Teddy Bridgewater Rips Apart Florida Defense in Sugar Bowl Win

Jordan Ball@jball_13Correspondent IJanuary 3, 2013

Going into the Sugar Bowl, the Florida defense was well aware of the skill set their opponent's quarterback possessed. 

When asked about Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, the Gators' All-American safety Matt Elam had this to say: “I feel like, hands down, he’s the best quarterback we will face this year." 

That's saying a lot seeing as his No. 3 Florida team had taken on the likes of Aaron Murray, Tyler Bray and Heisman-winner Johnny Football.

No matter what they were expecting out of the Cards' sophomore QB, he outperformed that. 

After jumping out to a 7-0 lead thanks to a pick-six on the first play from scrimmage, Bridgewater composed a 12-play drive that covered 83 yards to give his team a two-score lead. That score would stand until the end of the first quarter. 

Held to a field goal on their second possession, Louisville started their third drive on their own 46 looking for a third straight score. 

They got just that eight plays later as Teddy hit receiver DeVante Parker on a 15-yard fade in the corner of the end zone, putting their team up 24-3. 

Scoring with only a few seconds left, the 14-point favorite Gators found themselves trailing by the same margin at the half. 

On the season Florida's opponents only averaged 12.9 points per game. Louisville had doubled that in just two quarters. The 24 points Louisville put up were the second most the Florida defense had allowed in an entire game all season long.

Along with that, Bridgewater had already passed for more yards (180) than Murray (150) and Manziel( 173) did in their games against the Gators.

And the Big East Player of the Year was just getting started. 

After a failed onside kick to start the second half accompanied by two 15-yard personal fouls on Florida, Teddy Bridgewater found himself starting on the opposing team's 34-yard line. He promptly took advantage of that by sending a strike to Damian Copeland on the very first play. 

His lone "flaw" on the night was a thrown interception late in the third quarter. The ball was tipped at the line by a defensive lineman whose back was turned to the throw. It shot straight up and landed safely in the hands of Florida safety Josh Evans. 

Though Florida made some big plays like that in a desperate attempt at a comeback, the Cardinals held on for the win. 

The 33-23 victory in the Sugar Bowl is the biggest win in program history for Louisville, and it was due in large part to the play of Bridgewater. 

On the night he threw for 266 yards on 20-of-32 attempts. He threw for two touchdowns compared to just one interception. 

The 266 passing yards gave Teddy nine more than Tennessee's Tyler Bray for the most allowed by Florida all year. 

Out of all of the things the young gunslinger did, the most impressive aspect of his game was his poise on third down. 

On 14 third-down attempts, the Cards converted nine of those with Bridgewater going 7-for-10 for more than 100 yards. The five failed tries went for four field-goal attempts and only one punt. 

While the Louisville Cardinals dominated the Gators in every aspect of play, no one player shone brighter than Teddy Bridgewater on this night. 


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