Teddy Bridgewater made the occasional eye-popping play during Louisville's 31-10 victory over UConn on Friday evening, but it was an unspectacular performance for the Cardinals' star signal-caller.
The junior phenom completed 21-of-37 passes for 288 yards, one touchdown and his third interception of the season. In spite of the meager showing, Bridgewater's 2014 NFL draft stock should remain stagnant—and that's a good thing.
Very few draft experts would advise against selecting Bridgewater inside the top five this coming May—if any.
Against a winless Huskies team which Bridgewater didn't have to pull out any magic for the Cardinals to cruise to an easy win, it was the perfect time for detractors to criticize him.
However, Bridgewater did keep alive a rather impressive streak, as highlighted by SportsCenter's official Twitter:
Teddy Bridgewater goes 21-37, 288 Yds, TD, Int as Louisville beats UConn, 31-10. He has a Pass TD in 21 straight games. #LOUvsUCONN— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 9, 2013
A lot may be made of a mediocre effort against a putrid opponent, but several drops harmed Bridgewater's numbers some. Plus, he made a big play in throwing a 28-yard touchdown to DeVante Parker after UConn had gone on a 14-play, 58-yard drive to cut Louisville's early lead to 7-3.
Still not convinced? Check out this rocket to Gerald Christian in the second quarter, where Bridgewater makes as much of an NFL throw as he did in the entire contest:
The only blemish on Bridgewater's evening was the interception. It came on a third down play when he was under duress from two pass-rushers, and tossed the ball into the wind.
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Connecticut safety Andrew Adams came over to make an easy play on the deep ball as it got caught up in the wind.
It was not a sign that Bridgewater doesn't have NFL-caliber arm strength or that he wilts in the face of pressure. Rather, the pick was an anomaly, though it did mark his sixth incompletion on nine third-down throws.
As mentioned before, though, there were flashes of the Bridgewater brilliance, and it came on the very next third down. Twenty-eight yards were needed to convert, and the signal-caller fired a rope to the left sideline, hitting receiver Michaelee Harris for a 31-yard gain.
Friday was not Bridgewater's best by any means—it snapped a four-game streak of throwing for over 300 yards.
Any NFL team drafting near the top of the order will still be getting a franchise QB. This minor speed bump, if it can be called such a thing, will prove to be of miniscule importance in the grand scheme. Bridgewater is a surefire first-round pick, and nothing in the UConn triumph changed that.