Russell Athletic Bowl
Miami vs. Louisville
Dec. 28, 2013
The year has not been kind to Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
He started out as a Heisman hopeful, but found that his team’s schedule did nothing but hurt his chances to hoist the bronze statue. When Louisville lost to Central Florida – and consequently lost its chance at a BCS bowl berth – it seemed like Bridgewater and Louisville became a serious afterthought. Still, Louisville won 11 games – albeit several close contests – and finished the season in the Top 25. And while we don’t know whether Bridgewater will forgo his senior season for the NFL – though it’s probably likely – he’ll want to end his season on a high note, especially since he is playing against the school he nearly attended.
Bridgewater was committed to the Hurricanes before coach Randy Shannon was fired. That’s when he switched his commitment to Louisville.
Miami is playing in its first postseason since 2010 thanks to a two-year self-imposed bowl ban, but the Hurricanes aren’t exactly coasting into this game on a high note. Even though they won their final two games, they lost three straight after winning 7-0 to start the season.
One of the biggest problems with the Miami offense has been the loss of running back Duke Johnson and the inconsistency of quarterback Stephen Morris, who has struggled in the passing game. If Morris makes mistakes, Miami will have no chance in this game.
Natural disasters are bad for everyone, but they are especially bad for birds. So, in a mascot fight, one would have to favor the natural disaster over our winged friend.
Graham: Louisville 31, Miami 24. I think Miami native Teddy Bridgewater – and the 23 other Miami natives on the Louisville roster – will want to show up their hometown school, especially in Florida. This game might be close early, but Louisville pulls away late.
Nick: Louisville 34, Miami 20. It's Teddy Bridgewater's swan song and is it Charlie Strong's too? Without Duke Johnson, Miami doesn't have a chance unless it goes and hires George O'Leary to help the Hurricanes figure out how to beat Louisville. And even then, that may not be enough.
Sam: Louisville 38, Miami 28. Both of these teams are pretty overrated. After a 7-0 start, Miami quickly fell back down to earth with three straight losses to Florida State, Virginia Tech and Duke. Louisville lost to UCF and barely beat Houston, Memphis and Cincinnati. The difference here is the big game experience of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and coach Charlie Strong going up against the first bowl appearance for Miami in the Al Golden era. I’ll take the Cardinals.
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