Teddy Bridgewater is a Heisman Frontrunner
Bridgewater’s brilliant performance didn’t come to many folks surprise this Sunday. After all, he stole the National Spotlight after slicing through the Florida defense in the Sugar Bowl. If their were any doubters remaining, Teddy silenced them by halftime.
The Ohio defense may have been a middle of the pack defense in the NCAA last season, but Teddy’s performance is impressive against any opponent. What did he do that was so special against Ohio? Threw a career best 5 TDs on 355 yards of passing, to the tune of 23/28…two of the incompletions were drops.
It was near perfection.
Bridgewater said he had one less completion in the actual game, than he did when he played the game on NCAA Football 2014 two days before. Video game stats for Bridgewater may be a regular occurrence this season; especially with the lackluster schedule. The detractors of Teddy’s talent will surely come; to those people I say this: I simply can’t help you.
After Week 1 it appears that Clemson QB Taj Boyd and Teddy Bridgewater lead the way for the Heisman Candidacy. Stats-wise, Bridgewater had the better game. However, Boyd was certainly going against stiffer competition, as the Tigers knocked off the 8th ranked Georgia Bulldogs. Both players got off to an undefeated start. According to Covers.com, the pair are neck-to-neck with Vegas odds; Bridgewater is the slight favorite at 4-1 and Boyd is the second choice at 6-1. The safe assumption after Week 1 is this: If Bridgewater is not in New York City at the season’s end, it will be an absolute injustice.
Death, Taxes, Bobby Petrino Good At Offense
The former Louisville Football Head Coach is back in College Football after a year away. While he finds himself at a new program, Saturday he was in a familiar situation: beating Kentucky. Bobby Petrino has never lost a season-opener to the Wildcats, and that didn’t change when he took the field for the first time with Western Kentucky. (Petrino did lose to UK in Year 1 at Arkansas)
It’s no secret that when it comes to offense Petrino is a mastermind. He’d give many Coaches a run for their money at being the best at their craft. Petrino still is (and for the foreseeable future will be) a Top Coach in College Football.
On the Saturday night, the magnificent offensive mind of Petrino was on display. Right from the start, the Hilltopper team marched into the in-zone, and encountered few problems along the way. For an entire half the Hilltopper’s didn’t face a third down. Petrino has that effect on the teams he coaches. He can make QBs look like Hall of Famer’s. We saw what he did with Hunter Cantwell. Over the weekend we saw what he’s done with Western Kentucky QB Brandon Doughty in such a short time. Doughthy, hardly a touted prospect coming out of High School, has appeared to be awoken by the vast efficiently of the Petrino offense. He finished the game completing 27 of 34 for 271 yards; the Hilltopper finished the game with 487 yards of total offense. An impressive start for a team learning a completely new style of offense.
I have little doubt that Petrino will be the Western Kentucky Coach long enough to lead them to a halftime lead over Tennessee next week. After that, who knows what the future holds.
The AAC Didn’t Do Themselves Any Favors
That’s probably the best way to describe what happened to the AAC this weekend. Two FCS Teams beat Two AAC Conference teams. Towson pretty much put the nail in the coffin for Connecticut Head Coach Paul Pasqualoni, when they defeated the Huskies 33-18. McNeese State shockingly dismantled South Florida, 53-21. McNeese state is a FCS team that went 7-6 last year. Yes, a barley .500 team defeated a BCS Conference Team in a laugher. A despondent Willie Taggart could barely speak following the game, and was to the point with his thoughts, calling it a ‘Piss-Poor effort, all around’.
As a whole the AAC went 4-6, the only notable performance – outside of Louisville’s win over Ohio- being the Cincinnati 42-7 thrashing of Purdue. Muchie Legaux – who is still not better than Teddy Bridgewater – went 13/20 on 145 yards of passing and 1 TD in the win.
Things are going to get pretty ugly when Louisville departs for the ACC next season. Somewhere in a dark room, Mike Aresco is probably drinking heavily and crying.
Kai De La Cruz Lived up to Off-Season Praise
Where did this guy come from? Maybe the Formerly named Kai Dominguez simply needed a name change? The 6-0 Junior from Montvale, NJ finished Sunday with more receiving yards than he did in his entire career. De La Cruz went off for 4 receptions, 116 yards and 2 TDs in Louisville’s 49-7 win over Ohio.
“I think just his maturity level. I think with Kai – he just grew up. He just started realizing that he’s going to do things our way,” Head Coach Charlie Strong stated. “He always had the ability. If you’ve ever watched his skill, the guys always (telling me), ‘Coach just go watch him on the basketball court, just how well he can play. It was just fun to watch.”
His talent surely shown, and I’d say for most it was certainly a pleasant surprise. With what is already possibility one of the most talented Receiving Cores in the Country (or A.F.R.O.S), it may be hard for De La Cruz to continue this output. However, if opposing defenses are going to continue to focus on controlling Devante Parker and Damian Copeland; opportunities will open up for other receivers, he’ll just be another one to benefit from that.
So far, So good for Louisville Offensive Line
As my colleague Mark Blankenbaker wouldn’t let me forget, the Louisville Offensive Line wasn’t perfect Sunday. Yes, there were unforced penalties (5 flags totaled were credited to offensive line). In fact, when you asked Louisville Play-By-Play man and Former Card Joe Tronzo his biggest halftime takeaway, he simply stated: “Too many penalties”.
Both are certainly right. As he noted following the game, Charlie Strong wants perfection, he expects perfection. But I think he’ll live with his offensive line play given the circumstances. This will happen when you lose a center who started 30+ consecutive. This will happen when you replace another mainstay on the line, one who played nearly every position. What won’t always happen after losing said players is success. That did happen for the Louisville Offensive line.
In total the Louisville Offensive Line protected the immaculate Teddy Bridgewater. He only found himself on the ground once. They also opened up some nice holes for the Louisville Running Backs, enabling the Cardinals to finish with 199 total rushing yards.
“The offensive line did a great job of opening up holes,” Charlie Strong said post-game. “They did a really great job of protecting the Quarterback.”
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