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Bridgewater, Cardinals Aim High Heading In To 2013 AAC Season

Posted by Blake Frazier on 6/27/2013 7:19:29 PM

online sports betting media that he would not trade quarterback Teddy Bridgewater for Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, he did so with the intent of drawing attention to his program. The Cardinals have big plans for 2013, and after a dominant Sugar Bowl win over Florida it’s hard to doubt them. Louisville enters this season as the favorites to win the American, and with Bridgewater locked in for his junior year this team could be difficult to stop.

OFFENSE

Bridgewater completed 69-percent of his passes in 2013 and threw for 27 touchdowns, and the idea that he could improve with another year of experience should be downright scary for the rest of the conference. Bridgewater’s 8.9 passing yards per attempt last season was the fourth-best mark in the nation among quarterbacks with at least 400 attempts, and if he can stay healthy that number could be even better this sports betting season. The Cardinals have a strong cast of wide receivers including Junior DeVante Parker and senior Damian Copeland, while Eli Rogers has been Bridgewater’s security target since high school. Louisville will have to replace two starters on the offensive line, but that could be the only minor sports betting concern for the offense heading in to this year. Running backs Dominique Brown and Senorise Perry are both coming off significant injuries, but each has the potential to be a No. 1 when healthy.

DEFENSE

Strong has always been a strong defensive coach, but his Cardinals struggled in rushing and scoring defense and must be more consistent. Louisville looked good in the Sugar Bowl with three sacks and a pair of interceptions against Florida, and will look to build on that performance going forward under Strong this year. The Cardinals only lost one full-time starter in cornerback Adrian Bushell, and they have a quality front-seven led by run-stuffing defensive tackles Brandon Dunn and Jamaine Brooks. Dunn and Brooks will command double teams and open up room for the Louisville edge rushers, with middle linebacker Preston Brown back to hold things down as the heart of the defense.

SPECIAL TEAMS

The Cardinals failed to finish in the top-100 in either punt or kick returns this past online sportsbook season, and must do a better job when it comes to big plays in that department. It isn’t as much about scoring on every play as it is the ability to gain solid field position, and Louisville was far too inconsistent a year ago. Kicker John Wallace went 14-of-14 on field goals inside of 40 yards a year ago, so he is reliable in that role.

2013 OUTLOOK

With so many returning starters led by Bridgewater at quarterback, this Cardinals’ team has high hopes for 2013. Anything less than a perfect regular season will be considered a disappointment at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, and those aren’t unrealistic expectations for a team this good on both sides of the ball.

2013 PREDICTED FINISH: 12-0; 1st in AAC

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