Sugar Bowl MVP: Teddy Heisman?

NEW ORLEANS – Teddy Bridgewater became a household name on Wednesday night. On the biggest stage of all, the sophomore quarterback from Miami guided the University of Louisville football team to the school's biggest victory – a 33-23 win over Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

University of Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich perhaps said it best on Wednesday night when describing sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater – "unbelievable, just unbelievable."

Bridgewater was just that in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

The Miami native started the game watching Muhammad Ali – "The Greatest of All" – doing the ceremonial coin toss with is #5 jersey on and then proceeded to lead the Cardinals to the schools greatest victory ever.

Bridgewater not only got into the Heisman Trophy talk, he jumped right to the top of the list after completing completed 20 of 32 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns, and led the Cardinals to a 33-23 whipping of Florida, which had been ranked No. 3 and considered one of the best defenses in the country.

"Of all the quarterbacks we played, he was the best," Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd said of Bridgewater, noting Florida played Heisman winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M. "Manziel don't compare to him."

And Bridgewater did it still not 100 percent.

He had protective gear on his left wrist after breaking it in the Connecticut game in late November and was also coming off a badly sprained left ankle.

The Big East Offensive Player of the Year was on all night. He dissected a Florida defense that had been ranked No. 5 in total defense and had only allowed 143.9 passing yards a game during the season.

He became the only player to pass for two 15-yard plus touchdowns on the Gators this season, hitting DeVante Parker and Damian Copeland on beautiful balls in the end zone for TDs.

"What an unbelievable performance he had," U of L coach Charlie Strong said. "And I have said it all along, he's one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. He's one of the best players in the country. If you look out there on that field tonight, you look at what Florida has (talent wise), you look at what we have, he's the best probably. Not probably, he was the best player on the field."

It was big plays all night for Bridgewater. He started the game taking a monster hit on a personal foul from a Florida defender that knocked his helmet off and 15 yards down the field – out of the end zone.

But Bridgewater was not phased. As the crowd chanted, ‘T-E-D-D-Y, T-E-D-D-Y,' the quarterback picked the Gators apart.

And he put himself – and the Cardinals program – on the national map.

"The Heisman campaign may start," Bridgewater said with a smile. "But right now, I'm just enjoying this moment."


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