Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Teddy Bridgewater completed 24-of-34 passes with 348 yards and two touchdowns to lead the seventh-ranked Louisville Cardinals to a 30-7 win over the Temple Owls in American Athletic Conference action.
Louisville (5-0, 1-0 AAC) started the scoring early. Bridgewater and the Cardinals offense marched down the field on their first drive. The Heisman hopeful rolled out to his right and found a wide open Gerald Christian for a one-yard score.
Eli Rogers caught five passes for 74 yards and a touchdown to lead Louisville's receiving corps, while Dominique Brown fronted the rushing attack with 11 carries for 74 yards and a score to help the Cardinals reach 5-0 for a second straight season.
"We can always get better. Sometimes you like a game like this so the guys know when you feel like you're such a heavy favorite and don't go out and perform up to that level," Louisville coach Charlie Strong said. "It's good for them to understand that whenever you play you have to go play your best. It doesn't matter who you play."
P.J. Walker stepped in as quarterback in the second quarter after starter Connor Reilly failed to push the Temple (0-5, 0-2) offense down the field. The freshman went 11-for-20 on 182 yards passing with a touchdown. The young signal-caller also rushed for 28 yards.
After the contest, Temple coach Matt Rhule commented Walker would likely be the starting QB for the next contest, Friday at Cincinnati.
"That would be my thought heading in to tomorrow. I always try to watch some film, and Connor didn't do anything wrong," Rhule said. "I kind of just made the decision. I liked the way it looked with P.J. and I like the way we moved the football. It wasn't always right, but I thought he moved well with his legs. I think he will be moving forward."
Late in the first quarter, Bridgewater connected with Devante Parker for a 39- yard passing play. Parker would leave the game after the catch with an injured shoulder. Brown ran 32 yards to the Temple 12 to set up a 22-yard field goal from John Wallace.
Rogers brought a 31-yard catch to Temple's 30 to end the first quarter. On-3rd and-14, Kai De La Cruz hauled in a catch for 14 yards to bring Louisville to Temple's 20-yard line. Brown brought the ball into the end zone from two yards out after four straight carries to put the Cardinals up 17-0.
Walker found Robbie Anderson for 50 yards to place Temple at Louisville's 20- yard line. Marcus Smith threw his arm up to block Nick Visco's 23-yard field goal attempt at the line to keep Temple off the board with 3:50 left in the first half.
Louisville made it look easy on their next drive. Bridgewater completed six straight passes that ended with a Rogers touchdown catch from 15 yards out with 37 seconds before halftime.
A promising Temple drive early in the third ended when Terell Floyd picked him Walker in the end zone, keeping the Owls off the board. The Cardinals would then march down the field to add a 20-yard field goal from Wallace with 42 seconds left in the third quarter.
Wallace drove another kick through the uprights midway through the fourth to extend Louisville's lead to 30-0.
Temple's lone touchdown came after Michael Felton blocked a Louisville punt at the 26-yard line. Walker connected with Jalen Fitzpatrick from nine yards out with 38 seconds left in the game.
"We played fairly well but didn't finish the way we wanted," Bridgewater said. "We were hoping for a shutout today, but also we were trying to dominate our opponent. I feel that we didn't do that in the second half, but like I said at the end of the day, we got the victory and that's what is most important."
Louisville leads the all-time matchup 4-3 ... Bridgewater has thrown a touchdown pass in 17 straight games ... Louisville edged Temple 25-13 in first downs and in total yardage, 525-253.