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11/03/2012 7:24 PM EDT
Bridgewater, No. 12 Louisville top Temple 45-17
LOUISVILLE 45, TEMPLE 17
By GARY GRAVES
AP Sports Writer
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater and the
No. 12 Cardinals did it again.
The sophomore quarterback threw for five touchdowns in another
stellar game to help the Cardinals rally from a deficit for the
sixth game in a row - albeit an early one, this time - as
Louisville beat Temple 45-17 on Saturday.
"To see the game Teddy had, five touchdowns," Louisville coach
Charlie Strong said. "What is unbelievable about Teddy is that
he is just able to find open receivers."
Louisville (9-0, 4-0 Big East) scored on five of its first six
possessions. The Cardinals, off to their best start in school
history, moved into a first-place tie with Rutgers.
A major reason for that is Bridgewater.
He picked the Owls apart, throwing for 324 yards on 19 of 28
passing. Louisville's offense was nearly unstoppable.
"You can't predict games like these," he said. "It just comes,
and we're thankful to have this type of success."
Strong doesn't talk about the unprecedented start with his team.
But the players were mindful of making history.
"Going into this week we were aware (of the record) and we were
trying to make history," Bridgewater said. "We didn't want to
press or anything, so we just went out and played Cardinal
While Bridgewater and the offense played Cardinal football from
the start, Louisville's defense and special teams were slow to
"The way we started off this day I didn't know if I'd be
standing here saying we have a chance to go 9-0," Strong said.
"Defensively, we didn't play well. We were just missing too many
Louisville allowed Temple's one-dimensional offense to take a
lead twice and move the ball with ease. The Owls racked up 255
yards on the ground while completing just 6 of 16 passes for 54
"I felt like we started a little sluggish," Louisville
cornerback Adrian Bushell said. "We had a lot of missed tackles.
They got 150 yards on plays where we missed tackles."
Temple took a 14-7 lead on Montel Harris' 5-yard run to cap an
82-yard, 10-play drive. After Louisville went ahead 17-14, the
Owls then drove 58 yards to tie the game on Brandon McManus'
34-yard field goal.
The Cardinals' special teams weren't much better than
Owls kick returner Matt Brown returned the opening kickoff for a
93-yard touchdown. The 5-foot-5 senior lit up the Cardinals'
special teams for a Temple-record 227 yards on seven returns.
That gave Temple the fast start it wanted, but the Owls couldn't
stop Louisville. And in the second half, the Cardinals shut down
"They were able to run the ball effectively in the first half,"
Strong said. "Then you watch the second half and we come out and
it's a totally different defense.
"We were able to shut down the run and actually pitch a shutout.
This football team is a resilient team that always finds a way
The Cardinals recovered four fumbles, three in the second half.
Louisville's defensive performance led to Temple playing three
"The turnovers definitely killed us," Temple running back Montel
Harris said. "They have a great offense, so we couldn't afford
to make mistakes on offense."
Temple (3-5, 2-3) lost its third straight and has been outscored
127-44 during that stretch. The Owls had a lot of defensive
breakdowns and mental mistakes.
"There are no talent issues," Temple coach Steve Addazio said.
"Those are young-guy mistakes that we've got to find a way to
Bridgewater and the Cardinals offense had no such issues.
The quarterback spread the ball around, completing passes to
nine players. Andrell Smith caught two touchdowns. Ryan Hubbell
had a 72-yard TD catch and led the Cardinals with 92 receiving
Jeremy Wright rushed for 100 yards on 10 carries.
"We just worked hard all week in practice and it carried over to
the game," Bridgewater said.
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