PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Banged-up Teddy Bridgewater came off the bench to throw two-second half touchdown passes, and John Wallace kicked a 29-yard field goal with 1:41 left to send Louisville to the BCS with a 20-17 victory against Rutgers on Thursday night.
In a game between one team headed to the Big Ten and another bound for the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big East handed out its second-to-last bid to a school that entered the league during its last massive rebuild in 2005 and watched its athletic program blossom.
The Cardinals will be going to the BCS for the second time, first since 2006.
Louisville (10-2, 5-2) will share this Big East title with Rutgers (9-3, 5-2), Syracuse and possibly even Cincinnati, but the BCS bid will be all theirs. The BCS standings will be used to break the tie and there is no doubt Louisville, with the best overall record in the conference, will be on top.
Bridgewater didn’t start a week after getting roughed up in a loss to Connecticut. He broke his left wrist and sprained his right ankle. He entered for the first time in the second quarter and finished with 263 yards passing and threw a pair of TD passes in the third quarter to wipe out a 14-3 deficit.
James Burgess picked off a pass that bounced off Timmy Wright’s hands with 3:53 left in Rutgers territory, and Bridgewater hit Andrell Smith on a slant for 30 yards to put Louisville in field goal range. Wallace booted through the short kick to give Louisville the lead.
Rutgers’ last chance ended when Gary Nova threw deep, but his receiver stopped short, and Terrell Floyd made an over-the-shoulder interception with 1:06 left. Nova bent over and grabbed his helmet in disgust.
The Scarlet Knights, the only team that has played in the Big East since it started playing football in 1991, probably will have only one more shot to win the conference for the first time before moving to the Big Ten.
NOTRE DAME 64, (8) KENTUCKY 50: Eric Atkins scored 16 points and the host Fighting Irish won for the 41st time in their past 42 home games.
Notre Dame outplayed Kentucky (4-2) inside during the first half and held the Wildcats to a season-low 40 percent shooting for the game.
HUSSON 86, ST. JOSEPH’S 76: Eric Modica scored 17 points and the Braves (1-1) closed the first half with a 19-9 run to pull away from the visiting Monks (3-1) at Bangor.
Jobin Nicholas scored 19 for the Monks while Kubiel Workie added 16 points, Zach Blodgett 14 and Matthew Medeiros 10.
After trailing 47-29 at the half, St. Joseph’s rallied to within four, 70-66, but Husson’s Eric Cottonham hit a pivotal 3-pointer and Corey Wood hit 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch to ice it.
(12) OKLA. STATE 96, NORTHWESTERN STATE 35: Aaryn Ellenberg scored 22 points and the host Sooners, playing without injured guard Maddie Manning, dominated.
Ellenberg was 5 of 7 from 3-point range and had five rebounds and six steals.
Nicole Kornet, replacing Manning in the starting lineup, scored a career-high 19 points. Nicole Griffin 12 and Morgan Hook added 10. Joanna McFarland came off the bench and pulled down 10 rebounds. All nine Sooners scored.
The Sooners were up by 10 before the Demons were able to hit their first basket, a 3-pointer by Janelle Perez. At halftime, the Sooners were up 45-19.
MIAMI 69, (6) PENN STATE 65: Morgan Stroman scored 15 points, leading host Miami over the Nittany Lions.
Suriya McGuire’s layup with 14 seconds remaining broke a 65-all tie. Alex Bentley had a chance to tie it but her jumper with 5 seconds left bounced off the rim. Miami’s Michelle Woods grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
Woods made both free throws with 2 seconds remaining to secure the win for Miami (5-1).
Maggie Lucas led the Lions (5-1) with a game-high 20 points.
(5) NOTRE DAME 72, CENTRAL MICH. 63: Skylar Diggins scored 17 of her 25 points in the first half, and the visiting Fighting Irish pulled away late over the Chippewas.
Ariel Braker added 10 points and eight rebounds to help the Fighting Irish (5-0) close November undefeated for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Jessica Green scored 19 points for Central Michigan (2-3).
ST. JOSEPH’S 74, HUSSON 35: Morgan Cahill scored 19 points and Danyelle Shufelt chipped in 17 as the visiting Monks (3-1) handled the Eagles (0-2) at Bangor.
Shufelt had 11 points and Cahill added nine in the first half when the Monks built a 36-11 lead.
Cahill, who also had six rebounds, was 6 for 9 from the floor and 7 for 7 from the foul line.
Shufelt made all three of her 3-pointer attempts while finishing 6 of 8 from the field with two foul shots.
Gab Duke led Husson with 10 points.