TAMPA, Fla. -- No. 18 Louisville successfully bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 34-3 win at South Florida on Saturday.
Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater showed why he's one of the highest-rated pro prospects, marching the Cardinals 90 yards in nine plays for a touchdown on their opening drive, finished with a touch 20-yard pass to Damian Copeland in the back corner of the end zone. Bridgewater was 25-for-29 for 344 yards and three touchdowns on the afternoon.
Louisville only led 7-3 after the first quarter, but was never in danger of being upset by USF's horrid offense.
The Bulls failed to score an offensive touchdown for the third consecutive game, falling to 2-5 overall, 2-1 in the American Athletic Conference. Louisville is now 7-1, 3-1 in the AAC.
At halftime, USF only had 25 total offensive yards. Its only points of the game came on a 50-yard field goal in the first quarter on a drive added by two personal foul penalties committed by Louisville. USF didn't cross the 100-yard mark until the 10:00 mark of the fourth quarter.
By halftime, the Cardinals had extended their lead to 17-3, courtesy of a 69-yard pass to tight end Gerald Christian.
Louisville's John Wallace had a pair of 19-yard field goals, with coach Charlie Strong twice opting to kick from the 2-yard line, rather than go for more touchdowns.
Running back Dominique Brown rushed for 125 yards on 18 carries and also caught six passes for 61 yards, including a touchdown.
USF starting quarterback Bobby Eveld was knocked out of the game late in the second quarter with a foot injury. He was 3-for-5 for 22 yards at the time. His replacement, Steven Bench, was 5-for-14 for 73 yards and an interception before being pulled from the game.
Bridgewater was sacked five times by an aggressive Bulls defense, but stayed calm in the pocket, only throwing four incompletions all day.
NOTES: USF was without its two leading rushers, Marcus Shaw and Michael Pierre, due to injury. ... Shaw hasn't played since Oct. 5, when he sustained a hamstring injury. ... Pierre was a late scratch. ... True freshman Darius Tice got the start in the backfield, gaining 48 yards on nine carries. ... Louisville cornerback Charles Gaines had a fourth-quarter interception, his second of the season, and returned it for a touchdown. ... USF burned quarterback Mike White's redshirt, sending White into the game late in the fourth quarter. ... Former USF great Matt Grothe proposed to his girlfriend on the sideline during a timeout.