Remember that hangover the experts told you the University of Cardinals would have after beating in-state rival Kentucky? It lasted about one set of downs as Teddy Bridgewater continued to look sharp, this time against the Missouri State Bears at home at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. After a punt on the first possession, the Cards hit the board with a Matthew Nakatani field goal to open the scoring while the defense tightened up after a decent but not great performance against the Wildcats.
The punt team, however, could use some of that tightening up. The Cards muffed a punt last week and nearly did so again against the Bears. That call ended up overturned on replay. In the end a Missouri State team that hung with Kansas State for three quarters couldn't keep up with Louisville for one. Hope appeared briefly for the Bears when the Cardinal defense went into one of those frustrating lapses in the passing game and allowed a touchdown.
Teddy Bridgewater managed the game well, going over 300 yards for the first time in his college career and finishing with 344 yards. He also showed a touch of the dropsies, fumbling twice and losing one. Two passing touchdowns will make everyone but Coach Charlie Strong forget that, though. Tense moments came for fans when Jeremy Wright went down with an injury in the second quarter. He returned to the game after halftime.
Meanwhile Senorise Perry had another stellar game, finishing the contest with 19 carries for 72 yards and a touchdown. He became the workhorse during the time Wright went down and showed more flashes that could make him the feature back since Dominique Brown missed this game like the last one.
Missouri State's quarterback Ashton Glaser played the game in the shotgun, which helped the Bears cause. So did a bit of questionable officiating but as any coach will say, good play overcomes bad officials. The UofL faithful let the zebras know what they thought of them but the Cards executed enough to outplay the refs and the Bears. Glaser came out in the fourth in favor of backup Kierra Harris.
With a final score of 35-7, UofL continues their winning ways, but it gets tougher from here. The Cards are set to return to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium next Saturday at 3:30 for a meeting with North Carolina before heading on the road for 3 games.
Photos: Louisville.com/Tim Girton