"What's happening is our offensive line is doing a better job,'' Strong said. "The last two weeks we've had over a hundred yards rushing, which we had not [had in four of the previous five weeks]. We had a 100-yard rusher in Jeremy Wright [against Rutgers] and then Vic Anderson breaks a long run [61 yards for a touchdown against Syracuse].
"And the offensive line is protecting Teddy. We gave up no sacks in the Rutgers game. We gave up some [against Syracuse], but we're protecting him and giving him time to find receivers and throw the ball down the field.''
In a 27-10 win over Syracuse last week, Bridgewater completed his first seven passes for 124 yards and then finished 17-of-24 for 198 yards and two touchdowns. He didn't have to throw after Louisville jumped out to an early lead, so he didn't.
Bridgewater can throw the ball, though, when he has to. He passed for more than 6,700 yards in high school despite missing part of his senior season with a knee injury, and in his final high school game he threw for 436 yards and four touchdowns.
For now, though, both he and the rest of the Louisville offense are just feeling their way along. He's one of six freshmen who regularly see playing time for the Cardinals on offense - there are three freshmen starters on defense, as well - and they all are getting better each week.
Louisville is also dealing with a new offensive coordinator after Mike Sanford, the former UNLV coach, left the program during the season as was replaced by quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson. Strong had taken play-calling duties away from Sanford after the loss to Marshall.
Still, the scheme is the same, so Bridgewater and the others didn't have to deal with changing things in midstream.
"Our whole offense had to improve, not just Teddy but our offensive line, the running backs, wide receivers,'' Strong said. "And we weren't doing that. We weren't playing well there in the beginning. And now in the last few weeks we've gotten healthy on the offensive line, the running backs are running better and the wide receivers are making the plays. We have a young quarterback and people have to play better around him, and that's what's happening.''
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.