The Cardinals, led by a beat-up Teddy Bridgewater, overcame a double-digit halftime deficit to defeat the Scarlet Knights and capture the Big East championship, along with a likely trip to a BCS bowl.
The Louisville Cardinals overcame an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat the Rutger Scarlet Knights, 20-17, to capture a share of the Big East title and a probable berth in a BCS bowl game.
Following an interception, Louisville took the lead at 20-17 with a 29-yard field goal from John Wallace with under two minutes remaining, then sealed the win on Rutgers' last drive with another pick.
After the third quarter nearly finished scoreless, the game picked up as Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, hampered by hip and arm injuries, flipped a 14-yard pass to running back Jeremy Wright for a touchdown with under a minute remaining in the period. The touchdown, cutting Rutgers' lead to 14-10, finished a 14-play, 90-yard drive that lasted almost eight minutes.
Moments later, Jeremy Deering fumbled the kickoff, and, after a recovery by Louisville's Calvin Pryor, Bridgewater cashed in on the first play of the drive, throwing a 20-yard touchdown strike to wideout DeVante Parker to give the Cardinals the 17-14 edge going into the fourth.
Here's Bridgewater's drop-off to Wright:
About midway through the fourth, Rutgers tied the score at 17 with a 38-yard field goal from Nick Borgese.
Rutgers led at halftime, 14-3, thanks to short drives ended quickly by long scoring plays. Quarterback Gary Nova posted the game's first touchdown after connecting with wide receiver Brandon Coleman for an 85-yard touchdown strike on what was the drive's first play in the opening quarter.
In the second quarter, following a 20-yard Louisville field goal, Nova hit wide receiver Mark Harrison for a 68-yard touchdown pass on the drive's second play, pushing the Scarlet Knights' lead to 14-3.
Box Score Hero: Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed 20-of-28 passes for 263 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, all while limping around the field.
Rankings Ramifications: Louisville will probably enter the Associated Press poll and move up a few spots in the Coaches' Poll.
But Did They Cover? According to OddsShark, the Scarlet Knights were favored by 3½ points, so no, they did not cover.
Next On The Schedule: Louisville will likely get Florida State in the Orange Bowl, while Rutgers could play in the Russell Athletic Bowl against an ACC team.