Strong has Louisville eyeing perfection
Notebook: South Florida snaps streak, but loses QB Daniels
After wining its ninth consecutive game, Louisville is off to its best start in school history.
The Cardinals sit atop the Big East and at No. 10 in the Bowl Championship Series standings and have now won 14 of their last 15 regular-season games. For a school without a great history of successful football, it is an achievement that players like quarterback Teddy Bridgewater are proud of.
“It’s very cool just to be the first to do it in school history, I’m just glad to be a part of this team,” Bridgewater said.
Week after week, Louisville coach Charlie Strong has been praising his team’s resilience, and it showed it once again, coming from behind for the fifth consecutive game to get the win against Temple (3-5).
“Our team never panics,” Strong said. “We sit there and say it’s a 60-minute game; just continue to play, good things will happen, somebody will make it happen and right now the player who’s making those plays is someone on the offensive side of the ball.”
That player is typically Bridgewater. The sophomore is making a name for himself at the school with some history of producing NFL quarterbacks. Bridgewater has thrown for 2,434 yards and 18 touchdowns, including five against Temple.
“What is unbelievable about Teddy is that he is able to just find open receivers. Each week there’s been a different receiver step up,” Strong said.
The Cardinals realize the season is far from finished. Strong in particular still sees room for improvement on his undefeated squad.
“We have so much to teach from and so much to learn from [Saturday's] game and it's good because you don’t want guys to get full of themselves, you don’t want guys to start thinking ‘Hey we’re 9-0, we’re really good,’ ” Strong said. “No we’re not a really good football team. You know I can take two or three plays out of this game and show you guys that we’re nowhere near where we should be.”
“We’re hungry and we’re not gonna stop until we’re 12-0, 13-0. We’re trying to chase perfection,” Bridgewater said.
Cincinnati (6-2, 2-1 Big East)
• The Bearcats racked up 263 yards on the ground to win a shootout against Syracuse. Cincinnati’s George Winn had a career day, rushing for 165 yards and three touchdowns as well as tossing a 37-yard touchdown pass to give the Bearcats their first lead. Winn notched his second consecutive game with more than 100 yards rushing and posted his third multi-touchdown game of the season.
• Starting quarterback Munchie Legaux was benched in the third quarter and senior Brendon Kay finished the game, going 3 for 3 for 32 yards and touchdown.
Next Game: vs. Temple Nov. 10
Connecticut (3-6, 0-4 Big East)
• The Huskies were completely shut down by South Florida and have now fallen to last place in the conference. Quarterback Chandler Whiter had his fourth game with zero touchdowns and multiple interceptions and running back Lyle McCombs failed to score for the fourth game in a row.
• In each of its last four consecutive losses, UConn has not scored more than 14 points.
Next Game: vs. Pittsburgh Nov. 9
No. 11 Louisville (9-0, 4-0 Big East)
• The Cardinals kept it close early against Temple until Bridgewater blew the game open in the second and third quarter, throwing three of his five touchdown passes in that span. Bridgewater continues to improve his personal marks, breaking his single-game touchdown record a week after breaking his single-game passing record.
Next Game: vs. Syracuse Nov. 10
Pittsburgh (4-5, 1-3 Big East)
• The Panthers led Notre Dame for three quarters until they allowed two late touchdowns in the triple-overtime loss. The Pitt defense took the ball away three times from the normally mistake-free Notre Dame offense.
• Running back Ray Graham had his best game of the year, gashing the nation’s 11th-ranked defenses for 172 yards and a score.
Next Game: vs. Connecticut Nov. 9
Rutgers (7-1, 4-0 Big East)
• The Scarlet Knights went from top 15 to unranked in the BCS standings after one loss. Despite the setback, coach Kyle Flood has his players focused as his team gets ready to play a non-conference game against an Army squad coming off an emotional win.
“There's a goal that is in front of us that's never been done at Rutgers, the Big East championship. And we have an opportunity sitting in conference play 4-0 to be able to do that over the last three games of our season,” Flood said.
Next Game: vs. Army Nov. 10
South Florida (3-6, 1-4 Big East)
• The Bulls finally snapped a six-game losing streak with a win against Connecticut thanks to an impressive showing by the defense. The Bulls force three turnovers and held UConn to its lowest point total this season.
• The win may have come with a price as starting quarterback B.J. Daniels was forced to leave in the fourth quarter. He did not return after being replaced by freshman Matt Floyd, who went 1 for 3 for three yards.
Next Game: vs. Miami (Fla.) Nov. 17
Syracuse (4-5, 3-2 Big East)
• While the Orange outgained Cincinnati in total offense, they could not stop the Bearkat run game. The ground attack was able to keep the ball for more than 33 minutes.
• Running back Jerome Smith shouldered most of the load, rushing for 116 yards and a score.
Next Game: vs. Louisville Nov. 10
Temple (3-5, 2-3 Big East)
• Matt Brown got the Owls off to an explosive start, returning the opening kickoff 93 yards for a score. Temple even lead unbeaten Louisville by seven points in the second quarter but then the turnovers started to pile up. The Owls turned the ball over four times with three of those leading to scores.
• Quarterback Chris Coyer fumbled twice and completed only two passes for eight yards as the offense stalled following the fast start.
Next Game: vs. Cincinnati Nov. 10