Sugar Bowl notes: Bowl swag, Teddy's health

NEW ORLEANS - The University of Louisville is preparing to face Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2. On Saturday, the Cardinals went on a hospital visit, had some news conferences and had practice. Cardinal Authority has a notebook from the third day in the Big Easy.


University of Louisville center Mario Benavides said there were a bunch of reasons college football players get excited for a bowl game.

And then the senior admitted one of those is the swag the bowl games give out to each of the participating teams.

"I'm not going to lie, it's a pretty good perk," Benavides said with a smile. "It's not the reason we do this, but it's a perk for sure."

After getting a shopping spree at a Belk store last season the Belk Bowl, the Cardinals have found a BCS bowl game does have better swag.

Benavides said besides "a bunch of clothes" that members of the U of L team have received a bag, speakers, two watches and a Best Buy gift card.

"The Belk Bowl was nice, but this is really, really nice," Benavides said. "It's something as a college football player in this era that you dream of.

"The watch is nice and then we got another one."


U of L quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said he wouldn't put a percentage on what he would be healthwise by game time.

The sophomore played against Rutgers with a broken left wrist and sprained left ankle and was wearing a brace when doing media interviews on Saturday.

"I'm good," he said with a smile. "I'll be ready to go."

U of L offensive coordinator Shawn Watson did talk about the days leading up to the Rutgers game and not "knowing if Teddy would play.

"No one really knows this, but he had his first 7-on-7 right before we got on the plane to take off," Watson said. "He had thrown some and shared reps in red zone the day before with Will (Stein), but I didn't know if he could play.

"We went into that game thinking we weren't going to play him. We really did. And there came a time, he just after our third series, got on the headset and said, ‘Coach, I can do this. I can go.'

"He gave it up for his team because he knew the importance of the game."


The U of L players made some local hospital patients smile on Saturday morning with a trip to the West Jefferson Medical Center.

The team, along with head coach Charlie Strong, signed gifts, took presents and just made visits to patients in the hospital.

The players went in groups to visit patients and had many of them smiling, some even sending out pictures flashing the ‘L.'


If you are one of the thousands of U of L fans coming to the Big Easy this week, you must check out Pat O'Briens on Bourbon Street.

The bar says: "Pat O'Brien's motto since 1933 has been "Have Fun!" And nonce again it appears that will be a hot spot for Cardinal fans, just like it was a major hangout last April when the basketball team was in the Final Four.

The bar specialty is the Hurricane, which is a rum drink that has an "InfraRed" look to it. And yes, they have one for $200 that has 64 ounces of rum.


The press conferences turn to defense on Sunday with U of L defensive coordinator Vance Bedford taking the stage at 9 o'clock local time.

U of L will then bring five defensive guys to press conferences before heading to practice at 2 at the New Orleans Saints practice facility.

The SuperDome is not available because of the Saints-Panthers game.

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