ORLANDO, Fla. —Teddy Bridgewater threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score in No. 18 Louisville’s 36-9 victory over Miami on Saturday night in the Russell Athletic Bowl.
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.
Bridgewater was 35 for 45 for career-high 447 yards.
Louisville won its second consecutive bowl game for its second 12-win season.
Bridgewater, projected to be a top NFL Draft pick if he comes out, set a school record with 31 touchdown passes. He also tied the school record with his 27th victory as Louisville’s starter.
Miami hasn’t had a bowl victory since 2006, losing four in a row. They got on the scoreboard first with the safety – one of their few highlights.
A big second quarter by the Cardinals, punctuated by Bridgewater’s two touchdown passes helped Louisville take a 22-2 lead.
The Cardinals settled for field goals early after struggling to convert on third downs inside Hurricanes’ territory. That coincided with one of Bridgewater’s top third-down targets – receiver DeVante Parker – going down on the Louisville’s second series of the night with an ankle injury.
But those fortunes changed quickly when Parker returned in the second quarter.
He immediately caught three passes on a seven-play, 80-yard drive, including a 26-yard touchdown reception. Parker finished with nine catches for 142 yards.
Miami managed only 83 total yards in the first half, while Louisville had 280.