By Phil Baker
ESPN 680 Blogger
University of Louisville head coach Charlie Strong wanted 20,000 fans to come out and get a glimpse of the football Cardinals one last time before the season starts in the fall, but just like in previous years the weather has played a factor. The shower’s came and went but overall it was a pretty solid turnout and in my opinion a wise call to move the game from Friday to Saturday. Before an estimated crowd of around 15,000 the young Cardinals showed why many experts have them picked to win the Big East next season.
Sophomore-to-be Teddy Bridgewater showed his skills throughout the game and completed 19 of 21 passes for three TD’s and led the first team to 28-24 win on a rainy Saturday. Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson has been high on the talented quarterback’s play during spring drills saying he has played “lights out,” during the spring. The coaching staff also pointed out Teddy has put on about 18 pounds (around 213lbs now,) since last season and the game comes much easier to him now with a year under his belt.
Bridgewater threw a nice pass for a touchdown to former Ballard high school star DeVante Parker for 26 yards, and is expected to be a reoccurring theme when the Cardinals hit the grind iron in the coming months and years to come.
Since Strong’s arrival at UofL, the football squad has been picked to finish in the basement of the Big East, but now with West Virginia packing its bags for Big 12 country, Pittsburgh having yet another new coach and Rutgers losing Greg Schiano to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Louisville is expected to be favored in most of their games and returning a good portion of their team and although young should be one of the more experienced teams in the league.
Backup QB Will Stein finished 17-26 for 178 yards and a touchdown for the second team and that solid performance pleased Coach Strong, “What he continues to do is get better, he and Teddy are so easy to coach.”
Former walk-on from Louisville Trinity, Scott Radcliff caught a game-high nine passes for 119 yards and is always dependable according to the Louisville coach and knows that the ball is going to becoming his way a lot more this season.
Defensively, red shirt freshman Jermaine Reve led the second-team defense with six tackles and seniors to be Adrian Bushell and Daniel Brown made five stops for the first unit.
Louisville’s season and home opener begins with instate rival Kentucky on Sunday, September 2 at 3:30pm, the game will be televised nationally on ESPN.
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