According to Ed Cunningham on ESPN's College Football Live, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was the nation's most valuable freshman. Cunningham said that Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins is the other logical choice and that while he considered Watkins the most "explosive" freshman, he felt Bridgewater was the most valuable, transforming Louisville's offense and resurrecting the team once it hit Big East play. As Pat showed in his final PIF table, Bridgewater finished third in the Big East for the season and Louisville's overall quarterback PIF was the best in the conference.
Cunningham cited Bridgewater's Big East play as the main reason for giving him the edge over Watkins and the statistics certainly bear that out. Louisville was 6-2 with Bridgewater as the starter. In his seven Big East games, Bridgewater went 116 of 173 (67%) for 1341 yards and 8 touchdowns and 5 interceptions while leading the Cardinals to road wins at West Virginia, Connecticut, and South Florida.