We as Louisville fans rock our grinch-like ear-to-ear smiles when it comes to raving about Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback. We are all high fives and fist bumps with an occasional under armor arm lock anytime his name is brought up. UK fans get extra salty just hearing his name. But is he as good as we in Cardinal Nation believe? How does the rest of the nation see him? Can he really dominate the big dogs like he has the kitty kayuts and the Missouri St. cubs?
I was listening to the “Early Birds” this morning, and host Drew Deener made the comment that someone very close to the organization told him that Bridgewater would be the “best to ever play at Louisville”. Really? Over the likes of former QB’s like Brian and Jeff Brohm, Chris Redman, and Dave Ragone (okay, maybe they weren’t THAT great..) Over the all around greats like Tom Jackson, Ray Buchanan, and dare I say it….Johnny Unitas? Those are some serious expectations…..especially for a SOPHOMORE!
Two games into the season though, Bridgewater has lived up to this heavenly hype. Yes he is a Sophomore, but he is currently 2nd in completion percentage (81.7%) in all of the FBS just behind the raging couch burner and full-beer-chucker Geno Smith (another Florida product and Senior). This stat would have been even higher had the tight end Nate Nord not had his concrete gloves on in the endzone for one play (he made up for it later in the game). He ranks 13th in the FBS in yards per pass attempt (9.6) ahead of the likes of Heisman hopefuls Matt Barkley (USC) and just behind Florida States E.J. Manuel (did I mention they played Savannah St.?…and both of these QBs are Seniors?). He also ranks 12th in the FBS in total QB rating (173.3) and 14th in total passing yards (576). These are incredible numbers for a quarterback who had two 100 yard rushers in its first game and who pounded the rock heavily in a blowout second game. Oh yeah, and he barely played against UK….
Aside from the braces, the kid is wise beyond his years in between the lines. I thought last season we had a very poor man’s Mike Vick as he held the ball and bootlegged every play, whether designed or not. But Bridgewater didn’t need to go to jail to become an elite passer, or to get prison strong. This just proves what the off-season can do for players….And did I mention he’s a Sophomore? I can only imagine what the next two seasons will bring.
This week will be a big test for Teddy and the Cardinals though. UNC will be coming to town after being baptized in a late comeback last week by the Demon Deacons. The running game behind UNC’s own stud Sophomore Giovanni Bernard (who sustained a knee injury against Elon Phoenix (who?) gave us fits last year, so that will be something we have to clean up. If Teddy can keep putting points on the board though, it really does beg the question…..Best ever? What do you think? Tweet us @lvillesprtslive.