Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/31/12
With impressive wins over LSU, South Carolina and Florida State, the 3rd ranked Florida Gators come into their BCS match-up with Louisville as two touchdown favorites. And although this isn't the game that Florida expected, it is one they believe they can dominate. The Louisville Cardinals, after winning the Big East in the final regular season game against Rutgers, will be making their first appearance at the Super Dome. If they wish to keep this contest close, the Cardinals must utilize Teddy Bridgewater and their arsenal of talented wide receivers.Here are three things to expect when the Big East Champs go up against one of the most talented defenses in the country:Teddy Bridgewater Will Stuggle:After throwing for 3,452 yards and 25 touchdowns in his Sophomore season, Bridgewater projects to be a top 3 pick in the 2014 NFL draft (assuming he comes out). These gaudy stats are due in large part to Bridgewater's ability to extend plays--a trait that will be hampered by Bridgewater's nagging ankle problems.In addition to the injuries, Bridgewater must overcome a top-flight defense that includes Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley, two potential first-round draft picks. The ability to keep plays alive will be crucial for the Louisville Cardinals. Bridgewater has talented targets in Damian Copeland, DeVante Parker and Andrell Smith, but the Big East Champions have never faced a defense as bruising and athletic as Florida. Expect Bridgewater to be harassed all night and to be hobbling around late in the game. Expect a Low Scoring Affair:The Florida Gators are a young team with a feeble offense. In games against Georgia, LSU and Missouri the Gators could only muster a combined 37 points. Granted Louisville's defense is not SEC caliber but head coach Charlie Strong is very familiar with the tough-nosed southern brand of football. Strong manned the defensive coordinator post for the Gators for nearly 8 years.This familiarity combined with the fact that Gator quarterback Jeff Driskell has been sacked 33 times on 249 pass attempts, will yield a relatively anemic output by the Gator offense.Louisville will keep it Somewhat Close:Odds makers and the public are expecting a route in the 2013 Sugar Bowl. I see it going a little differently. Granted, Louisville will struggle with Florida's speed, but the Big East Champions are a well coached team with a fair amount of NFL talent. I'm not saying Louisville will have a shot of winning, but I expect them to keep it within double digits. Predicted Score: Florida 24-Louisville 16
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