LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Teddy Bridgewater hit his first nine passes and matched a career best with five touchdown throws as No. 9 Louisville defeated Ohio 49-7 Sunday.
Coming off an 11-2 finish and a Sugar Bowl upset of Florida, Bridgewater and the Cardinals dominated in front of a sellout crowd of 55,332.
The Cardinals began with their highest preseason ranking in school history and are favored to win the new American Athletic Conference that would earn another BCS bowl bid.
Bridgewater kicked off his Heisman Trophy campaign by going 23-of-28 for 355 yards. Michael Dyer, a former Auburn star, broke off a 46-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and the Cardinals outgained Ohio 615-273.
But it all started with Bridgewater.
"I'm all about this team executing," Bridgewater said. "As far as individual stats, I couldn't care less. If I go 0-for-25, I just want to win the game."
Bridgewater had a breakout sophomore season with 3,718 yards passing and 27 touchdowns. He certainly met expectations in his season debut, completing his first nine passes for 121 yards before Damian Copeland dropped a ball down the middle. By then Louisville was up 14-0 after Bridgewater hit Copeland for touchdowns for 34 and 19 yards.
"He studies the game and studies the receivers, and he does a great job of checking and taking what the defense gives him," coach Charlie Strong said. "It's just amazing how he keeps getting better."
Colo. 41, Colo. St. 27: Defensive back Greg Henderson scored on a 53-yard fumble return in the fourth quarter and Connor Wood threw three TD passes — two to Paul Richardson, who had 208 yards — as the host Buffaloes won the coach Mike MacIntyre's debut.
Late Saturday: Clemson sacks UGA
CLEMSON, S.C. — Tajh Boyd threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two, and No. 8 Clemson sacked former Plant High star Aaron Murray four times in a 38-35 win over No. 5 Georgia late Saturday.
Boyd had scoring passes of 77, 24 and 9 yards, and TD runs of 4 and 2 yards as the ACC Tigers scored a big victory over a highly ranked SEC team.
"We understand what we want to do as a program," Boyd said. "And I hate hearing that we have letdowns, because we are one of the more consistent teams in the country."
Georgia matched Clemson point-for-point for three quarters. But mistakes (Murray had a fumble and an interception) and penalties (nine for 84 yards) cost the Bulldogs.
"We killed ourselves with penalties," said Murray, who threw for 323 yards but was chased constantly. "It's tough when you get in third and long."
The Tigers took the lead for good at 31-28 on Chandler Catanzaro's 24-yard field goal in the third quarter. Georgia had a chip-shot try for a tying kick on its next possession, but couldn't get if off after Nathan Theus' bad snap.
On Sunday, the Bulldogs announced Malcolm Mitchell, the leading returning receiver, will have season-ending surgery after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee celebrating a touchdown.
No. 12 LSU 37, No. 20 TCU 27: Terrence Magee ran for two touchdowns in the second half, Zach Mettenberger threw for 251 yards with a key score late and the visiting Tigers held on. "When you open on the road, very quality opponent, you put 448 yards on them," coach Les Miles said. "I felt like (new offensive coordinator) Cam Cameron started his debut at LSU, and did a very, very strong job." B.J. Catalon returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown and scored on a 26-yard run for TCU.
WASH 38, No. 19 BOISE ST. 6: Keith Price threw for 324 yards and two third-quarter TD passes to become the school's all-time leader (56), and the host Huskies returned to renovated Husky Stadium by handing the Broncos their worst loss in Chris Petersen's tenure as coach.
No. 22 N'western 44, Cal 30: Collin Ellis returned two interceptions after deflected passes for touchdowns and the visiting Wildcats spoiled Sonny Dykes' debut as Bears coach. Ellis had a 56-yard return in the third quarter and a 40-yarder in the fourth. Bears true freshman Jared Goff was 38-for-63 for 445 yards and two TDs, the most prolific performance since Pat Barnes threw for 503 yards in 1996.
E. WASH. 49, No. 25 OREGON ST. 46: Vernon Adams passed for 411 yards and ran for 107 and the go-ahead score with 18 seconds left as the Division I-AA Eagles upset the host Beavers. Adams threw for four touchdowns and ran for two despite leaving the game twice (cramping, hard tackle). "With all due respect, there are plenty of FBS teams that you can't lump with the Alabamas and the Oregons of the world," Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin said. "The same way you can't lump all the FCS schools together." Division I-AA teams won eight games against I-A opponents during the opening weekend.