Gameday: 2013 Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA) – No. 3 Florida Gators vs. No. 21 Louisville Cardinals

By Adam Silverstein
January 2, 2013

Event: 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome – New Orleans, LA [Capacity: 72,589]
Time: 8:30 p.m. EST

Tickets: Best deals on Florida Gators tickets starting at $47 on TiqIQ

TV: ESPN / ESPNHD / ESPN3D (Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman, Quint Kessenich)
SiriusXM: 84 | Radio: Gator Radio Network [Affiliates]
Online Video: | Mobile Video: WatchESPN app
Live Updates: @OnlyGators on Twitter and SportsYapper

Head Coach: Will Muschamp Head Coach: Charlie Strong
Record: 11-1 Record: 10-2
Conference: Southeastern Conference: Big East
Roster | Schedule Roster | Schedule

Odds: Florida -14 | O/U: 47.5


» Florida is 2-0 all-time against Louisville with the meetings occurring in Gainesville, FL in 1980 (W 13-0) and 1992 (W 31-17).
» The Gators have won four-straight bowl games (a school record) and hold a 20-19 all-time record in such contests. UF has appeared in 22 consecutive bowl games and made the most appearances in January bowl games (19) since 1993 as well as the most consecutive January bowl game appearances (eight).
» Florida is 5-1 in BCS bowl games and has won four-straight dating back to 2001. Winning a sixth would tie UF with USC and Ohio State for most BCS wins since the system began in 1998.
» The Gators are 3-5 all-time in the Sugar Bowl with appearances in 1965 (L), 1974 (L), 1991 (L), 1993 (W), 1994 (L), 1996 (W), 2000 (L) and 2009 (W).
» The Cardinals are making their first-ever Sugar Bowl appearance and second BCS bowl appearance. Louisville will be playing in a bowl game for the 17th time.
» Florida is looking to finish with 12+ wins for just the sixth time in school history.
» The Gators went 4-1 against teams currently in the BCS top 12.
» UF currently boasts the No. 1 ranked strength of schedule nationally.
» Florida finished 7-0 at home in a season for just the third time in school history. The 2006 and 2009 UF teams also accomplished that feat.
» The Gators are 4-6 against ranked teams under Muschamp but 4-1 in that category this season with wins over Tennessee, LSU, South Carolina and Florida State.
» Florida was 0-5 when trailing at the half in 2011 but has flipped that around and is 4-1 in 2012 in that category with all four victories vs. SEC opponents (two ranked).
» The Gators are 12-0 under Muschamp when rushing for more than 150 yards and 1-5 when rushing for fewer than 100 yards. UF is also 14-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 21 points, 10-1 when an opponent rushes for fewer than 100 yards, 12-3 when scoring first and 14-1 when leading at the half.
» Florida ranks first nationally in pass efficiency defense (91.5), third in scoring defense (12.9 points), fourth in third-down defense (.283), fifth in total defense (282.6 yards) and sixth in rush defense (96.6 yards).
» The 12.9 points per game allowed by the Gators defense is the lowest average since 1964 (9.8) despite facing three top-25 total offenses.
» Florida is +17 in turnover margin (fifth nationally) after being -12 in 2011 (113th). The 12 turnovers lost by UF Is the fewest for the program since at least 1949.
» The Gators have grabbed 19 interceptions, more than doubling its 2011 total of eight. UF has grabbed at least one pick in nine games and has forced nine fumbles.
» Florida is averaging 33:07 in time of possession through 12 games, a margin that ranks sixth nationally and first in the SEC by 1:18 per game.
» The Gators have at least two kickoff returns for touchdowns in each of the last two seasons after never having more than one in a single season before 2010. UF has not yet registered a kick return (or punt return) in 2012.
» Florida is seventh nationally in net punt average (40.7 yards per punt).
» Louisville is No. 1 nationally in red zone efficiency, converting 48-of-50 (.960) opportunities into scores including 34 touchdowns on 50 total drives (.680).
» The Cardinals are 14th nationally in passing efficiency (154.84) and third-down efficiency (.485).

» The Gators will wear blue jerseys and orange pants in the game. It is the first time Florida will be donning that uniform combination since the 1999 Florida State game.

Read about the injuries and absences and much more…after the break!


Florida and Louisville will each have stars representing its football team at the pre-game coin toss. On the Gators’ side will be former running back Emmitt Smith and former quarterback Danny Wuerffel. On the Cardinals’ side will be boxing legend Muhammad Ali and former linebacker Tom Jackson.


» Strong is one of five former Florida coaches or players on Louisville’s primary coaching and support staff. Joining him are Vance Bedford (defensive coordinator), Kenny Carter (running backs/special teams), Tommy Restivo (defensive backs) and Pat Moorer (strength & conditioning).
» There are three former Gators on the Cardinals roster including cornerback Adrian Bushell, tight end Gerald Christian and wide receiver Robert Clark. Christian and Clark transferred this season and are unavailable to play.
» Florida sophomore fullback Hunter Joyer’s older brother Kamran Joyer is a Louisville offensive lineman.


» Active (2): Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Leon Orr (infection), freshman tight end Colin Thompson (foot)
» Inactive (8): Redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins (shoulder), redshirt sophomore guard Ian Silberman (shoulder), junior defensive back Cody Riggs (foot), junior long snapper Drew Ferris (collarbone), redshirt freshman guard Tommy Jordan (shoulder), junior Buck LB Ronald Powell (ACL), redshirt junior defensive end Kedric Johnson (knee), senior defensive lineman Nick Alajajian (knee)

* As of Wednesday at 1 p.m.


National championship hopes thrown out the window, Florida is now playing for pride and to send the senior class out on a high note. The Gators are looking to conclude the season with 12 wins for the sixth time in program history and have a chance to match USC and Ohio State for the most BCS bowl victories (six) since the system began in 1998. A loss to Georgia ruined Florida’s chances of winning any titles in 2012, but a victory in the Sugar Bowl would give Muschamp and his players the opportunity to lift a prestigious trophy and start the new year off with a bang. The Gators will be a national title contender in 2013 and have a chance to make a major statement.

Rolling along and hoping to complete a perfect season, Louisville faltered in November and lost consecutive games. The Cardinals still managed to win the Big East and grab a BCS bid. Participating in a major bowl game for just the second time in school history, Louisville wants to prove that the program has returned to being a national power. Strong has an opportunity to register a signature victory in just his third year as a head coach while defeating the school where he coached for nearly half of his career. The Cardinals are a 14-point underdog heading into the game and also want to dispel notions that they do not deserve a spot in a BCS bowl game by taking it to the Gators.


  1. Joonas says:

    Love you Charlie Strong, but I hope the Gators lay a beating on the Cardinals.

  2. Ken (CA) says:

    only 12 TO in a season is pretty amazing, especially if you consider half of them occurred in a single game

  3. Basshole says:

    I can’t wait for this game to get underway. Go Gators!

  4. Basshole says:

    What the hell is going on? I can’t say I’m that surprised by our offensive struggles but I’m shocked the defense is playing this badly. I was hoping we would not come out flat but it looks like I was wrong. Hopefully we can turn it around in the second half.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Tell me about it! what happened to our pass defense? We played some great passing QBs this season, and none chewed us up like this, especially on 3rd down, most of them long!

    • Ken (CA) says:

      and take away the pick 6 to open the game and the silly onsides kick/30 yds personal fouls to open 2nd half (even tho they didn’t score, screwed with rhythm and field position) this would be a lot more interesting and a very differently called offense in 2nd half by florida. They did nothing to wear down oponent conditioning this game, they let them be on the field all the time then hurry up offense and get off again so nothing to wear down the D

  5. g8ter27 says:

    This is gonna boost some NFL stock in defensive players

  6. deehunny says:

    Yes, it was thoroughly depressing. The D showed up literally for 3-4 plays tonight and then a block. Obviously we didn’t want it as much as Louisville. Depressing.

  7. deehunny says:

    Ask and I didn’t even want to discuss the 3 onside kicks this games. Risking too much too early, like all hope was lost. Grr.

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