Louisville, Ky. • Teddy Bridgewater had No. 9 Louisville up by two touchdowns before he threw an incomplete pass.
Bridgewater hit his first nine passes and matched a career best with five touchdown throws as the Cardinals defeated Ohio 49-7 on Sunday.
Coming off an 11-2 finish and a Sugar Bowl upset of Florida, Bridgewater and the Cardinals dominated. That pleased a sellout crowd of 55,332 seeing them for the first time since that BCS win set off the school's remarkable run of success that included an NCAA men's basketball title, the women's team's runner-up NCAA finish and an appearance in College World Series.
Bridgewater kicked off his Heisman Trophy campaign by going 23 of 28 for 355 yards. Damian Copeland and Kai De La Cruz each caught two touchdowns and DeVante Parker and Robert Clark each had one.
Michael Dyer, the former Auburn star, debuted for Louisville and broke off a 46-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. The Cardinals outgained Ohio 615-273.
But it all started with Bridgewater.
"He studies the game and studies the receivers and he does a great job of checking and taking what the defense gives him," Louisville coach Charlie Strong said. "It was just fun to watch Teddy. It's just amazing how he keeps getting better and better."
It was an impressive showing for a Louisville squad out to prove that last year wasn't a fluke while starting this season with high expectations. The Cardinals began with their highest preseason ranking in school history and are favored to win the new American Athletic Conference that would earn another BCS bowl bid.
Bridgewater has drawn even more attention following a breakout sophomore season with 3,718 yards passing and 27 touchdowns. He certainly met expectations in his season debut, completing his first nine passes for 121 yards before Copeland dropped a catchable ball down the middle.
By then Louisville was up 14-0 after Bridgewater hit Copeland for touchdowns for 34 and 19 yards, helping the senior receiver match his 2012 total.
The quarterback moved to fifth in program history for yardage and fourth in touchdown passes.