Bowl Games 2011: Bold Predictions for Louisville vs. N.C. State in the Belk Bowl
It'll be an exciting ACC vs. Big East matchup.
We have a few weeks until the game, but until then here are a few bold predictions for the Belk Bowl.
Glennon Will Score 3 TDs
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Mike Glennon will score at least three touchdowns, either rushing or passing. This will be his last college football game, and he'll be motivated to play his best.
Glennon truly aided in turning the season around for the Wolfpack. He's been averaging about 2.3 touchdowns a week this season, and he's playing against a defense that has allowed an average of six touchdowns a game.
Speaking of the Cardinals' defense...
The Cardinals' Defense Will Allow 300 Yards
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
The Cardinals' defense will allow 300 offensive yards by the Wolfpack. They have allowed at least 224 passing yards on average this season.
They did pretty well in limiting the passing game of West Virginia earlier this season. But Glennon is known for his deep passes, and he's also very effective in the short and immediate pass range. The Cardinals have done well this season in covering deep passes, but they struggled in defending against the short passes.
N.C. State Will Force Turnovers
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
N.C. State is sixth in the nation in turnover margins and leads the ACC. No team in the nation has the more interceptions than the Wolfpack.
They currently have 24 interceptions this season, and there is no doubt the Wolfpack will force Louisville to turn the ball over. Wolfpack cornerback David Amerson will be a threat that Louisville quarterback Terry Bridgewater must look out for; Amerson has 11 interceptions.
N.C. State will be winning the turnover margin in this game.
Terry Bridgewater Will Make Mistakes
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Terry Bridgewater is a freshman who has been improving as the season has progressed. He threw for his season-high of three touchdowns in his last game.
This will be Bridgewater's first bowl game, and the pressure will be high. He will get sacked, and he will be under pressure. He will throw an interception, and he will make some bad plays.
How it affects him and the game will be up to him. Bridgewater's team managed to turn the season around, so he can help turn the game around if needed.
The Wolfpack Will Sack Bridgewater
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
The Wolfpack defense has been opportunistic this year. They have stayed strong and battled hard throughout this season. They are third in the ACC and 13th in the nation in sacks; they average about 2.9 sacks a game.
There is no doubt Bridgewater will be sacked.
Because the Wolfpack have some of the nation's best sack numbers.
Louisville gives up most of the sacks allowed in the nation. They have allowed an average of three sacks a game with an average loss of 5.5 yards.
Watch out, Bridgewater.
Chris Philpott Will Lead His Team in Scoring
Chris Philpott tends to kick for more field goals on the road than at home. He leads the team in scoring, and he will keep that lead when the bowl game ends Dec. 27.
This senior has done a great job as both a kicker and occasionally as a punter this season. He will kick for a few field goals in the Belk Bowl, possibly racking up his score to 15.
N.C. State Will Win
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
The Wolfpack are going to win the 2011 Belk Bowl. They have the advantage and experience going in, so it's all a matter of which team wants it the most.
Both teams have overcome critics and odds to reach this bowl game. There is no doubt that both these teams have the guts and courage to overcome the holes in which they've dug themselves. Seeing the Maryland game where the Wolfpack scored 42 unanswered points to rally back from a 27-point deficit shows they are a team that doesn't give up.
It'll be a tough battle, but one of these hot streaks is going to end, and it's going to be Louisville's.
For both teams, though, this season has been one heck of a ride.