The Louisville Cardinals started fast and never looked back in the 2013 Sugar Bowl, defeating the heavily favored Florida Gators, 33-23, Wednesday night in New Orleans.
The Cardinals scored on the first play from scrimmage, as cornerback Terell Floyd intercepted a Jeff Driskel pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown. Things didn't get much better for the third-ranked Gators, who allowed more than 30 points for the first time this season.
The Gators entered Wednesday with one of the stingiest defenses in the country, but they proved to be no match for Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville. The sophomore quarterback was sensational, completing 20 of 32 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns.
He did throw one interception, but that wasn't enough to put a damper on his magnificent performance. Bridgewater lit up the Gators all day, including this touchdown pass on the first play of the second half:
Bridgewater was excellent throughout the night, and he officially put his name in the 2013 Heisman watch list. Of course, he didn't do it all on his own. Jeremy Wright rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries, and numerous Cardinals receivers stepped up.
The Cardinals defense was dominant, as well. Florida gained just 285 total yards, with two of its touchdowns coming in garbage time.
With Louisville's victory, both teams finished the season with 11-2 records.
It wouldn't be a Florida bowl game without a couple of Tim Tebow jokes. Eric Stangel of the Late Show with David Letterman provided this gem.
Stangel (@EricStangel) January 3, 2013
The SEC is widely regarded as the best conference in the nation, but as Roland Martin of CNN pointed out, Florida didn't look the part Wednesday night.
Which teams plays in the #SEC? Florida or Louisville?— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) January 3, 2013
A major reason for the lopsided result was Florida's lack of a running game. ESPN Stats & Info dug up this stat after the third quarter.
Former Ohio State quarterback and current Oakland Raider Terrelle Pryor was impressed with the play of Teddy Bridgewater.
Watching Teddy Bridgewater go in on UF!— Terrelle Pryor(@TerrellePryor) January 3, 2013
Teddy Bridgewater is lighting up Florida's defense with pins in his wrist. He has officially achieved #WarriorStatus.— ESPN (@espn) January 3, 2013
But I'm shamelessly giving the Tweet of the Night to us here at Bleacher Report. The magician behind our official Twitter feed struck gold with this one.
Sweet Gator hat, bro. twitter.com/BleacherReport…— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 3, 2013
Yep, that sums up this game pretty well.
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