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December 14, 2011

Will honors change Bridgewater? Strong says no

Louisville freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater picked up three different Freshman All-America honors over the past week. With that kind of attention, it'd be easy for a young player to get a big head.

But Louisville coach Charlie Strong said Bridgewater is not your normal freshman.

"I don't think (the awards) will go to Teddy's head at all because in high school he got the same awards," Strong said. "He's so level-headed and he understands, he knows himself he needs to get better and the only way this football team is going to get better and take off the way it needs to, Teddy has to be the guy."

While Teddy garnered most of the honors, the rest of the offense deserves some credit as well, Strong says.

"Teddy deserved it. But Teddy got better because our whole offense got better," Strong said. "When we got Mario (Benavides) back, Jake (Smith) and (John) Miller at the guards, then you're able to put (Alex) Kupper and (Ryan) Kessling at tackle and Jamon Brown was able to develop. So our offensive line got better, then we started running the ball."

Once the line got healthy and began to improve, the rest of the offense went with it.

"Vic Anderson started making plays and Dominique (Brown) started running the ball," Strong said. "We were able to make plays even at the wide receiver position. The offensive line protected Teddy and he was able to throw the ball, the offensive line was able to move people and our backs were able to run for 100 yards, which we didn't do in the beginning. As Teddy developed, our offense developed also."

Bridgewater threw for 1,855 yards, surpassing Chris Redman's freshman passing yardage record, and 12 touchdowns this year. He completed an efficient 66.0 percent of his throws, connecting on 167 of his 253 passes.

Rivals.com looks back to July 2009, when Teddy Bridgewater and Miami Northwestern lit up the NIKE 7on Passing Tournament

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