Georgia Football: 5 Bold Predictions for the Bulldogs' Bowl Game
It’s not the bowl game the Georgia Bulldogs envisioned when the 2014 season started, but they will face the Louisville Cardinals in the Belk Bowl on December 30 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
This has a chance to be one of the better bowl games of the season. This will be the first time the Bulldogs face off against former defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and this will also be the first time these two schools have ever met on the football field.
The Bulldogs are an early favorite according to Oddsshark.com, so if they are motivated and not make the same mistakes they did against Georgia Tech, the Bulldogs can finish the season with 10 wins, which would be the third time in four seasons they have accomplished that feat.
Here are five bold predictions for the Bulldogs in the Belk Bowl.
Hutson Mason Will Throw Four Touchdowns
One thing that was hard to see in the Georgia Tech game was Hutson Mason throwing an interception in overtime to seal the Bulldogs' fate.
This will be the game where he will redeem himself and finish his career on a high note.
Louisville’s defense has been strong all season long as it ranked second in the ACC it total yards allowed per game. But the Bulldogs average 41 points per game, and Mason has been a part of the success with 20 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
So Mason should be able to throw for 275 yards and four touchdowns in the Belk Bowl. He has improved each game this season, and he’s familiar with the Cardinals defense since he saw it when Grantham was the coordinator in Athens.
Nick Chubb Will Rush for 225 Yards
The Cardinals are very stout against the run, averaging only 93 yards allowed per game and nine rushing touchdowns.
But they have not seen a running back like Nick Chubb in the ACC. Chubb led the SEC with 6.8 yards per carry and rushed for over 1,200 yards, and he became the starter in just the sixth game of the season.
No team has really slowed Chubb down, and Louisville won’t be the first. In fact, Chubb will have a record day for the Bulldogs and rush for over 225 yards and three touchdowns. That may seem like a lot, but when the Cardinals meet Chubb for the first time, they will realize how tough he is to bring down.
Malcolm Mitchell Will Have a Career Game
The receiving crew has been the weakness for the Bulldogs for various reasons. One of those reasons is that Malcolm Mitchell did not play in the first four games due to his fighting injuries dating back to the beginning of last season.
But he had his best game of the season against Georgia Tech, catching seven passes for 56 yards and one touchdown. It looks like Mitchell is back at 100 percent—and it will show against Louisville.
Mitchell will have around eight passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns, which would be something fans saw back in 2012.
Mitchell is eligible to make the jump to the NFL, but if he has a strong game in the Belk Bowl, don’t be surprised if he decides to stay another year to improve his draft status.
4 Sacks for Leonard Floyd
Leonard Floyd is the Bulldogs' best pass-rusher with six sacks. However, he only had one sack in the month of November.
Louisville’s offense is solid, but it has surrendered 36 sacks, which is the second-worst total in the ACC. This could be a game where Floyd gets four sacks and the entire defense gets a total of seven.
The Bulldogs have not gotten the sacks like they did last year as they only have 24 in 2014. But with Floyd leading the way, this will be the opportunity to show the country that the Bulldogs can get after the quarterback.
A Shutout for the Defense
And speaking of the defense, the Bulldogs have the ability to pitch a shutout against the Cardinals, which they will do.
The Bulldogs were able to shut out SEC East champion Missouri and only allowed seven points against 2013 SEC champion Auburn. The quarterback situation at Louisville is uncertain. Reggie Bonnafon suffered a knee injury against Kentucky, so Kyle Bolin could get a first start as a Cardinal.
Regardless, the offensive has not lit the world on fire, despite having Bobby Petrino at the helm. With Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt having three weeks to prepare his defense for the Cardinals, it would be a disappointment if the Bulldogs don’t get a shutout to end the season.