Two true freshmen linebackers have played a major role for the University of Louisville defense this…
Inside Cardinal football: Weekly notebook
FROSH BROWN NAMED ALL-AMERICAN Freshman linebacker Keith Brown was honored by Fox SportsNEXT as a member of the outlet's first-team Freshman All-American team. The freshman from Miami is fifth on the team in tackles with 56, including 21 unassisted tackles and 2.5 tackles for a loss. Brown, who came to U of L as a highly-regarded recruit, only played in nine games and started five for the Cardinals. He had 13 tackles in the Cincinnati win. Brown was the only player from the Big East Conference listed on either of the first or second-team All-American teams. STRONG TALKS ABOUT BRIDGEWATER U of L football coach Charlie Strong said earlier in the week that the period until the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl against Florida will "give Teddy (Bridgewater) some time to heal up. He needs some time." Bridgewater suffered a broken left wrist and sprained left ankle in the Connecticut game and didn't start against Rutgers. But he came off the bench to complete 20 of 28 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns to help the Cardinals clinch the school's second BCS Bowl. "We didn't know how he would do back there," Strong said. "We knew Rutgers was going to bring pressure, so we started (Will) Stein." Bridgewater was heroic in the way he finished it, throwing TD passes to Jeremy Wright and DeVante Parker to rally the Cardinals for a 20-17 victory. Strong said Bridgewater would be limited in what he does in practice for the next few weeks, hoping to have him as healthy as possible for Florida. "We have some time with Teddy, so we are going to try to get him healthy for this game," Strong said. "If you look at it, it's the wrist and the ankle. We have some time off here where we should be able to get him prepared. I know our medical staff for the Rutgers game; it was 24 hours around the clock. "Now, here we have some time, so we can take our time." Bridgewater has thrown for 3,452 yards and 25 touchdowns and was named Big East Conference Offensive Player of the Year. EXTRA PRACTICE TIME The Cardinals started bowl preparation on Friday afternoon and Strong said they would use the time between now and the week or so before the bowl getting some reps for some of the younger guys. U of L only has 10 seniors on the roster, so Strong said the extra practices will give the staff an opportunity to focus on working with the younger players to develop their skills and hone their fundamentals. "It's big," Strong said of the extra time. "You need those practices. When we get to January, you have what we call a discretionary period where we can't do anything with the players. So it's good to get these practices in before that. "It does help out." BOWL TICKETS GOING FAST As of Friday morning, U of L officials said the school had already sold over 14,000 tickets for the Sugar Bowl. On Thursday, athletic director Tom Jurich said the tickets sales had been "phenomenal" this week at the school. The 14,000 number doesn't include the many U of L fans who have already purchased tickets not through the school. The team heads to New Orleans on Dec. 27. AUTOGRAPH SESSION NEXT WEEK The football team will host an autograph session benefitting Dare to Care Food Bank on Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the PNC Club of Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. It was originally scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 5. There is a two-item limit person for merchandise to be autographed and attendees are requested to bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to the Dare to Care Food Bank. The players will be the only participants in the autograph session.
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