Sugar Bowl 2013: Players to Watch in Massive BCS Clash

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IJanuary 2, 2013

November 3, 2012; Gainesville FL, USA; Florida Gators running back Mike Gillislee (23) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Missouri Tigers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 Sugar Bowl will boast its fair share of playmakers as No. 21 Louisville takes on No. 3 Florida in New Orleans.

Whether you are a fan of offense, defense or both, there are several game-changers who figure to shape the outcome of the game.

Here's a look at the top players to watch for both Louisville and Florida on Wednesday.



Mike Gillislee, Senior, RB

Where would Florida's offense be without Mike Gillislee this season?

While the passing game has largely struggled to make much of a dent, Gillislee has rushed for more than 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns, including some big performances against ranked opponents Tennessee, LSU and Florida State.


Matt Elam, Junior, S

Matt Elam has been one of the main components of Florida's strong defense this season, whether it be defending the pass or stuffing the run.

The junior has not only posted four interceptions, a sack and a forced fumble, he's racked up 65 tackles as a safety, including 10 tackles for loss (second on the team).

The multifaceted Matt Elam could be a first-round pick in the 2013 NFL draft.


Sharrif Floyd, Junior, DT

Sharrif Floyd has not only been one of the best defensive tackles in college football this season, he's one of the best defensive tackles in the 2013 NFL draft class.

The 6'3", 303-pound roadblock has posted a team-high 11 tackles for loss, as well as a sack and a forced fumble, this season. He constantly dominates the line of scrimmage.



Teddy Bridgewater, QB

Teddy Bridgewater has been one of the best quarterbacks in the nation this season, averaging 8.9 yards per pass attempt (tied for ninth in the nation, via while tossing 25 touchdowns to seven interceptions.

Despite being burdened with a mediocre running game, the sophomore has led Louisville to the Big East title and 10 wins.

Florida's defense, complete with Elam and Floyd, will be the greatest test of Bridgewater's career at Louisville.


DeVante Parker, Sophomore, WR

DeVante Parker has racked up team highs in receiving yards (712), yards per reception (18.7) and receiving touchdowns (nine) this season.

The sophomore has been one of Bridgewater's most trusty weapons, catching a touchdown in seven of his last eight games.

Parker and Bridgewater will have to find a way to do damage against Florida's excellent pass defense in the Sugar Bowl.


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