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Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater (wrist) will start against Rutgers on Thursday night

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer
Teddy Bridgewater suffered a fractured wrist and an ankle injury in the loss to Connecticut. (US Presswire)

Louisville's Big East title hopes took a hit, but are still alive, following a 23-20 triple-overtime loss to Connecticut. A win this Thursday night against Rutgers still gives the Cardinals a share of the title and likely a BCS bowl bid. But the task became more difficult now that star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is nursing a fractured (non-throwing) left wrist.

On Monday's Big East teleconference, Louisville coach Charlie Strong confirmed that Bridgewater -- who did return to the game with a protective cast on his wrist -- will be starting against the Scarlet Knights.

"Yes, Teddy will play," Strong said of Bridgewater's status. "It's nothing different. He finished against Connecticut, so it's nothing different."

When asked to gauge the health of the sophomore quarterback, Strong was not very specific on how close to full strength that Bridgewater is.

"Oh, I don't know how close he is to 100 percent," Strong said. "We're just going to monitor him this week, and he'll play. He played the second half against Connecticut, so nothing should change."

Strong said the Cardinals have to a better job of protecting Bridgewater, who was sacked four times by the Huskies. His backup, senior Will Stein, ran the offense while Bridgewater was being evaluated by the training staff. Stein completed only five of 12 passes for 43 yards and was sacked once.

With both Louisville and Rutgers suffering losses last Saturday, Thursday's regular-season finale has become a "Big East title game" of sorts. If Rutgers wins, the Scarlet Knights will win the conference outright and earn a trip to a BCS bowl game. If Louisville wins, the Cardinals will share the league title with the Scarlet Knights. In that case, the Cardinals would earn the BCS bowl bid based on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

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