|Teddy Bridgewater was directly responsible for three of Louisville's four touchdowns in the win. (US Presswire)|
LOUISVILLE WON. It wasn't pretty at all, but Louisville outlasted a feisty Florida International team on a rain soaked night in Miami. With an ugly game on the field, Louisville was able to rely on Teddy Bridgewater and a disciplined Cardinals defense to finish their first road trip of the season with a 28-21 win.
HOW LOUISVILLE WON: FIU entered the game averaging 420 yards of total offense, but a tough Louisville defense - particularly early in the game - and an unfortunate injury to starting quarterback Jake Medlock kept the speedy Panthers well under their average in the loss. Bridgewater was not as accurate as he was in the first three games of the season, completing 19 of 36 passes for 194 yards with a pair of interceptions to go with two touchdowns. But with another score on the ground, he was still the most successful offensive option for the Cardinals.
WHEN LOUISVILLE WON: The game undoubtedly changed with FIU starting quarterback Jake Medlock suffered a fractured leg in the first half. Backup freshman E.J. Hilliard rose to the occasion and nearly gave the Panthers a chance to tie the game, but it was a costly penalty that prevented FIU from having that opportunity. After cutting Louisville's lead to 28-21 and forcing the Cardinals to punt, FIU got flagged for a roughing the kicker penalty that kept the drive alive. Instead of having once last chance to extend the game, Louisville was able to milk the clock and leave Miami with a win.
WHAT LOUISVILLE WON: A solid road test. This Louisville team is still maturing, and every "learning experience" that does not end in a loss is good news for Charlie Strong. Bridgewater entered the game completing 81.8 percent of his passes on the season, so Saturday's performance will be a bit of a reality check for the young quarterback. Some of that can be put on the conditions - maybe playing in front of his hometown fans had something to do with it - but there was nothing dramatically concerning about his play.
WHAT FIU LOST: A winnable game against a solid Top 25 opponent. If it weren't for Medlock's injury, the Panthers would have played very differently in the third quarter. Hilliard got comfortable eventually, but the starter was finding success early and there was lost time in the transition.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Photo from FIUSports.com's Pete Pelegrin of the parking lot outside of the stadium before the game.
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