Teddy Bridgewater had the 3rd most effective offensive season in Louisville football history in 2012 with 3744 yards (3718 passing) and 28 total Touchdowns.  Bridgewater is already making an impact on the UofL Record book, now #6 All-Time in Career Offense, 5th in Completions, 5th in Touchdowns.  In my opinion Louisville has never had a QB play as well as #5 did in 2012.  When I think of the long history of top QBs that Louisville has produced he trumps each of their weaknesses, he’s technically very good and he’s also clutch while avoiding silly mistakes.

Louisville went from 74th in passing at 211.5 yards per game in 2011 to 296.1 yards per game ranking 24th.  The most impressive thing about the Louisville offense was that it finished 5th in the Nation in Red Zone Conversions at 92.98%, much of which is due to the play of the QB.

Depth at Quarterback was needed during 2012, as has been the case going back to 2001.  Bridgewater’s wrist was broken against Connecticut and an ankle sprain later in the same game resulted in the Cards needing to play Will Stein.

Who’s Back?

Teddy Bridgewater (6-3, 218, Jr.) see above.  Bridgewater is expected to be a Top 5 NFL selection in the 2014 draft.  There may be some factors that could keep Teddy in Louisville following his junior season that he may personally justify.  But a player/person probably can’t  pass up on that type of opportunity.  Without looking too far ahead Card fans should expect to fully enjoy Teddy Bridgewater in 2013.  Great player, great person. Enjoy him in the red and black while you can!

Jerry Arlinghaus (6-4, 213, Soph) did not play during 2012 and is a walk-on. Arlinghaus comes from Louisville Holy Cross.

Who’s Gone?

Will Stein, the ultimate underdog, capped off his unlikely college career contributing to the largest upset in BCS history. Stein played a key role in the Rutgers/Big East Championship game and also filled in nicely in 2012 completing 20 of 34 passes for 131 yards through the air and 17 on the ground. Stein finished his career as a Cardinal with 1271 yards passing and 6 Touchdowns.  He leaves us forever with his famous “Sunny Will Stein”.

Luke Brohm (6-1, 200, Soph) moved to fullback.

Kyle Todd (6-3, 205, RS-FR) was on campus last year but red-shirted and is no longer listed on the roster.

Who’s New?

Will Gardner (6-5, 230, RS-FR) sat out the 2012 season after additional knee surgery was needed at the beginning of Fall Camp from an injury that shortened his senior year of high school. The Coffee County product is listed as the #2 QB for the Cards and ran the #2 offense in the Spring game throwing for 85 yards on 10 of 16 passing (0 INTs).

Kyle Bolin (6-3, 196, FR) Lexington Catholic product had his season cut short with a knee injury.

Brett Nelson (6-3, 231, JR) has a red-shirt available after playing first two years in Junior College. Nelson is listed #3 at QB during Training Camp.

Andrew Risher (6-0, 186, RS-FR) walk-on Red-shirt freshman from Louisville Christian Academy.


With Teddy Bridgewater at the helm, the OUTLOOK IS GOOD.  Teddy is the heart and soul of the Cardinal Football team and the undisputed leader.  But if we’ve learned anything in football, especially at the Quarterback position, it’s that you better have depth.  Bridgewater had to miss time after a broken wrist and ankle injury in the Connecticut game, and we’ve all seen him take some shots and keep playing.  BUT the QB will always be a target.  Obviously I like the #1 option, but it is unreasonable to assume that Bridgewater (or any QB playing high-level football) will be able to play 100% of a team’s snaps in a given season.

Will Gardner took a solid hold on the #2 spot behind Bridgewater during Spring drills and he has continued to develop in Fall Camp drawing the praise of his coaches. Gardner will be the first man off the bench under center if Teddy Bridgewater comes out of the game for injury or if the game is decided. Gardner has added 29 pounds since arriving on campus and held offers from Alabama & Mississippi State.  I’d really like to see more of his game, but I think with the system he ran in high school (a lot of run heavy formations) we can see that Gardner is adaptable.  Gardner seems recovered from his two knee surgeries, and hopefully will be given the opportunity to play and develop his game for the Quarterback competition heading into the 2014 season when they have to replace Bridgewater.

Kyle Bolin is the same as Gardner…….coming off knee surgery. Bolin comes to Louisville as a fan favorite after the Lexington native chose the Cards and remained steadfast in his commitment for well over a year. Bolin chose the Cards over offers from Cincinnati and Illinois and he is more mobile than you might expect.  As a junior Bolin threw for 3088 yards and 29 TDs in 14 games and was on track for a similar Senior Season before his injury. There isn’t a circumstance where I see Bolin burning his redshirt in 2013, so look for Bolin to learn and heal before competing for the starting job in Spring 2014.

Brett Nelson came into Louisville from Southwestern CC on the West Coast, enrolling for the Spring 2013 semester.  Nelson has good size and is currently listed #3 on the depth chart for the Cards. Nelson was 3 of 8 for 17 yards in the Spring Game and appeared to be making the adjustment to the D1 FBS level in the Spring.  We’ll keep an eye on Nelson, and all of the Quarterbacks heading into Fall Camp.

Years Ahead

2013: Teddy Bridgewater, Brett Nelson, Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin, Jerry Arlinghaus, Andrew Risher

2014: *Teddy Bridgewater (has eligibility, expected to be early entrant to NFL Draft), Brett Nelson, Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin, Jerry Arlinghaus, Andrew Risher

2015: *Brett Nelson (if red-shirt is used) Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin, Jerry Arlinghaus, Andrew Risher,

2016: Will Gardner, Kyle Bolin, Andrew Risher

2017: *Kyle Bolin (if redshirt is used)

(only listing players currently on roster, Verbals will not appear here)

Next Series

Tomorrow 8/20/2013 at 8:00 a.m. Tight Ends.

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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