Louisville vs. North Carolina notebook

The University of Louisville football team has started the season at 3-0 after a 39-34 victory on Saturday over North Carolina. Cardinal Authority was there and has the following notebook from the game.

TALE OF TWO HALVES

University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong called it a "tale of two halves" bot the Cardinals in the win over the Tar Heels.

U of L had 360 of its 462 total offensive yards in the first half, holding the Tar Heels to 167 yards, and building a 36-7 lead.

But the Cardinals could do no right in the second half. The Tar Heels had a shot to win the game but Andrew Johnson knocked away a pass in the end zone late in the game to help seal the 3-0 victory.

"We came out pretty flat-footed," sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said of the second half. "You can't get complacent just because you have a big lead. You have to learn how to finish and learn how to stay hungry."

TEDDY'S BIG DAY AGAIN

Bridgewater had another big day, completing 23 of 28 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns. He had three incompletions that he threw away.

The native of Miami has now completed 72 of 88 passes for 855 yards and five touchdowns with no interceptions in three games.

Bridgewater hit 10 different receivers in the game and has now hit nine or more receivers in eight consecutive games as a starter.

He was also sensational again on third-down. He's now 16 of 22 on third-down this season for 213 yards and one touchdown on that down.

Bridgewater will get to play in front of his hometown fans when the Cardinals travel to Miami to play at Florida International next Saturday.

AMAZING STATISTIC

The ABC telecast had an amazing U of L offensive statistic they showed early in the game on Bridgewater.

According to ABC, the U of L coaches told them in meetings preparing for the telecast that Bridgewater has hit 93 percent of his passes this season in practice.

The U of L staff does chart every throw during practice and fall camp.

Bridgewater has completed 1,579 of 1,629 passes. He's not the only accurate thrower on the team with Will Stein hitting 1,066 of 1,095 passes for 92 percent.

HEUSER GETS INTO THE END ZONE

Senior fullback Nick Heuser scored the first touchdown of his career, a 4-yard TD reception from Bridgewater with 46 seconds left in the second quarter.

"I got one in the books and it was awesome," Heuser said. "I really didn't now what to do afterwards. It felt great. We had the same play called earlier and we had an offsides, so I thought there goes my touchdown."

Heuser, who came to U of L from St Xavier High School as a walk-on but earned a scholarship this fall, said he hopes his TD catch made up for his 15-yard holding penalty earlier in the game.

"I told (running backs) coach (Kenny) Carter all summer that I hoped he would take my 15-yard celebration penalty (if he scored a touchdown)," Heuser said. "But since I got a 15-yard holding penalty earlier, I hope that negates it so I don't get in too much trouble."

GAINES GETS GOING FAST

Redshirt wide receiver Charles Gaines received a lot of hype during the offseason and in preseason camp from the U of L coaches and players.

Gaines, who didn't dress against Kentucky, hasn't taken long to show the fans just what the coaches and players were talking about.

The speedy Gaines had three catches for 73 yards against Missouri State and then led the Cardinals' with five catches for 78 yards and one TD against UNC.

Gaines scored his first career TD on a 32-yard strike in the first quarter.

RUSHING ATTACK STRONG

While most of the rushing yards came in the first half, Jeremy Wright and Senorise Perry led the attack for the Cardinals.

U of L finished with 183 yards rushing and averaged 4.3 yards per carry. And that was with Bridgewater being sacked three times for 29 yards.

Wright started the game with a 21-yard run and finished with 20 carries for 114 yards and one TD. Perry added 16 carries for 86 yards and one TD.

U of L has now run for 533 yards in three games.

DOWNFIELD BLOCKING

U of L wide receiver Damien Copeland made two monster downfield blocks that allowed the Cardinals' to score a pair of TDs in the first half.

On The Opening possession, Copeland made a block at the 4-yard-line and Senorise Perry cut off his right hip to drat into the end zone.

Later in the half, Copeland was blocking downfield on Wright TD run.

INJURY UPDATE

U of L did have a few players go down with injuries.

The one most likely remember was an apparent leg injury to offensive lineman John Miller on the final series of the game when the Cardinals were running the clock out.

Miller had to be helped off the field. But he tweeted late Saturday night that he would play next week against Florida International.

Wide receiver Charles Gaines went down in the third quarter but came back into the game. Cornerback Adrian Bushell went down after he fumbled a kickoff late in the game but also walked off the field on his own.

Running back Dominique Brown missed his third straight game to start the season with a right knee injury, He was not dressed.

A FEW LEFTOVERS

**Louisville is 3-0 for the first time since 2006 when the Cardinals opened the season 8-0 before losing at Rutgers.

**The Cardinals won three straight home games for the first time under Strong. It's the first three-game home winning streak is the first one since 2009.

**The game marked the first time since the Murray State game in 2007 that the Cardinals didn't punt in the first half.

**U of L safety Hakeem Smith made his 28th straight start.

**It took the Cardinals 10 games to reach the mark of eight rushing touchdowns last season. They already have that many this season.

**U of L is outscoring opponents 34-0 in the first quarter.

**The attendance was 53,334, which is the fourth-largest in the history of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.


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