2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Preview and Pick Against the Spread: Florida Vs. Louisville

The Florida Gators and Louisville Cardinals will square off in the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl on January 2nd. Florida went 7-1 in SEC play and 11-1 overall. The Gators’ lone loss came to Georgia on October 27th and they beat 7 bowl eligible teams this season. Louisville was 5-2 in Big East play and head into the Sugar Bowl with a 10-2 record overall. The Cardinals’ losses came against Syracuse and Connecticut.

When Louisville is on Offense

Louisville ranks 50th in the nation in scoring at 31.0 points per game. The Cardinals rank 23rd in passing yards per game with 298.6 yards per game. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had a great season completing 69% of his passes for 3452 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions. Bridgewater spread the ball around this season and the Cardinals had 5 different players with at least 30 catches and 300 yards. Senorise Perry was averaging 5.2 yards per carry this season before he went down with a knee injury against Syracuse. Jeremy Wright stepped in for Perry but only ran for 89 yards on 48 carries in the final three games (1.9 yards per carry). The Cardinals will need to find a way to get their running game going and give their offense some balance.

The Gators rank 3rd in scoring defense allowing just 12.9 points per game. The Gators held 4 of their opponents to 7 points or less this season. The only teams that have given up less points than Florida are Notre Dame and Alabama. As a team, Florida had 25 sacks and 19 interceptions.

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When Florida is on Offense

Florida ranks 76th in the nation in scoring at 26.8 points per game. The Gators average more rushing yards per game (194.1) than passing yards (143.9). Quarterback Jeff Driskel didn’t throw a lot, but he was successful when he did. Driskel completed 65% of his passes for 11 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Two of Driskel’s interceptions came in their loss to Georgia. Driskel is effective as a runner as well picking up 404 yards on the ground this season. Running back Mike Gillislee averaged 4.7 yards per carry on his way to 1104 yards and 10 touchdowns.

The Cardinals rank 36th in scoring defense allowing 23.8 points per game. Louisville only held one opponent, FCS school Missouri State, to 7 points or less this season. As a team, Louisville only had 19 sacks and 9 interceptions this season.

2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Pick Against the Spread

Florida is currently a 13.5-point favorite over Louisville in the 2013 Sugar Bowl. The Gators’ defense has been dominant all season and will give Louisville’s offensive coordinator nightmares leading up to the Sugar Bowl. Louisville will definitely miss running back Senorise Perry against the Gators’ stout run defense. Teddy Bridgewater is a great quarterback, but I don’t think he has enough help and Florida has the athletes on defense to shut down Louisville. The spread is big, but I’m confident that Florida will win and cover. I’m taking the Gators and giving the 13.5 points.

Prediction: Florida 31 – Louisville 14

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