Thoughts On Friday: #8 Louisville Cardinals vs. UCF Knights
The American Athletic Conference gets the sports spotlight on Friday night. One MLB, no NFL and no other college football games are on the docket, and that means that Louisville football has just about everyone’s attention and the opportunity to prove that it is a national championship level program.
It is also an opportunity for Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to prove that he is a Heisman Trophy level quarterback. At the same time Central Florida has a platform to prove that its program is on the rise.
Louisville is 6-0 and is outscoring its opponents, 346-44. Senior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is the Cardinals’ catalyst. Head coach Charlie Strong allows Bridgewater to call some of his own plays because of Bridgewater’s knowledge of the offense, much in the same vein as a Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers.
Bridgewater has thrown for 1872 yards and 18 touchdowns. The loss of leading receiver DeVante Parker has impacted the efficiency of Bridgewater though, who looked suspect at times during the Rutgers game last week.
Bridgewater has a stable of receivers remaining however. The key is how comfortable Bridgewater is in throwing to his other options.
UCF has had an interesting season thus far. Tonight, the Knights are playing their *fourth* road game out of six games this season. One of their home games was against 12th-ranked South Carolina out of the SEC.
As a result, the Knights have some experience going against a top-tier opposition this season.
The Knights are led by quarterback Blake Bortles. The junior Brotles has thrown for 1334 yards and nine touchdowns. Two of those scores came against South Carolina.
If Brotles gets protection from his offensive-line then he will be very successful against the Cardinals. In support of Brotles is monster running back Storm “My other job is on American Gladiators” Johnson. Storm is a beast and his success will help Brotles in the play action passing game.
The pressure in this game is on Charlie Strong, Teddy Bridgewater and the Louisville Cardinals. They have the high powered offense and Heisman Trophy candidate. Look for that pressure to negatively impact Bridgewater in this game. Also, watch for UCF to “Ground and Pound” the Cardinals and then go deep on occasion with the play action pass.
Ultimately though, the depth and experience of Louisville allow the Cardinals to outscore the Knights in one of their final true tests of the regular season.
Final Score: Louisville Cardinals 31, UCF Knights 28