LOUISVILLE – My look at some of the best and worst performances from Louisville's 45-17 victory Temple on Saturday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
Player of the game: Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater is the third consecutive opposing quarterback to torch Temple. The sophomore completed 19 of 28 passes for 324 yards and a career-best five touchdowns passes before being replaced early in the fourth quarter. Bridgewater compiled 228 of those yards and three of his touchdowns in the first half. His highlight was a 72-yard touchdown strike to a wide-open Ryan Hubbell in the first quarter.
Worst performance of the game: Temple quarterback Chris Coyer gets this award for the second time in three games. The redshirt junior lost three fumbles that led to 17 points for the Cardinals. He completed 2 of 8 passes for 20 yards. His final seven pass attempts were incomplete. Coyer was benched after committing his final turnover with 1 minute, 28 seconds left in the third quarter.
Best defensive performance: This award goes to Temple middle linebacker Nate D. Smith. The redshirt freshman finished with a game-high two sacks that totaled 24 yards in losses. In all, the 6-foot, 230-pounder record nine tackles.
Worst defensive performance: I’m sorry for beating a dead horse, but Temple’s defensive secondary needs to improve. For the third consecutive week, an opposing quarterback toyed with the Owls. Temple has given up a combined 12 touchdown passes in consecutive losses to Rutgers, Pittsburgh and Louisville. And on Saturday, the Cardinals receivers were open most plays.
Worst statistic: This goes to the Owls’ third-down conversions. Temple only converted 2 of 10 third downs. It would be hard to beat Podunk University by only converting 20 percent of your third downs.
Best debut: I know it was late in the game, but Temple third-string quarterback Kevin Newsome’s debut has superstar written all over it. Newsome entered the game with 2:42 left and had a 42-yard carry on what was his first play from scrimmage as an Owl. The Penn State transfer followed with a 9-yard run on the next play. He finished with three carries for 52 yards.