Sugar Bowl: Teddy Bridgewater Notes

Bridgewater’s Health Improving Daily
Head coach Charlie Strong met with reporters following Thursday’s practice session inside the Trager Center and provided an update on the health of Cardinals’ sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Despite suffering a broken left (non-throwing) wrist against UConn on Nov. 24, the Louisville signal caller performed at a very high level in leading the Cardinals to a 20-17 BIG EAST Conference title clinching win at Rutgers just five days later. With more than 30 days off between the regular season finale at Rutgers and the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Strong and the Louisville training staff believed Bridgewater would have ample time to recover.

“Teddy is practicing and doing very well,” Strong said. “It’s a day-by-day process with him and he’s not completely well yet. I think as we continue to go through these next few days, I think he’ll have enough time to heal up.”

Captain Comeback
Players are defined on what they do in the fourth quarter of close games, and sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been better than anyone in the final stanza. Bridgewater has led five drives in the fourth quarter that has given the Cardinals the lead or tied the game.

  • Trailing 17-15 in a driving rainstorm against Southern Mississippi, Bridgewater led the Cardinals to a score with 5:35 left to win 21-17.

  • USF led Louisville 25-21 with 3:09 to play. He led an eight-play, 75-yard drive that culminated with an 11-yard pass to Eli Rogers with 1:35 left to give the Cardinals a 27-25 win.

  • With the score tied 24-24 in the fourth quarter against Cincinnati, Bridgewater connected with DeVante Parker on a 64-yard pass to give the Cardinals a 31-24. Louisville went on to win 34-31 overtime.

  • The Cardinals trailed Connecticut 10-3 until Bridgewater hit Parker with 21 seconds to send the game into overtime.

  • Tied 17-17 in the fourth quarter against Rutgers, Bridgewater led a drive that culminated with a 29-yard field goal by redshirt freshman John Wallace in a 20-17 win over the Scarlet Knights.

Bridgewater Efficient in the Passing Game
Thanks to a 69.0-percent completion percentage and 161.62 passing efficiency this season, teams must certainly be on the lookout for Teddy Bridgewater in the passing game. Bridgewater currently ranks fifth in school history with 458 career completions and is already eighth with 5,581 yards. He is first all-time in career completion percentage, completing 67.1 percent of his throws.

Bridgewater’s pass efficiency rating this season ranks eighth in the country and he is one of three underclassmen in the top 10. Bridgewater is one of only nine quarterbacks in the country with a rating of over 160.0.

Cardinals to Face Nation’s Best Pass Defense
The Cardinals might have one of the nation’s best quarterbacks in sophomore Teddy Bridgewater, but he and the Cardinals will face a huge challenge against Florida in the Sugar Bowl. The Gators have the nation’s top-ranked pass efficiency defense. Florida is allowing 186.4 yards through the air and has given up just five touchdown passes.

Bridgewater is completing 69.0 of his throws this year and will face a Florida defense that allows a 51.2 completion percentage and is tied for sixth in the country with 19 interceptions. The Cardinals, who are averaging 298.6 yards through the air, will face a defense that hasn’t allowed a 300-yard passer all season and a high of 257 yards versus Tennessee.

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