Despite a breakout performance by freshman Teddy Bridgewater, Charlie Strong says junior Will Stein is still Louisville's starting quarterback.
Stein went down with a sprained shoulder early in the second quarter, forcing Bridgewater into extended action for the first time this season. The true freshman responded by throwing a pair of touchdown passes and leading the Cardinals to an upset over arch-rival Kentucky in Lexington.
Still, Strong says it's Stein who will begin the game under center when U of L returns to the field on Oct. 1 against Marshall.
"I'm not one of those guys who believes you lose your position because you're injured. It's all about competition," Strong said. "Stein will be back as the starter, but Teddy can go in and play the game we saw that from the other night."
It's sort of an interesting statement because Strong also said that Stein was healthy enough to come back into the game on Saturday, but he chose to stick with the hot hand in Bridgewater. If he's really not a guy who believes you should lose your position because of an injury, then you'd think we would have seen Stein start the second half in Commonwealth Stadium.
Look, there's not a bigger Will Stein fan out there than me. I think the kid's great, I love watching him play and I want nothing more than for him to be successful. That said, after seeing what I saw on Saturday, I'm not going to lie and say that there isn't an extremely large part of me that feels making Teddy Bridgewater the full-time starter at quarterback gives this team the best chance to win.
Bridgewater's foot-speed is an element that Stein simply cannot equal. It's also an invaluable skill to have when playing behind an inexperienced offensive line. He makes Louisville a much more difficult offense for opposing defensive coordinators to prepare for, and he gives Mike Sanford the chance to throw a few extra wrinkles into the playbook.
Also, did you see that last TD pass? Kid flicked his wrist and threw a 35-yard rope.
If I'm Charlie Strong, I'm saddling up with young Bridgewater from this point on.