No. 3 Florida Gators football (11-2) was upended in the 2013 Sugar Bowl on Wednesday as the No. 21 Louisville Cardinals (11-2) pulled off a 33-23 upset victory at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, LA. Florida head coach Will Muschamp provided some of his thoughts after the game.
HISTORY / STREAKS / STATS
» Florida is now 5-2 all-time in BCS bowl games and had its school-record four-straight bowl winning streak snapped. The Gators are 3-6 all-time in the Sugar Bowl and suffered their first loss in the game since 2000. UF is now 20-20 all-time in bowl games and lost its first since the 2008 Capital One Bowl.
» Wednesday was the first time Louisville defeated Florida in program history (1-2).
» The Gators are 4-7 vs. ranked teams under Muschamp including 4-2 during the 2012 season. Florida is also 4-7 when trailing at the half under Muschamp but 4-2 in such instances this year.
» The 33 points given up to the Cardinals were the most allowed by the Gators this season. UF also had its largest deficit of the year in the game.
» Florida posted a -2 turnover margin in the game and has lost both games this season in which it did not win the turnover battle.
» The Gators totaled 20 interceptions on the season after registering eight in 2011.
» Florida wore blue jerseys and orange pants together for the first time since 1999 vs. FSU. UF is now 0-3 all-time in that uniform combination.
» Wednesday marked the Gators’ second loss under Muschamp when the defense held the opponent to fewer than 100 yards rushing (10-2).
» Florida ranked sixth nationally in time of possession entering the game, but Louisville held the ball for 11:14 longer over the course of the Sugar Bowl.
» Penalties once again killed the Gators. UF committed nine for a total loss of 98 yards while UL only committed two for 25 lost yards.
» The Sugar Bowl’s announced attendance was 54,178, the game’s worst figure since 1939 and the smallest ever in a BCS bowl game.
» Redshirt senior kicker Caleb Sturgis set a new school single-season record for field goals made with his 24th of the year on Wednesday. He broke a 28-year-old record formerly held by Bobby Raymond.
» Redshirt junior wide receiver Andre Debose returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. It was the second-straight bowl game in which he has returned a kickoff for a touchdown (99 yards in the 2012 Gator Bowl). The play also set the Sugar Bowl record for longest kickoff return.
» Sophomore cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy played wide receiver and caught one pass for five yards in the first quarter. It was the first time a defensive starter registered an offensive reception since Keiwan Ratliff did so in the 2003 Outback Bowl.
» Redshirt sophomore WR Quinton Dunbar registered career-highs in receptions (five) and receiving yards (77) during the Sugar Bowl.
» Sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel did not have his best game, but he did engineer a pair of impressive scoring drives during the contest. Driskel completed 4-of-5 passes for 45 yards and ran for 24 yards as part of an 11-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to end the first half. He also went 5-for-8 for 66 yards as part of a 13-play, 97-yard touchdown drive on Florida’s last possession of the game. Aside from those two drives, Driskel was 7-of-16 for 64 yards over the rest of the game.
“We got outcoached and outplayed. That’s what I told the football team. It’s the bottom line. You go out and you get beat, you get beat. And that’s what happened. … Credit their organization. They did a good job. We got outcoached and outplayed.”
NOTES AND QUOTES
» Muschamp on the onside kick to start the second half: “We felt like it was there. We hit it too hard. It was something where both their guys were lined [up] outside the hash. We had game planned it and felt good about it. We wanted to steal a possession to start the second half. We had struggled defensively in the first half and felt like it was time to try and gain some momentum in the game.”
» Muschamp on if the loss taints a successful regular season: “No. we’ve had a great year. We’ve had a great year. We’re building something here. We’re building a program. This is an unfortunate setback and it’s one game. We still won 11 games and we still did a lot of very positive things in my opinion this season. Obviously this is a sour day and a sour note. I apologize to our fans and the university. We’ve had a great year and we’re moving this thing forward at a rapid pace. I’m excited about where we are, very disappointed with the outcome today, but very positive as we move forward.”
» Muschamp on if not playing for the national title led to a letdown for the Gators: “I don’t think so. I think we had good preparation. We just didn’t play very well. We didn’t coach very well. Our kids were excited about being here in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Louisville outcoached us and outplayed us.”
» Driskel on his interception on the first play from scrimmage: “I threw it behind him. He tried to make a play on it and tipped it right to the guy. The corner made a good play. It was unfortunate to start the game like that, but he made a good play. … You can’t let it affect you. We went back to that play a couple times later in the game. As a quarterback, you got to shake it off. At that time, we had the whole game in front of us, so you can’t let a play like that affect you for the rest of the game.”