(AP) Teddy Bridgewater threw five touchdown passes and Michael Dyer had a 46-yard touchdown run as No. 9 Louisville defeated Ohio 49-7 on Sunday.
Coming off an 11-2 finish and a Sugar Bowl upset of Florida, Bridgewater and the Cardinals (1-0) dominated. That pleased a sellout crowd of 55,332 seeing them for the first time since that BCS win set off the school's remarkable run of success that included an NCAA men's basketball title, the women's team's runner-up NCAA finish and an appearance in College World Series.
Bridgewater kicked off his Heisman Trophy campaign by going 23 of 28 for 355 yards. Damian Copeland and Kai De La Cruz each caught two touchdowns and DeVante Parker and Robert Clark each had one.
Dyer, the former Auburn star, debuted for Louisville and the Cardinals outgained Ohio 615-273.
It was an impressive showing for a Louisville squad out to prove that last year wasn't a fluke while starting this season with high expectations. 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 has drawn even more attention following 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 Copeland dropped a catchable ball down the middle.
By then Louisville was up 14-0 after Bridgewater hit Copeland for touchdowns for 34 and 19 yards, helping the senior receiver match his 2012 total. The quarterback had a couple more drops and threw an interception, but was otherwise locked in and efficient in moving to fifth in program history for yardage and fourth in touchdown passes.
Like last season, Bridgewater involved many targets in the offense and found them wide open much of the day.
Parker was at least 10 yards past a defender when he caught a 27-yard pass for the Cardinals' third TD in the second quarter. De La Cruz meanwhile had 20 clear yards in front of him after catching a Bridgewater pass for a 40-yard touchdown. Only Clark faced Ohio coverage before diving for his 25-yard score late in the third quarter.
Backup Will Gardner followed Bridgewater in the fourth but didn't miss a beat, hitting De La Cruz for 30-yard touchdown for a 49-7 lead.
Louisville had hiccups such as four false starts and a face mask penalty in the first quarter. A pass interference penalty late in the third quarter helped Ohio break the shutout as Ryan Boykin scored from 10 yards.
But those were the only mistakes on a day that the Cardinals cruised.
Ohio's hopes of following up last year's season-opening upset of Penn State with another win over a BCS school were thoroughly dashed as the Bobcats found little to nothing against a fierce Cardinals defense.
Senior Beau Blankenship, a 1,600-yard rusher last season, had just 22 yards on 12 carries while senior quarterback Tyler Tettleton completed 11 of 23 pass yards for only 140 yards and was briefly replaced by Derrius Vick in the first half. Ohio had the ball for just 22:44.
Cardinals defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin, briefly hospitalized last week after a vehicle hit the Moped he was riding, dressed and started on the right side. He was one of the first Cardinals charging on to the field.