North Carolina State vs. Louisville: 7 Best Matchups in the 2011 Belk Bowl

James Brown@@chasingballgameSenior Analyst IDecember 26, 2011

North Carolina State vs. Louisville: 7 Best Matchups in the 2011 Belk Bowl

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    This week the Belk Bowl kicks off as the Louisville Cardinals and the North Carolina State Wolfpack engage in a battle to claim victory. Winning in college football is all about matchups, and whatever team that has the best matchups will most likely win.

    Here are some of the matchups to keep an eye on for the Belk Bowl.

Mascots Matchup

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    Before the teams take the field, it is time to take a look at a few of the matchups off the field, and up first is a look at the mascots.

    Louisville’s mascot is the Cardinals. Not very intimidating, but they get points for having a traditional name.

    North Carolina State is the Wolfpack: That just sounds cooler. If they ever fought, the WolfPack would beat the Cardinal, so edge to North Carolina State.

    I mean, c'mon, it's a wolf!

    Edge: North Carolina State


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    Both of these schools have excellent fanbases that support the home team. While travel will not be a problem for either team, the slight edge will go to North Carolina State since the game is being played in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Edge: North Carolina State


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    When it comes to cheerleaders, is there really any team that has an edge?

    Both have excellent squads that show some serious team spirit. Not to mention—they are easy on the eyes and have some very flexible moves.

    Edge: Even

Youth vs. Experience

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    Now it’s time to get to the action on the field.

    North Carolina State brings in a young team with some experience, but its Louisville that is filled with newbies. In fact, the Cardinals have ten starting freshman that will be playing in a bowl game for the first time.

    Regardless of which bowl, it will be tough for any team in their first bowl game appearance.

    Edge: North Carolina State

Coaching Matchup

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    Both teams have exceptional coaches. Tom O’Brien turned his team around after a slow start, and finished on a high note with wins in five of the last seven games.

    However, the edge has to go to Charlie Strong. Louisville was projected to fail miserably this year, but instead they finished an impressive campaign, tied atop the Big East.

    Edge: Louisville

QB Teddy Bridgewater vs. North Carolina State Secondary

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    Teddy Bridgewater is just a freshman, but he has become a superstar under center for Louisville. In the Belk Bowl he will go up against one of the best cover units in all of college football. The Wolfpack ball hawking secondary has nabbed 24 interceptions on the season.

    This will be one of the best matchups to watch in this game, but the edge goes to Bridgewater, who has tremendous poise on the field and is playing excellent football.

    Edge: Louisville

QB Mike Glennon vs. Louisville’s Blitz

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    Mike Glennon is having an excellent season as the signal-caller for North Carolina State. He has stepped in quite nicely for Russell Wilson, and is a touchdown tossing machine.

    In this game he will have to find a way to solve a Louisville Cardinal defense that loves to blitz and show multiple looks. This will be an exciting chess match to watch, but the Cardinals have the edge with the confusing packages they will roll out for this game.

    Edge: Louisville

    These are just a few of the matchups to watch in the first-ever Belk Bowl.

    James Brown is a B/R Featured Columnist and can be followed on Twitter here. Feel free to contact James at