Sugar Bowl 2013: Breaking Down Florida vs. Louisville

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2013

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 17:  Head coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators watches the action during the game against the Jacksonville State Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

When the No. 21 Louisville Cardinals square off against the vaunted No. 3 Florida Gators Wednesday night in the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl, the excitement over what could be the most intriguing matchup of bowl season is through the roof.

With Florida’s offensive inabilities and the question marks surrounding just how well Louisville will play a team as talented as the Gators, this matchup is too interesting to ignore.

There are no other college football games on Wednesday night, and with a limited television selection this week, every fan of the sport—from casual to hardcore—must be tuning into this amazing matchup.


When: Wednesday, Jan. 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET

Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans, La.

Watch: ESPN

Live Stream: ESPN3

Listen: ESPN Radio


Sugar Bowl Breakdown

While there is no doubting just how talented the Louisville Cardinals have been this season, there are serious questions about how they will hold up against the Florida Gators' tough defensive unit.

Florida plays a brutal SEC-style defense that the Cardinals haven’t seen in the Big East, and Louisville must have a way to answer the Gators’ defensive riddles early and often if they want a chance to win.

It won’t be easy, though, as Florida’s tough defensive unit is ranked third in the nation allowing just 12.9 points per game. While the Cardinals are putting up an average of 31 points per game, those statistics came against the competition in the Big East.

The SEC is the flat-out tougher football conference, hands down.

Despite Florida’s clear competition advantage, Louisville is lucky to be facing the Gators instead of another SEC team that boasts an offense that can sufficiently complement its elite defensive unit.

While Florida has a solid rushing attack (ranked 34th in the nation), the team’s putrid passing attack (118th in the sport with just 143.9 yards per game) will leave the door open for a talented Cardinals team to take advantage if they can beat the Gators’ tough defense.

In the end, it will be Florida’s vaunted SEC defense that steps up huge and gives the team’s porous offense a chance to steal the victory.

Prediction: Florida 17, Louisville 13


Check back for more on the NCAA Football as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s College Football page to get your fill of college football.