Better hope this University of Louisville football team qualifies for a warm weather bowl game. The passing proficiency of Teddy Bridgewater tends to dip when the temperatures drop.
Not Teddy’s fault though. Almost every one of the 16 dropped balls were right in the receivers’ hands. Maybe the weather, the thermometer hovering around the 35-degree mark, tough on kids from Florida.
Affecting their concentration possibly? How else to explain 12 penalties for minus 101 yards. Those are numbers reminiscent of the John L. Smith years.
A frigid running game and a porous offensive line, with Dominique Brown and Senorise Perry managing less than 50 yards between them. The most impressive run by 20-yard jaunt by Bridgewater, with the Cardinals managing only 82 yards rushing in the 31-10 win over UConn.
UofL’s defensive effort was solid despite the chill but Lorenzo Mauldin tweeted after the game: “One thing I hate is when people say ‘you all could have done better’ really? How about you suit up and play in 40 degree weather!”
Cold weather has been integral to football up to now. Wait till it really gets cold. Some snow in the forecast for next week, guys.
Or maybe it was simply another case of playing down to the level of the competition. It does get old, you know, playing all these teams with losing records. UConn the ultimate pits, now winless after eight games.
Credit the defense for warming things up, with Charles Gaines blocking a punt on the way to the end zone and Terrell Floyd for his one-ball juggling act that would add another six points and make him the No. 4 highlight on ESPN’s Sports Center. Should have been No. 1, anybody can dunk a basketball.
And, of course, Teddy Bridgewater, who, despite all the dropped balls, would still complete 21 of them for 288 yards and a touchdown. But all the drops may have slammed the door on a trip to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremonies.
Next up is Houston, a foe that should command quite a bit of respect from everyone on the UofL football team. Put that together with some warmer weather and this team should look a lot better next week.
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Michael Dyer was nowhere to be found on the sideline, didn’t make the trip to Piscataway, a non-event that is certain to keep UofL football in the spotlight, something to at least distract fans from the onrushing basketball season. There will be a lot of chatter about levels of tolerance for sure.