All the off-season chatter that No. 9 Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater might be the first quarterback taken in next year’s NFL draft looked spot-on on Sunday as the junior sliced and diced Ohio to the tune of 355 yards and a career-high-tying five touchdowns in his team’s 49-7 route of the Bobcats.
Bridgewater picked up where he left off in last year’s Sugar Bowl against Florida, completing 23 of 28 passes, including his first nine throws as the Cardinals raced out of the gate with 42 unanswered points.
Louisville’s offense was a well-oiled machine, accumulating 615 total yards while going 13 of 16 on third down conversions. It was good on the ground, too, racking up 199 yards, including 48 from former Auburn star Michael Dyer.
Ohio looked overwhelmed all game long and didn’t get on the scoreboard until late in the third quarter when Ryan Boykin scored on a 10-yard run. The Bobcats managed just 273 total yards and missed two field goals.
It was important for Bridgewater and Louisville to look as dominating as possible considering they were taking part in one of just two games played on Sunday. They did just that. But will it make a lasting impression with the college football world?
It’s hard to say. After all, we may not see much of Louisville in the weeks to come, as the Cardinals will spend September playing the likes of Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky and Florida International. It’ll be difficult for Louisville to make a case for itself as one of the nation’s best teams against such a lackluster slate. The same goes for Bridgewater and his Heisman hopes.
In the end, voters who feel Louisville is the best team and that Bridgewater is the best player may have little to go on other than faith.
If this is the last game Randy Edsall coaches at Maryland, at least he is making it count. Maryland may be down at the half, but the overmatched Terrapins are giving No. 1 Ohio State all it can handle it would seem. Ohio State holds a 21-14 lead on Maryland at the half, with big plays being the key.
Maryland struck first when Perry Hills connected to an open D.J. Moore down the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would battle back, switching up the quarterbacks between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett along the way. The Buckeyes ripped off three touchdowns, with Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott each running for one and Jones throwing for the third, to Braxton Miller. Up 21-7, all seemed to return to normal for the Buckeyes, but Maryland cut the lead to seven late in the first half.
Hills broke free for a 75-yard run from the Maryland 22-yard line all the way down to the Ohio State three, and he finsihed off the quick touchdown on the next play with a short touchdown run. So Maryland continues to linger, which appears to be a theme with Ohio State’s opponents this season.
Jones has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State. Barrett attempted just one pass, which was good for a 20-yard gain. Elliott has just 25 rushing yards on 11 attempts at the half.
Nobody could have seen this coming, even after throwing out the records. A week after being ambushed by TCU, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns looked like a completely different team in the first quarter against No. 10 Oklahoma in the old Cotton Bowl. Texas holds a surprising 14-3 lead at the half.
Jerrod Heard completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson midway through the first quarter. The Longhorns made it 14-0 when a break went their way. Lorenzo Joe recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score to make it 14-0 after Oklahoma had fumbled away the ensuing kickoff after the first score.
Texas outgained Oklahoma in the first quarter, 133 yards to just 15, and at the half (169 yards to just 85). Oklahoma went three-and-out on each of its two drives, and the Sooners had to punt four times before being able to put a dent on the scoreboard with a short 21-yard field goal by Austin Seibert after a 12-play drive stalled at the Texas four-yard line. Meanwhile, Texas was building a double-digit lead.
Without a doubt, the first half of this game was the best half we have seen from Texas in a while. Can they keep it going and score what would be a significant upset to get our day started?