The college football season got into full swing on Saturday August 31. While it seems like all of the talking heads are fixated on one overblown story, the whole day belonged to the dynamic quarterbacks playing across the country. Still, there were a few quarterbacks that didn’t live up to the hype in week one. On Sunday, two more quarterbacks take center stage, but at 3:30 p.m. all eyes will be on Teddy Bridgewater.
The Louisville quarterback is on a short list of preseason Heisman ballots, and he’ll finally get his chance to show his worth against Ohio. The Bobcats enter the year with 16 returning starters and they have two of their main offensive weapons, Tyler Tettleton and Beau Blankenship.
Louisville doesn’t have a strong schedule, and should be favored to win every game, but this first game could get tricky if they don’t jump out to a quick lead. From the outside looking in, an Ohio win would be a major upset, but it would just be a good win for a team from the MAC. In fact, this is probably the second toughest game on the Louisville schedule.
Offensively, Louisville must get Teddy Bridgewater going early. This includes using the strong running game that Cardinals possess with three standout running backs, including Michael Dyer. Even with the former national championship running back, ESPN.com notes that Senorise Perry will get the start on Sunday.
Louisville plans on using a balanced attack. At times, they don’t get the ground game going, but the Cardinals will continue to run the ball. By doing that, it slows down the opponents pass rush. Teddy Bridgewater is also very effective on play action passes. He can make all of the throws and his accuracy is phenomenal.
Defensively, Louisville has to contend with the running of Beau Blankenship. He’s a tough inside runner that has the capability to break moderately long runs. Blankenship and the offensively can control the game. If they are successful with the ground attack, Tyler Tettleton is more than capable of making plays with his arm as well as mobility.
Turnovers could be the key to a big win. Louisville should have the more explosive talent, so they’ll want to keep the ball secure and not take unnecessary chances. Yet, Ohio ranked 7th in turnover margin last year.
The Verdict: The Louisville Cardinals have the chance at an undefeated season. Teddy Bridgewater will be poised and under control throughout the day. While Ohio will make this a great game, the Cardinals will show superiority at some time during the second half.