In front of 26 NFL scouts from 20 different teams, Teddy Bridgewater had one of his worst games of the season against Rutgers. Now, it was probably not as bad as Rutgers’ quarterback Gary Novaâ€™s â€“ who became all too familiar with the taste of artificial turf after eight sacks courtesy of the Cardinals defense. But Bridgewater can perhaps give thanks to that very same defense for making his night that much better. When Calvin Pryor and Terrell Floyd laid on two consecutive interceptions in late fourth quarter drives, it made Teddyâ€™s world a little easier â€“ it allowed him to notch a touchdown late in the game and make the score flatter the Scarlet Knights a little less than it should have at that point, with the final score being 24-10.
But you see, the problem when everyone says youâ€™re a Heisman candidate is that fans and analysts expect you to do ridiculous things â€“ ALL THE TIME. Youâ€™re the offspring of Bo Jackson, or perhaps Thor all rolled into one. The reality, is that Bridgewater like any other kid (yes, heâ€™s still only 20 years old) may not play up to expectations all the time, but he can certainly still deliver. A win is a win, whether you struggle or not. And hereâ€™s the kicker folks: when you win ugly, itâ€™s usually because teammates helped you get out from that smelly hype ditch while still smelling of roses, or at the very least carnations.
It would be naive to think all those scouts were there to see Teddy, and in fact they werenâ€™t. Those same guys who helped Teddy were being as closely inspected â€“ Pryor by the Philadelphia Eagles and Floyd by a few unnamed others. That doesnâ€™t include Bridgewater’s favorite lanky wide out, and equally feted Devante Parker who was missed out through injury. So if Bridgewater fails to live up to your unrealistic expectations, just take a moment to think which players are quietly still exceeding them every week.
The Cardinal Truth
- Teddy Bridgewater has thrown touchdown passes in 18-consecutive games, the longest streak in school history. Dave Ragone held the previous record at 17-consecutive games from the end of 2001 (last nine games) to the start of 2002 (first eight).
- The Heisman hopeful went 143 passes without a pick before he threw an interception in the second quarter.
- The Miami native connected with nine different receivers on the day, four of whom had multiple receptions.
- He finished with his 10 career 300-yard passing game after tossing for 310 yards in the victory.
- Bridgewater has registered at least 100-passing yards in his last 13-consecutive games, and 29 of his last 30 contests.
Licking Their Paws
Kentucky is 1-5 for the season and 0-3 in conference. Thatâ€™s bad. But letâ€™s be honest, it was expected. Theyâ€™re not a great team and yet in the last two months they had to face arguably their most grueling schedule on record. Louisville, Florida, South Carolina and last Saturday night, under the cool fall lights of Commonwealth Stadium they faced the onslaught of Nick Sabanâ€™s Crimson Tide. If the last two months have been nothing short of a waterboarding for the program, then the last game was the equivalent of switching that same water for vinegar.
48-7 was the final score, despite â€˜Bama falling over themselves in an unusual scoreless first quarter while basically cruising in third for the remainder. Itâ€™s hard to take positives from a game as a Wildcat when you face behemoths week in week out, only to then feel further undone when you are watching your preferred quarterback being carted off with a worryingly painful looking leg, as Jalen Whitlow was.
But for now the worst is over. Sure, Kentucky will be ousted by Missouri and then Georgia, but there is always the prospect of getting one over fellow dunces Vanderbilt and hopefully the sweet tasty tangerine end of season treat of Tennessee. Right now though itâ€™s a bye week and the chance to lick wounds, regroup and finish the season on a high. Not hard to do given how low the Wildcats already are.
Jonesing For Siva
There was one giant takeaway from the second UofL basketball scrimmage at the KFC Yum! Center on Saturday. The Peyton Siva shaped hole at point guard may have been filled by someone more athletic, dynamic and perhaps more importantly, someone who gets buckets. Chris Jones, last yearâ€™s national junior college player of the year scored plenty of them as his Red team beat the Russ Smith led White team. Jones, a transfer this year, will likely come in and play right away and will pile on assists and points in the manner Peyton Siva eventually learned how to after four seasons.
Pitino loves him and so did Steve Forbes, the assistant at Wichita State who coached him in junior college where Jones shot at a higher 3 point percentage than his now NBA residing predecessor, all while scoring on average 21.8 points per game. Fans might be Jonesing for another Siva, but soon theyâ€™ll just be Jonesing for Jones.