Louisville at Connecticut

No. 20 Louisville easily defeats winless Connecticut

CBSSports.com wire reports

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Teddy Bridgewater had a chance to pad his Heisman résumé against winless Connecticut.

He didn't do that Friday night, though he did throw for 288 yards and a touchdown to lead No. 20 Louisville to a 31-10 victory, and keep the Cardinals in the hunt for a conference title.

The junior completed 21 of 37 passes. He has thrown 24 touchdown passes this season and has at least one scoring pass in 21 consecutive games.

"I'm pretty tough on my performances and everything," he said. "I do kind of critique myself in a certain way. But, any day that you can get a win, that's what it's all about."

The victory kept the Cardinals (8-1, 4-1 American Athletic Conference) a game out of first place in the AAC, behind the winner of the game Saturday night between Houston and Central Florida.

Tim Boyle threw three interceptions and had only 113 yards passing for Connecticut (0-8, 0-4). The Huskies also had a fumble inside the Louisville 10 yard line and a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown.

"The only chance we have is not to beat ourselves," UConn interim coach T.J. Weist said. "We turned the ball over, gave them early points on the punt, and gave them momentum on offense and defense. We didn't have a chance."

The Huskies are 0-9 since upsetting the Cardinals in three overtimes last November in Louisville.

Louisville had 369 yards in offense and held the Huskies to 237. The Cardinals have allowed only 95 points this season.

It was a methodical, but not spectacular performance for Bridgewater before a national television audience and representatives from six NFL teams in the press box. He came into the game completing almost 74 percent of his passes. He might have been close to that Friday, but was victimized by numerous drops, as his receivers seemed to struggle catching a hard ball with the temperature hovering in the 30s.

"That's meaningful to me," Bridgewater said. "That's one thing, I strive to be one of the top passers in the nation in the decision-making category. I still have three or four games left, so those things can go back up."

Bridgewater threw just his third interception of the season in the third quarter when UConn's Andrew Adams stepped in front of a pass. But cornerback Terell Floyd got that back on the next play, intercepting Boyle's pass and taking the ball back 17 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown. It was the first of two picks for Floyd.

Cardinals cornerback Charles Gaines, who had an interception for a touchdown against South Florida, also scored. He blocked a punt after a muffed snap, scooped it up and ran 7 yards to open the scoring. The Cardinals have outscored opponents 75-6 in the opening 15 minutes of games this season. Gaines added a second-quarter interception.

Bridgewater said he's dubbing his teammate the "Black Badger" because his play reminds him of Tyrann Mathieu, who was known as the "Honey Badger" at LSU.

"He's scored on the defensive side of the ball and on special teams again," Bridgewater said. "He's just remarkable the level that he's playing at."

UConn's Boyle has eight interceptions and no touchdowns in his four games since taking over from junior Chandler Whitmer.

The Huskies lone TD came on a 14-yard pass from backup Casey Cochran to Kamal Abrams with 35 seconds left in the game, in front of a mostly empty stadium.

Bridgewater led two second-quarter scoring drives. The first went 64 yards, with the junior hitting all four of his passes, including a 28-yard score to DeVante Parker, who found himself wide open over the middle after cornerback Byron Jones fell down in coverage.

The second, a 56-yarder, took only six plays. It opened with a 35-yard pass to tight end Gerald Christian, and ended with Senorise Perry's 5-yard sweep around the right side. That gave the Cardinals a 21-3 lead, and sent many of Connecticut's fans to the exits at halftime.

UConn took the game's opening drive inside the Louisville 10 before tailback Martin Hyppolite fumbled. The Huskies also had a 14-play first-half drive, which ended in a 35-yard field goal with 14:54 left in the first half.

But the Cardinals held them to 58 yards rushing.

Louisville running back Dominique Brown, who ran for 125 yards on just 18 carries in his first career start two weeks ago, had only 29 yards against UConn. Perry added 27 and Bridgewater had 21.

"We put so much pressure on him," Louisville coach Charlie Strong said. "And everyone expects so much out of him. When he plays, he plays well."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Louisville defensive end Marcus Smith sacks Connecticut's Tim Boyle in the second half.  (USATSI)
Louisville defensive end Marcus Smith sacks Connecticut's Tim Boyle in the second half. (USATSI)

Related Video

Scoring Summary
LVILLECharles Gaines 7 yd blocked punt return (John Wallace kick)
UCONNChad Christen 35 yd FG
LVILLEDeVante Parker 28 yd pass from Teddy Bridgewater (John Wallace kick)
LVILLESenorise Perry 5 yd run (John Wallace kick)
LVILLETerell Floyd 17 yd interception return (John Wallace kick)
LVILLEJohn Wallace 35 yd FG
UCONNKamal Abrams 14 yd pass from Casey Cochran (Chad Christen kick)
Team Stats
First Downs1816
Third Down Efficiency4-136-17
Fourth Down Efficiency0-12-2
Plays-Net Yards67-36971-237
Passing Yds288179
Kick Return Yds49109
Punt Return Yds60-3
Time of Poss.32:1527:45
Individual Stats
LVILLE: Dominique Brown 9-29, Senorise Perry 11-27, Teddy Bridgewater 7-21, Damian Copeland 2-6, Team 1--2
UCONN: Max DeLorenzo 13-38, Lyle McCombs 12-30, Martin Hyppolite 1-10, Deshon Foxx 1-5, Tim Boyle 6--25
LVILLE: Teddy Bridgewater 21-37-288-1
UCONN: Tim Boyle 14-29-113-3, Casey Cochran 6-9-66-0
LVILLE: Damian Copeland 6-83, DeVante Parker 5-71, Gerald Christian 2-43, Senorise Perry 2-15, Dominique Brown 2-10, Michaelee Harris 1-31, Robert Clark 1-14, Ryan Hubbell 1-12, James Quick 1-9
UCONN: Geremy Davis 6-76, Brian Lemelle 3-11, Kamal Abrams 2-28, Shakim Phillips 2-19, Sean McQuillan 2-16, Max DeLorenzo 2-9, John Green 1-9, Noel Thomas 1-6, Dhameer Bradley 1-5
Louisville1st Atlantic Coast Atlantic7-19-4
Connecticut4th American Athletic East1-73-9

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