- Andrea Adelson, ESPN Staff Writer
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No. 10 Louisville did not need a furious second-half rally to beat Temple.
The Cardiac Cards did have a fight for about a quarter, but then cruised to the 45-17 win against the Owls on Saturday afternoon. They are off to the best start in school history, at 9-0, and their best start in Big East history at 4-0.
Not surprisingly, this one turned into the Teddy Bridgewater show.
Temple came to play on special teams and offense -- Matt Brown got the scoring going first with a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Montel Harris had 95 yards into the second quarter, and Louisville found itself tied at 17 with 11 minutes to play in the second quarter. Slow starts have become all too familiar for this team.
But Bridgewater took advantage of a shaky pass defense, and Temple was simply helpless to stop the Cardinals, who closed the game on a 28-0 run. Bridgewater had three of those touchdown passes, and ended up throwing for his fourth 300-yard game of the season.
Bridgewater played three quarters and finished 19-of-28 for 324 yards and a career-high five touchdown passes. Andrell Smith had two touchdown catches, and Jeremy Wright had 10 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown. Louisville racked up 507 yards of total offense, as the Temple defense was completely overmatched for a majority of the game. Harris, meanwhile, finished with 125 yards and a touchdown. Kevin Newsome also got into the game late for the Owls, in his first appearance for Temple.
The Owls still have Cincinnati and Syracuse remaining on the schedule, so you have to wonder whether they will win another Big East game after getting off to a 2-0 start in league play.
As for Louisville, no question the Cards are going to be favored next week against Syracuse and then UConn before ending the season at Rutgers. If Bridgewater keeps playing the way he has, Louisville could very well end up undefeated.
12hSam Khan and Greg Ostendorf