Florida Gators Vs. Louisville Cardinals 1/2/13 Dave’s Free College Football Pick Against the Spread
The 3rd ranked Florida Gators make the short trip to New Orleans for a showdown with the 21st ranked Louisville Cardinals in the Allstate Sugar Bowl Wednesday night.
Florida is 11-1 on the year and suffered their lone loss in a close contest versus arch rival Georgia. The Gators feature an explosive offense and a very strong defense that has overwhelmed opponents all year long. The Gator defense ranks 3rd in the nation in points allowed, yielding just over 12 points per game to opponents. Florida has only given up 5 passing touchdowns and forced 19 picks on the season – the secondary is led by all-american safety Matt Elam whose name will be mentioned often throughout the night. The Gator offense is run by quarterback Jeff Driskel who burst onto the scene this year throwing for 1,471 yards and 11 td’s and rushing for 404 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Gators feature an elite running back in Mike Gilleslee who is a focal point of the Gator offense. Gillislee carried the ball 235 times and gained 1,104 yards and 10 td’s. In the pass game, Florida has multiple threats but keep an eye on TE Jordan Reed who hauled in 44 passes for 552 yards and 3 touchdowns on the season.
Louisville enters the Sugar Bowl at 10-2 and as co-champion of the Big East. Because of their late season win at Rutgers and other head to head victories, the Cardinals got the BCS nod. Louisville is coached by former Florida coordinator Charlie Strong who is eager to have a shot at his old team. The Cardinals offense is all about sophomore stud quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater was extremely impressive in his second season and was just on the outside looking in throughout the Heisman race. Bridgewater, a Miami, FL native threw for 3,452 yards and 25 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions. Bridgewater throws the ball often in Louisville’s high speed offense and his favorite target is receiver DeVante Parker who racked up 9 touchdowns and 712 yards receiving on the season. At tailback, the Cardinals feature a two man attack with Jeremy Wright and Senorise Perry. The two backs combined for 1,445 yards and 20 td’s on the season and are both home run hitters. The Louisville defense is solid, but found themselves in quite a few shootouts. You can be assured Strong’s familiarity with his old team has been quite helpful during the past month as the Cardinals have prepped for the Gator attack.
Some trends to consider – Louisville is 7-2 against the spread against teams with a winning record and Florida is 4-0 against the spread in their last 4 bowl games.
Louisville will be tested early as their offense, which relies heavily on the pass has not seen a secondary like the Florida Gators will field Wednesday night. This game is all about Bridgewater’s ability to handle the pass rush and different looks Florida will throw at him. I think Bridgewater is one of the best quarterback’s in the country and while I think Florida has too much talent to let Louisville steal a win from them, I like the Cardinals to keep it close and cover the spread. Florida by 7-10.