Inside Cardinal football: Weekly notebook

The University of Louisville football team is one of six undefeated teams left in the country. The Cardinals will try to become the first team in school history to start a season with nine consecutive victories when they host Temple on Saturday at noon. Cardinal Authority has a weekly football notebook.


Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been so impressive this season, completing 162 of 229 passes for 2,110 yards and 13 touchdowns. He has thrown only four interceptions in eight games.

Bridgewater was not only Big East Offensive Player of the Week but earned some national attention after his 416-yard effort against Cincinnati.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Bridgewater was mentioned by several national media outlets as a potential future Heisman Trophy candidate.

Backup quarterback Will Stein said that's not going to get to Bridgewater, who has shown a mature demeanor during his two seasons at U of L.

"He's matured so much," Stein said. "It's amazing. He's really just so calm and never lets anything get to him. He's so mature."


Kickoff coverage has been a hot topic in recent weeks with opponents averaging 25 yards on each kickoff return.

Cincinnati averaged 32 yards a return last week and the Cardinals only have four touchbacks in 50 kickoffs this season.

But Charlie Strong said the team is focusing on coverage and there are a few simple steps to correcting what has been wrong.

"It's about keeping the ball inside and in front of you," Strong said. "It doesn't matter where the ball is kicked. It's all about defeating the blocker and where the ball is. You always want to cross in the opposite direction of where someone is trying to block you and we haven't done a good job with that.

"You can't beat the block. You have to attack the blocker, shed the block and get across his face. That's where we're not doing a good job right now."


Junior linebacker Preston Brown has been solid this season for the Cardinals' defense, currently second on the team with 58 tackles.

Brown had 17 against South Florida and 13 against Cincinnati, a game where he also came up with his first career interception.

The 6-foot-2, 255-pound Brown – a native of Cincinnati – picked off Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux in the first half. He returned it three yards.

"It was nice getting my first one," Brown said. "But I think that I really need to work on my yards after catch."


Redshirt freshman kicker John Wallace has been close to perfect this season and last week had his first opportunity to win a game for the Cardinals.

The former Central Hardin High School standout did just that, booting a 26-yard field goal in overtime to give U of L a victory over Cincinnati.

"I was calm and cool and didn't feel the pressure," Wallace said. "I just went out there with confidence and kicked it."

The 6-foot, 200-pound Wallace had to kick the game-winner from the left has mark of the field. Some fans and media questioned should the Cardinals move the ball back to midfield on the third-down play, but Wallace wasn't fretting.

"Being that close, it really doesn't matter for me," Wallace said.

Wallace is 7 of 8 on field goals this season with the only miss a 57-yarder on the final play of the first half against Cincinnati. He is 23 of 25 on extra points and is second on the team with 44 points scored.


Backup quarterback Will Stein after seeing the Keg of Nails, the trophy for winning the Cincinnati-Louisville game each season:

"I thought that keg would be bigger," Stein said. "I had never seen it before then since I have been here at Louisville."

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