College Football Bowl Picks
Sugar Bowl Preview
Date/Time: January 2nd, 8:30 pm EST
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Point Spread: Florida -13.5
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Sugar Bowl Pick – January 2nd
For the first time in his coaching career, Head Coach Charlie Strong is going to go against the team that he helped build up over the course of the last few years in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, as the Louisville Cardinals look up upset the Florida Gators in the Bayou.
The Cardinals have had themselves a magical season. They were ranked in the Top 10 in the country for quite some time, and though they did stumble twice down the stretch of the season, they ultimately won the game that they had to win by taking down the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in Piscataway. On top of that, they inked Strong to a new contract that will presumably keep him with the team through the club’s move to the ACC in 2014 and beyond. The Cardinal most certainly didn’t do anything remarkably this year, but they have themselves a gritty quarterback in QB Teddy Bridgewater and a defense that has the knack for coming up with solid performance after solid performance. We’re going to see a team give everything that it has for this one to win this game for sure, though we also know that we are going to see a team that is overmatched from a talent perspective.
Florida is ranked third in the country this year, but it hasn’t always been pretty. The team came up big in most of its biggest games of the year, including going on the road and beating the Florida State Seminoles and beating the snot out of the South Carolina Gamecocks in a game that they it in the SEC East title race. The only blemish came against the Georgia Bulldogs, though there were plenty of close calls against some suspect teams along the way. The closest of the close came against the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns, when the Gators needed a blocked punt return for a touchdown with virtually no time left in the game to win. QB Jeff Driskel threw for just 1,465 yards this year, and about the only substance the offense had came from RB Mike Gillislee. Gillislee rushed for 1,104 yards and had a total of 11 TDs on the season. This defense is also just flat out awesome for the Gators, as they ranked third in the land in scoring defense at 12.9 points per game against a schedule that proved to be really tough in spite of the fact that Alabama was not on the slate this year.
The Gators are the more talented of these two teams, but how can we possibly trust the fact that they are going to be up for this one? They couldn’t get up to play any of the lousy teams on their schedule, and they quite frequently came up short of their goals and expectations in spite of the fact that they were winning games. This could be a landmark upset for the Cardinals. Louisville 27 – Florida 20
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.