The Associated Press
ORLANDO, Fla. — Leading up to the Russell Athletic Bowl, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater batted back questions about whether the game would be his last in college.
If it was, he left plenty for the Cardinals to remember.
Bridgewater threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score to help No. 18 Louisville rout Miami 36-9 on Saturday night.
The Cardinals (12-1) spotted Miami (9-4) an early 2-0 lead, then dominated the rest of the way, racking up 554 total yards to the Hurricanes’ 174.
With Cardinals’ fans chanting “Teddy! Teddy!” at times throughout the game, Bridgewater, projected to be a top NFL draft pick if he comes out this summer, set a school season record with 31 touchdown passes. The Miami native also tied the school record with his 27th victory as Louisville’s starter.
“It meant a lot because not only because I and so many other guys going against our hometown school, but we were going against a quality opponent,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been waiting for all year...That’s why you play the game, to compete. We competed in all three phases, offense, defense and kicking game.”
He was 35 for 45 for a career-high 447 yards.
Louisville won its second straight bowl game for its second 12-win season. Miami, playing in its first bowl game since 2010, hasn’t had a bowl win since ‘06. The Hurricanes were returning to the postseason following a two-year, self-imposed ban during an NCAA investigation.
Also Saturday, Kansas State beat Michigan 31-14 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl; Notre Dame rolled over Rutgers 29-16 in the Pinstripe Bowl, and North Carolina stomped Cincinnati 39-17 in the Belk Bowl.