Despite gaining less total yards, passing yards, and points per game, the No. 4 Florida Gators are favored by two touchdowns as they take on the No. 22 Louisville Cardinals in Wednesday night’s Sugar Bowl at the Superdome in New Orleans.
The 11-1 Gators improved by four wins this season behind All-SEC running back Mike Gillislee’s 1,104 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns, and the third best defense in the country letting up just 12.9 points per game.
Florida put together impressive wins over LSU, South Carolina and Florida State, and it’s only let down of the season came against then No. 10 ranked and eventual SEC title game participant Georgia, which held Gillislee to 77 yards in a 17-9 loss.
The Gators defense crushed both LSU’s and South Carolina’s hopes for a BCS national title, and held each of their five ranked opponent to 16 points per game. Florida is also fifth in the country in yards allowed, and tied for sixth in interceptions with 19 this season.
Quarterback Jeff Driskell was second on the team in rushing, and threw for 1,471 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Louisville, at 10-2, had a much stronger season than expected with quarterback Terry Bridgewater leading the way. Despite a broken wrist Bridgewater came off the bench in Louisville’s regular season finale against Rutgers, and went 20-for-28 for 263 with two touchdowns and a pick in a 20-17 win. For the season Bridgewater threw for 3,452 yards and 25 touchdowns.
The Cardinals also improved on their poor 7-6 showing from a year ago, but face their strongest test of the season with no victories over ranked opponents.
The game kicks off at 8:30 p.m. EDT, and will be broadcast by ESPN, or you can watch their live online stream at Watch ESPN here.
Betting Odds: Florida is favored by 14 points.
Over/Under: 47 points
Prediction: The Gators may struggle early to contain Bridgewater, but should force some turnovers in the second half for a win.
Predicted Score: Florida 35, Louisville 24