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Sunday, September 1, 2013
Instant analysis: No. 9 Louisville 49, Ohio 7

By Andrea Adelson

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- No. 9 Louisville easily handled Ohio 49-7 on Sunday afternoon. Here is a quick look at how the Cards won:

It was over when: Teddy Bridgewater threw his first touchdown pass. At least it felt that way. Bridgewater was absolutely terrific from the moment the game started, opening 9-of-9 for 122 yards and two touchdowns. There is a reason NFL scouts filled the Louisville press box on Sunday.

Gameball goes to: Bridgewater. The Heisman hopeful threw four first-half touchdown passes, the most in a half for the Cards since Dave Ragone threw four in the first half against East Carolina in 2002. Bridgewater ended his day going 23-of-28 for 355 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in just three quarters.

Unsung heroes: Kai De La Cruz and Damian Copeland. The Cardinals have the best group of receivers in the American, and one of the most talented in the country. They are deep, too. You saw that against Ohio as each player caught two touchdown passes. Copeland ended with 98 yards, and De La Cruz registered the first 100-yard game of his career.

What it means: Louisville opened its quest to compete for a BCS championship without much trouble. While it is easy to dismiss Ohio as a team from the MAC, we also saw many FCS upsets over the weekend -- including one ranked team going down. Just about everybody expected to see a stellar performance from Bridgewater, who had both college and NFL experts drooling all over Twitter. Perhaps the best part of the game from a Cards perspective was seeing the way the defense played. This was a group that was sometimes lackadaisical last season and oftentimes did not exert its will up front. But we saw this group come on strong in the Allstate Sugar Bowl win over Florida, and that tenacity continued against the Bobcats. Ohio came in with a good dual-threat quarterback in Tyler Tettleton, but he was completely shut down and the Bobcats could get nothing going all day. Penalties were a problem for Louisville, but those are mistakes that can get cleaned up. When you couple a strong defense with talent at quarterback, running back and receiver, you have the makings of a very special season.