2013 Sugar Bowl Preview

January 2, 2013

Hey, it’s 2013!

I apologize for not having previews for any of the New Year’s Day games. It’s actually the first time I’ve ever failed to post a preview for a bowl game since I started the blog three years ago. But December 31st was also the first and only time I’d ever get to celebrate my 21st birthday.

On the bright side, I did pick every game correctly yesterday. Unfortunately, I’m only three points ahead of second place in my Bowl Mania group and that entry has 26 more possible points left than I do.

It’s been a decent year, though. I’m 19-10 overall and have a slight chance of winning my group. That’s better than last year.

Here is the preview for the game taking place on January 2nd.

Allstate Sugar Bowl (Wednesday, 8:30 PM ET)

#22 Louisville vs. #4 Florida

The underdog didn’t impress in the last BCS bowl game, but it gets another chance tonight. Louisville will try to prove to the nation that it deserves to be playing in such a prestigious bowl when it takes on Will Muschamp’s Gators, which have one of the best defenses in the country.

Louisville is very well coached, which is one of the reasons why the phones were ringing off the hook in early December when head coach Charlie Strong had not yet signed an extension with the Cardinals. However, Strong will be staying with the team past this game, and believes that he can build a consistent winner in Louisville. The Cardinals are dangerous offensively with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, and are defensively sound as well. Louisville has had time to rest injured players and has been hearing it has no chance to win this game, so the Cardinals should be fired up and ready to play.

Florida is a nightmare for opposing offensive coordinators to prepare for, as the Gators are fifth in the nation in yards allowed and give up just under 13 points a game. Had it not been for a tough loss to Georgia, who got a shot at playing for the national title, Will Muschamp’s team may have been playing in Miami in less than a week. However, the offense has struggled this year, and is the main reason why the Gators are in New Orleans instead. Quarterback Jeff Driskel’s play will be instrumental in the success of Florida’s offense in this game, but if the Gators win running back Mike Gillislee will be the MVP. Driskel must play smart, and Gillislee will do the damage.

I don’t think this game is going to be as big a blowout as some are predicting, neither on the scoreboard nor the stat sheet. Louisville will have trouble scoring against Florida’s vaunted defense, but the Cardinals are no slouch defensively, either. Every score will be important in this game, and Louisville has been in plenty of close games this season. But so has Florida, and against better competition. I have the Gators for 32 points in Bowl Mania, but it will be a surprisingly entertaining game.

My Pick: 21-16 Florida

– K. Becks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *