Miami vs Louisville
When: 6:45 PM ET, Saturday, December 28, 2013
Where: Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida
By SportsDirect Inc.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC CITRUS BOWL STORYLINES
1. In what could be quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s final collegiate game, No. 16 Louisville heads to the Sunshine State to take on No. 25 Miami at the Russell Athletic Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. The Miami-area native is one of the top quarterback prospects in the NFL draft after finishing the season third in the nation in completion percentage and fifth in quarterback rating. However, despite the potential of being picked in the top 5, Bridgewater has yet to make a decision, and is reportedly still considering returning to Louisville for his senior season according to multiple media outlets.
2. It will be a battle of two Miami natives at the quarterback position, with Bridgewater and Hurricanes quarterback Stephen Morris going at it. Morris has been inconsistent at times, but his 510 yards and five touchdowns were instrumental in the Hurricanes bouncing back from a three-game losing streak with two season-ending wins.
3. This is the first postseason appearance for Miami since the 2010 Sun Bowl. The Hurricanes were bowl eligible each of the last two seasons, but had self-imposed a bowl ban in wake of the Nevin Shapiro scandal.
TV: 6:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
ABOUT MIAMI (9-3, 5-3 ACC): Al Golden deserves credit for avoiding a complete free fall after he lost running back Duke Johnson in a 41-14 defeat at Florida State. The Hurricanes lost their next two, but were able to recover and now still have a shot at the program’s first 10-win season since 2003. In his acceptance speech for the Lombardi Award for Excellence in Coaching, Golden said, “(This team) overcame a lot of adversity over the last three years, and in so doing, they taught us a lot about perseverance and leadership itself and maybe perhaps overall about class.”
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (11-1, 7-1 AAC): It isn’t the BCS bowl many expected in the preseason for the Cardinals, but Louisville is in a bowl for the fourth straight season and has a shot at the first back-to-back bowl wins in school history. Beyond that, Cardinals coach Charlie Strong said he sees the matchup, which becomes a conference game when Louisville joins the ACC next season, as a potential rivalry game. “A lot of the guys have played against each other in ... youth (leagues) and a lot of them have grown up together. There will be a lot of talking going on, we are going to have to manage that talking and make sure it doesn't get out of hand,” Strong told the Orlando Sentinel.
PREDICTION: Louisville 38, Miami 27