A lot has been made of the fact that nearly a quarter of Louisville’s football roster will be returning to their roots in Southern Florida this weekend as the Cards travel to Miami to take on Florida International Saturday night. In fact, 23 players on the current roster hail from Tampa or south of that area. Many will have family and friends make the short drive to Miami to watch the game in person. Furthermore, there are actually 15 players who technically hail from the city of Miami, so they’ll be able to literally return home. But QB Teddy Bridgewater told the media on Tuesday that “this is a business trip” and that “if I see my family good, if not, that’s ok too.” Don’t get it twisted, these players would love to embrace their loved ones, receive a warm home-cooked meal and sleep in their own beds. But the reality of the situation is, they’ll likely arrive tomorrow night, sleep in a hotel, get to the stadium early for a walk-through, play the game that night, and then depart for Louisville later that evening or first thing in the morning. The goal remains to win a ball game, nothing more and certainly nothing less. The Miami Herald Leader came out with a great piece this morning detailing Bridgewater’s time as a high school phenom in Miami as well as FIU head coach Mario Cristobal’s thoughts on the dynamic Louisville QB. Even though it’s a business trip, it’s still a homecoming of sorts for Bridgewater, and many of his teammates. Here’s a sampling and you can read the entire thing here.
The starting quarterback with the most wins at FIU Stadium — Saturday’s site of the matchup between FIU and Louisville — will be wearing Cardinal red, not Panther blue.
You could have won a lot of money two years ago if you bet that the first college game he would start in Miami would be at FIU Stadium rather than Sun Life Stadium, where the crosstown Hurricanes play.
Otherwise, sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been everything recruiters thought he would be coming out of Northwestern High. He has just been doing it as a Cardinal instead of a Hurricane.
FIU coach Mario Cristobal called Bridgewater, “the best quarterback we’ve seen on tape in a long, long time. That’s saying something because we’ve seen some highly ranked ones.”
Cristobal said Bridgewater’s ball placement has been exceptional.
“He looks like a senior. He plays and has a temperament of a senior,” Cristobal said.
“Watching the TV commentary, I think they mentioned in camp, he completed 90 percent of his throws. When you say that, you’ve got to realize out of that 10 percent, you imagine some were drops, some were throwaways to not take a sack. So, he has been extremely efficient, extremely accurate.”
“Watching him in high school, you felt he was going to be that at some point. He just got there rather quickly,” Cristobal added.
Bridgewater, of course, never was supposed to play at FIU Stadium, where he recalls being on the winning side in five of seven high school games he played there. (By comparison, FIU redshirt sophomore Jake Medlock has won two home games as a starting quarterback).
Bridgewater was committed to Miami until head coach Randy Shannon’s was fired after the 2010 season. That reopened Bridgewater’s mind and the recruiting process. In swooped Louisville, which mines South Florida well.