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Louisville 36, Miami 9

The SportsXchange

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Teddy Bridgewater threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to propel No. 18 Louisville to a 36-9 rout over the University of Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Saturday.

Bridgewater and the Louisville defense totally dominated the Hurricanes.

Bridgewater completed 35 of 45 passes for 447 yards in what could be the last game for the junior, who has a decision to make on whether he will make himself eligible for the NFL draft.

He had scoring passes of 26 yards to junior wide receiver DeVante Parker, 12 yards to junior wide receiver Michaelee Harris and 24 yards to senior running back Senorise Perry.

The Louisville defense, meanwhile, limited Miami to 174 yards, only 14 of that on the ground. The Cardinals sacked Miami quarterback Stephen Morris four times and allowed him just 12 completions in 27 attempts for 160 yards.

Bridgewater, who tied the Louisville record for touchdown passes in a season in the first half when the Cardinals built a 22-2 lead, wasted no time breaking the record in the second half.

He hit Perry for a 24-yard scoring pass on UL's first possession of the second half, capping a 12-play, 89-yard drive. Bridgewater was 6 of 7 for 73 yards on the drive that pushed Louisville's lead to 29-2.

If the rout wasn't already fully on, the game's next two possessions assured that it would be a runaway.

Miami moved the ball to the Louisville 17, where it tried to change momentum by going for it on fourth-and-9. The Louisville defense, which had held Miami to 0-for-9 on third-down conversions and 0-for-1 on fourth-down plays to that point, kept the shutout going.

Cardinals defensive end Marcus Smith rolled right through the middle of Miami's offensive line and sacked Morris for a 13-yard loss to turn the ball over on downs.

Bridgewater trotted back on the field and went for the kill on the first play, but he underthrew Parker, who had gotten behind the Hurricanes secondary. Unruffled, the Louisville quarterback took his team on a methodical, 10-play, 70-yard drive that ate up 5:07.

Fittingly, it ended with Bridgewater bootlegging the ball around the defense and beating a pair of defenders to the pylon on a fourth-and-goal from the 1. The extra point made it 36-2.

Cardinal fans responded with another chant of "Teddy, Teddy, Teddy!"

Hurricane fans responded by leaving the stadium with 12 minutes to play.

The sequence was just the continuation of Louisville's game-long domination. The Cardinals spotted Miami a 2-0 lead, then completely overwhelmed the Hurricanes on both sides of the ball the rest of the first half.

Bridgewater was sacked in the end zone on the Cardinals' first possession when Miami safety Deron Bush blitzed untouched.

Louisville's defense limited Miami to just 83 yards and 0-for-6 conversions on third downs. The Cardinals sacked Morris three times, forced him to lose a fumble on the lone Hurricane drive of the half and dropped two interceptions that easily could have turned into touchdowns.

Bridgewater, meanwhile, quickly took command after the safety. The quarterback completed 19 of 26 passes for 231 yards and two touchdowns.

He drove the Cardinals to John Wallace field goals of 36, 43 and 42 yards on three straight possessions after the safety, then piled it on with the three TD passes.

The TD throw to Harris was Bridgewater's 30th this season, tying Brian Brohm's school record. It completed a 60-yard drive that featured a 21-yard floater to Damian Copeland on third-and-5. Bridgewater appeared to be trapped twice on the play but eluded the Miami rush and hung the ball perfectly for Copeland to run under and keep the drive alive.

NOTES: Howard Schnellenberger, who coached Miami's first national championship team in 1983 and two years later took over the University of Louisville and revived that program, performed the ceremonial coin flip before the game. ... Louisville is playing in the Russell Athletic Bowl for the first time. ... Miami was playing its fourth game in the Russell Athletic Bowl, all under different sponsoring names. The Hurricanes beat Virginia in the 1996 Carquest Bowl, beat North Carolina State in the 1998 MicronPC Bowl and lost to Wisconsin in the 2009 Champs Sports Bowl. ... Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, a Miami native, is 21-3 as a starter. ... Miami held a 9-1-1 edge in the series against Louisville before Saturday. ... Louisville will join Miami in the ACC for the 2014 season.

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