Although his numbers are among the best in the nation, Teddy Bridgewater's statistics were missing from the NCAA rankings Monday afternoon.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Somebody has finally found a way to stop Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and, naturally, it had to be the NCAA.
How? Read on with my 10 Items to get you ready for the Louisville-Kentucky football game.
1. Where's Teddy?
That's a great question for the NCAA computers.
As I was writing my story about Monday's developments for the game U of L and UK will play in Commonwealth Stadium Saturday, I checked the NCAA statistics site to see where Bridgewater ranked among the nation's top quarterbacks. Had to be there with the power arms of the college football world.
UK quarterback Maxwell Smith is seventh in passing efficiency with a rating of 202.1 Bridgewater's ranking is 228.11. That should be good for third in the nation, behind Jameis Winston of Florida State and Bryce Petty of Baylor.
But Bridgewater's name does not show up on the official NCAA site. Not for passing efficiency. Not for passing yards (he should be fourth with 754). Not in total offense (he should be tied for eighth with 376 yards per game).
Here's your link. But I'm guessing somebody from the NCAA will fix this – and fast. I called the NCAA for clarification. No response yet. Ira Green of the U of L media relations office said the school is aware of the issue and has also asked for a fix.
2. Underdogs love this series. They think it's better than sneaking a cooler past security. Especially underdog Kentucky teams.
Since the series resumed in 1994, underdogs have won eight of the 19 games. Two of the biggest upsets were delivered by Kentucky.
"We don't ever worry about the point spread or whether we're favored," U of L coach Charlie Strong said. "We just know this: It's all about us."
In 2002 the Cardinals were favored by 13. Then UK defensive linemen Dewayne Robertson and Jeremy Caudill treated U of L quarterback Dave Ragone like a freshman pledge. They smacked Ragone every time he adjusted his chinstrap.
Kentucky won, 22-17.
3. ESPN is not sending its A announcing team. In fact, it's not even the B team.
Beth Mowins will handle the play-by-play. Former Ohio State receiver Joey Galloway will serve as the analyst while Paul Carcaterra works the sidelines.
I'd recommend Paul Rogers or Tom Leach. You can decide your favorite there.
4. This won't be the largest point spread in the last two decades. But it could end up being one of the top three.
The largest was 23 points in 2005 when Bobby Petrino, Brian Brohm and Louisville only won by a touchdown (31-24) in Commonwealth Stadium. A year later the Cards were favored by 22 and they played as if they were insulted by that number. Make that one U of L, 59-28.
5. Strong was friends with former UK coach Joker Phillips. He said that he does not have a similar friendship with Mark Stoops, the guy who replaced Phillips.
But he's watched video of Kentucky's first two games. This is the difference Strong sees in the Wildcats:
"It's just a different style in what they're doing. Offensively, being an up tempo team and defensively being more aggressive. They blitz a lot more than what they did last season."
6. When it was time for Stoops to return the love for Louisville, he delivered, especially with praise for the offense that Shawn Watson has installed for the Cardinals.
"I don't know what (his offenses have looked like) over the years, but I'm just looking at what they do there," Stoops said. "I see them very balanced and very talented. Like I said, just the things I just said, when they make you account for the run game, it opens things up."
7. U of L coaching records in the series, from best to worst:
1. Bobby Petrino, 4-0; 2. Charlie Strong, Ron Cooper, 2-1; 4. John L. Smith, 3-2; 5. Howard Schnellenberger, 0-1; 6. Steve Kragthorpe, 0-3.
8. UK coaching records in the series, from best to worst:
1. Hal Mumme, 2-2; 2. Guy Morriss, 1-1; 3. Rich Brooks, 3-4; 4. Joker Phillips, Billy Curry, 1-2.
9. The next time nominations are open for President of The Teddy Bridgewater Fan Club, Stoops wants to be considered. Stoops used the words good, great, quick, athletic, live and fast while talking about the Louisville quarterback. And that was only in the first sound bite.
Said Stoops, "He plays fast without being in a hurry, if that makes sense. He's very cool, and he's got a very live arm and he can make any throw. You could just see the confidence in him the more he's played."
10. The NCAA compiles team statistics in 17 categories. After two games, Louisville has the edge in a dozen.
Kentucky has better numbers in rushing offense, total offense, punt returns, kickoff returns and sacks. The rushing numbers have Charlie Strong's attention – and they should. The Cards rank only 82nd in rushing yards and are averaging only 4.1 yards per carry.
Strong expects more. He should expect more.
"We just need to be more physical and more aggressive in the run game," Strong said. "And guys just need to stay on their blocks.
"But the backs need to run downhill. They need to run hard, too. A lot of times it isn't going to be blocked right. But you have to run through a defender. We can't let first contact get us down. We have to make guys miss tackles."