
After the Hurricanes' next touch ended in a turnover on downs, Bridgewater
capped a 10-play, 70-yard scoring drive with a 1-yard TD surge that made it
36-2 early in the fourth quarter.
Edwards scored from two yards out on Miami's ensuing possession to account for
the final margin.
Bridgewater broke Brian Brohm's single-season record of 30 touchdown passes
set back in 2007 ... Wallace set a Louisville bowl record with three field
goals ... Miami was held without a touchdown or field goal in the first half
of a game for the first time since a 23-20 loss to South Florida on Nov. 27,
2010 ... The Cardinals and Hurricanes will meet as ACC opponents next season
when Louisville switches to the ACC ... Louisville's defense finished the
regular season ranked second in the FBS overall (257.9 yards per game) and
against the run (86.3) ... Miami leads the all-time series 9-2-1, though
Louisville has taken the last two meetings ... Miami's Allen Hurns caught two
passes for 25 yards to give him 1,162 receiving yards on the season, breaking
Leonard Hankerson's single-season school record ... Louisville made its 18th
bowl appearance, while Miami made its 35th bowl and 37th postseason
The Sports Network