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Louisville football team finishes atop FBS in five statistical categories.
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EnterSandman Offline
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Location: Louisville
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Louisville football team finishes atop FBS in five statistical categories.

Louisville football team finishes atop FBS in five statistical categories.

[Image: bilde?Site=B2&Date=20140122&...categories]
U of L quarterback Teddy Bridgewater rushes into the end zone for a touchdown during the second half of the Dec. 28 Russell Athletic Bowl against the Miami Hurricanes at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.

The University of Louisville finished first in five statistical categories last season by topping all teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

The Cardinals led the country in total defense, rushing defense and team sacks. Individually, defensive end Marcus Smith’s 14.5 sacks paced the FBS, while Teddy Bridgewater’s 71 percent completion rate topped all quarterbacks.

The Cardinals gave up an FBS-fewest 3,269 total yards, with the next-closest team on the total defense list Michigan State at 3,531. U of L also edged the Spartans in rushing defense, totaling 1,049 to Michigan State’s 1,212.

The Cardinals also finished with 43 sacks, four more than Utah. And Smith’s 1.12 sacks per game vaulted him ahead of Stanford’s Trent Murphy, who had 15 in all but did it over 14 games with benefit of the Pac-12 Conference Championship plus a bowl.

Bridgewater beat out East Carolina quarterback Shane Carden’s 70.5 percent completion rate and ranked near the top of a number of other passing categories. He finished No. 5 in passing efficiency (171.1), 10th in passing yards (3,970), 10th in passing yards per game (305.4) and 12th in passing touchdowns (31).

U of L last finished first in a category in 2010 by fielding the country’s top punt return defense.

Smith, a senior, went down as U of L’s first consensus All-American since Elvis Dumervil, a defensive lineman for the Cardinals who went on to a multi-year NFL career. Dumervil, now an outside linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, also claimed U of L’s last individual national title for his nation-leading and school-record 20 sacks as a senior in 2005.

U of L finished second as a team to Houston in turnover margin, runner-up to Florida State in scoring defense and just behind nation-leading Bowling Green in time of possession.

• Western Kentucky running back Antonio Andrews led the nation in all-purpose yards for the second year in a row, tallying 218.25 per game ahead of LSU receiver (and Louisville-based Paul Hornung Award winner) Odell Beckham Jr.’s 178.08. Hilltoppers defensive back Jonathan Downling, an early entry into this year’s NFL draft, led the nation in forced fumbles with six.
01-22-2014 08:09 PM
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