Teddy Bridgewater's Greatest College Football Moments

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJanuary 1, 2014

Teddy Bridgewater's Greatest College Football Moments

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    As expected, Teddy Bridgewater has decided to leave school early to take his talents to the NFL. He'll likely end up being a high draft pick and should go on to have a wonderful career at the next level.

    But before he becomes a professional, it's only right that we take a look back at his successful career at Louisville. He played the quarterback position for three years, throwing for 9.817 yards and 72 touchdowns. He also won two of the three bowl games he participated in. There's a reason many think so highly of him.

    Here are Bridgewater's best moments at Louisville. 

6. Freshman All-American Honors

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    It's no secret that Bridgewater was a highly recruited player, but it's still an amazing accomplishment when a true freshman is awarded with All-American honors. The Louisville quarterback was named freshman All-American by CBSSports. 

    He was the first true freshman quarterback to start for the Cardinals since 1976, and he finished the season with 2,129 passing yards and 14 touchdowns. He also ran for four touchdowns, which were the most rushing touchdowns of any single season in his career.

    It was a great honor for Bridgewater and Louisville. It also showed just a glimpse of what was to come. 

5. His Commitment

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    This has to make the list. After all, none of this would have been possible if he didn't commit to Louisville, right?

    Teddy Bridgewater was originally a Miami commitment, but he decided to take his talents elsewhere once the Hurricanes fired head coach Randy Shannon. He liked the coaching staff at Louisville, but he also loved the idea he could play right away, per Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald

    "Man, more than anything it came down to playing time," Bridgewater told Scout.com "With me enrolling early I can come in and compete for a starting spot. When I visited I had nothing but love from all the coaches but especially coach Hurtt and coach [Charlie] Strong."

    Bridgewater could have gone anywhere, as he had offers from Alabama, Florida, LSU and Auburn among others. His pick to go with Louisville said a lot about his character from day one. 

4. All Heart Performance

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    Nobody can ever question Bridgewater's heart. In a 2012 performance against Rutgers, the star quarterback played with a broken left wrist and a sprained right ankle. Either one of those injuries would have sidelined most players, but he couldn't let his team down by sitting out.

    Guess what?

    Louisville still managed to win with him on the field. Bridgewater completed 71.4 percent of his passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns in the 20-17 win over the conference opponent. This performance really showed guts and was one of the best stories of the season. 

3. He Did What?

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    Louisville was sleepwalking against Cincinnati for much of the game. The offensive line couldn't block, receivers were dropping passes and it looked like the Cardinals were going to lose to the Bearcats for the fifth time in six years.

    That's when Bridgewater reached in his bag of tricks by dodging the pressure and throwing an off-balance pass into the end zone for a touchdown to Damian Copeland. How he didn't get sacked is beyond me. How he threw such an accurate pass is an even greater mystery. This may be the greatest single play of Bridgewater's career. 

    The Cards ended up winning the game in overtime. 

2. The Bowl Win over Miami

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    Bridgewater had a storybook ending to his career. He's from the Miami area and was able to beat his hometown Miami Hurricanes in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Not only did he lead his team to victory, he dominated. 

    Likely knowing it was his last game, Bridgewater threw for 447 yards and three touchdowns. He also showed some of his underrated athleticism by running for 24 yards and a touchdown. It was vintage Bridgewater, giving fans one last unbelievable performance to remember. The win also gave Louisville its first back-to-back bowl victories in consecutive years for the first time in school history. 

    It wasn't another BCS bowl win but it would certainly do. 

1. Bridgewater Torches Florida for a BCS Bowl Win

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    Nobody gave the Cardinals a chance to upset Florida in the  AllState Sugar Bowl. They were considerable underdogs, and many questioned if they even belonged in the high-profile game. 

    Somebody forgot to send Bridgewater the memo.

    The second-year quarterback at the time completed 62.5 percent of his passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns in the upset win. Keep in mind, Florida had the fifth-best defense in the country that season.

    This was the game that took the Louisville program to another level and really helped put Bridgewater on the map. It also was his greatest moment at the collegiate level.