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Rutgers vs. Louisville: Cardinals' QB Teddy Bridgewater to start Thursday

Louisville head coach Charlie Strong said quarterback Teddy Brdigewater will play Thursday against Rutgers despite being banged up after last Saturday's loss to UConn.

Andy Lyons

Louisville Cardinals sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will play Thursday when the Cardinals visit the Rutgers Scarlet Knights for a Big East Conference football game (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN), head coach Charlie Strong confirmed to the media Monday during his weekly teleconference.

Bridgewater, who's more than likely the front-runner for the Big East Offensive Player of the Year award, was banged up in last Saturday's triple overtime loss, 23-20, to the Connecticut Huskies. Despite leaving the game for a few plays in the first half, the 6'3, 218-pound signal caller returned to nearly help the Cardinals pull off a come-from-behind victory.

"We just need to do a good job of protecting Teddy," Strong said. "He got banged up a little but was able to comeback in the second half against Connecticut. Teddy is very tough, he's a competitor, so we will be able to go with him."

Bridgewater attempted 53 passes en route to his sixth 300-plus yard performance against UConn, which used a 30-yard field goal by Chad Christen to pull off the upset. All game long, UConn relentlessly pressured Bridgewater, who ended up throwing a decisive interception on the Cardinals' final possession of the game. The interception basically handed the Huskies the road victory.

Ask if Bridgewater was 100-percent Strong responded, "I don't know how close he is to 100-percent, but we are going to monitor him this week and he played the second half against Connecticut, so nothing should change.

The Cardinals face a Rutgers defense that's ranked No. 1 in the Big East in total defense, but ranks dead last in sacks per game (1.64).