Passing game shines in U of L scrimmage

(Release from the University of Louisville)

LOUISVILLE, Ky.- In case anyone hasn't noticed, University of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and wide receiver DeVante Parker are pretty special players. That was the sentiment coming out of the Cardinals' first major scrimmage of the fall on Saturday morning.

Running over 110 plays, the Cardinals scrimmaged for almost two-and-a-half hours and were able to get a long look at a number of positions.

"We had a really good day today," head coach Charlie Strong said. "Just offensively, Teddy (Bridgewater) did a good job of throwing the football. DeVante (Parker) made some really good catches and our first team offensive line did a good job at protecting. On the defensive side, our defensive front just dominated. Overall, I was very pleased with the scrimmage."

Two positions that don't need looks were the quarterback and wide receiver, which were highlighted by the play of Bridgewater and Parker, respectively. Bridgewater looked in mid-season form missing on only one throw and tossing five touchdowns passes, while Parker was the scrimmage's top receiver with six receptions, three of which found the end zone.

"I thought I did really well," Bridgewater said. "I still have some things I have to work on, like in the four-minute offensive situations, I have to manage that better. But overall, I think I did a great job."

Bridgewater threw touchdown passes to Robert Clark and Gerald Christian, both transfers from Florida, who add a new dimension to the offense. But Bridgewater was smart to target the 6-foot-3 Parker, who caught 10 touchdowns last year. The Bridgewater-Parker tandem hooked up for three scores, all of which came from 15 or more yards.

"He scored three touchdowns," Bridgewater said of Parker. "He is one of the guys who is an X-factor and one of those impact players where you can just throw the ball up. I threw him a back-shoulder ball and he just went up and snagged it over a corner. It's plays like those that make a quarterback feel comfortable. He's a big factor in this offense."

The coaching staff got a look at all four quarterbacks. Redshirt freshman Will Gardner took the plays as the back-up and Kyle Bolin and Brett Nelson also received snaps. Gardner did some good things within the framework of the offense and Bolin received significant snaps behind him.

The running backs were very competitive on Saturday, as the trio of Dominique Brown, Corvin Lamb and Michael Dyer combined to receive over 40 carries. All three players worked with the first-team unit and were able to make plays in the running game behind the first team offensive line.

"We rotated all four today at running back today," Strong said. "Dominique went, Dyer went and Corvin went. Senorise (Perry) didn't go today. We wanted to rest him."

The first-team defense was pretty solid all morning in the scrimmage. The front four of Lorenzo Mauldin, Roy Philon, Brandon Dunn, and Marcus Smith provided a lot of pressure on the second offense.

"I've seen a lot of good things this week in practice," Mauldin said after Saturday's scrimmage. "I thought the defensive line made some plays today. The quarterback had to scramble around a lot so we were able to get pressure."

The Cardinals will get a last look next Saturday with another major scrimmage before school starts on Aug. 26.