Bridgewater has fond memories of UK games

University of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater recalled his first game time as a player for the Cardinals on Tuesday after practice. It came two years ago in the game at Kentucky and on Saturday, the junior heads back to Commonwealth Stadium where he'll lead the No. 7 Cardinals against the Wildcats.

University of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was a true freshman and said he prepared for the game "with a starter's mentality."

It was the third game of the season two years ago and Bridgewater – then a true freshman – was the backup to Will Stein.

"You have to be ready each game," Bridgewater recalls. "I was ready."

And it was a good thing. In the second quarter, Stein was knocked out of the game against UK with a shoulder injury.

Bridgewater replaced Stein, the Cardinals won the game and the legacy of the quarterback now list as perhaps the No. 1 player in next year's NFL Draft began.

"I remember he was ready," U of L offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said. "The backup quarterback is the most important player on your team and we always have them ready. He had to step in and he did it."

Bridgewater completed 10 of 18 passes in the game for 108 yards and two touchdowns as the Cardinals won 24-17 in the rivalry.

"I already had confidence in myself," Bridgewater said. "But that game showed me that I could do it at the Division I level.

"But I try not to think about things in the past. Right now, we are just going to look forward and execute."

Bridgewater will be back in Commonwealth Stadium for Saturday's noon kickoff as the No. 7-ranked Cardinals try to go 3-0 on the season. UK is 1-1.

UK leads the overall series 14-11 but U of L has won two in a row and has won six of the past 10 in the series. Bridgewater said he's pumped about the game.

"Very excited," he said. "To hear our fans chant what they chanted after the game on Saturday, they are pretty pumped also. But we have to treat it like any other game and make sure we are prepared."

Listed as one of the top contenders for the Heisman Trophy, Bridgewater said the Cardinals will not get too caught up in the rivalry hype.

"We are just going down there and play Louisville football and continue to execute," Bridgewater said.

After two games, Bridgewater has completed 46 of 60 passes for 752 yards and nine touchdowns and just one interception. But he wasn't happy with his 23-for-32 performance for 397 yards and four TDs in a win over EKU.

"We had a good performance but we still need to improve on things," Bridgewater said. "We fixed our errors from Saturday and we just need to continue to build off the momentum we have.

"We just have to keep getting better."

U of L is 2-0 against UK with Bridgewater under center.


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