Gators will finish strong

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Having covered Charlie Strong for most of the years he was at Florida, I think it’s pretty safe to assume he has crafted a great defensive game plan for the Sugar Bowl. If there are any doubts about that, just look back to the 2008 BCS Championship Game, when he came up with a great game plan that pretty much shut down an Oklahoma offense that had gone up and down the field against everybody in the regular season.

Strong is going to make it tough on the Gators. His Louisville team will be prepared, it will play hard, it will come out with a chip on its shoulder determined to prove it belongs in a BCS bowl game and can compete, and beat, a quality SEC team.

Strong loves defense. But it’s the Cardinals’ offense that is the strength of this team. Teddy Bridgewater is a great passer, great quarterback and gritty competitor who led the Cardinals to a season-defining victory over Rutgers playing with an injured wrist and a sprained ankle. The guy makes plays and leads his team, and he’s been on a real roll over the last half of the season, averaging more than 300 yards passing a game.

This is going to be yet another tough challenge for the Gators. Mainly because of the Strong factor and the Bridgewater factor and the fact Louisville fans might outnumber Gator fans 2-1 in the Superdome.

But there are several reasons why I like the Gators even more in this game. Being around the players this week in New Orleans, the Gators seem focused and determined to play one of their best games of the season. And, Florida clearly has a lot of momentum coming off the impressive win at Tallahassee a month ago. Jeff Driskel’s confidence is growing, the offense is starting to develop into what Brent Pease wants it to be and the defense may be the strongest the Gators have had in many years.

And here’s the biggest reason of all to go with the Gators in this one: Florida is better than Louisville. Better and faster and battle-tested after grinding its way through a tough SEC season.

Prediction: Florida 28, Louisville 10

17 COMMENTS

  1. Robbie, you guys should post Pete Thamel’s SI recap of the FSU game. It’s a great read for Gators and I’m going to make sure all the Noles I know get a chance to peruse it, too. I laughed all the way through it!

  2. SEC Championships: Alabama 23 – Florida 8
    Undefeated seasons: Alabama 13 – Florida 1 (in 1911 5-0-1)
    Ten win seasons: Alabama 32 – Florida 12
    Head to Head: Alabama 23- Florida 14
    Last 3 games: Alabama 101 – Florida 29
    “I don’t always drink tears, but when I do, I prefer Tim Tebow tears”

  3. NOLE4EVER78

    Took care of u straight up…and on your reservation. Now it’s “Doak Campbell stadium @ Ron Zook – Will Muschamp Field” . Enjoy your “Gator Hate”… and get used to it… Spurrier said it best… If they ain’t hating..than you ain’t winning… Oh.. hows that recruiting going?

    Strong and Louisville came in ready and waxed us… He woulda done the very same to u…

  4. Darrin Kitchins for President!! That’s a guy you can build a team around. He stood alone – absolutely by himself – and sang the fight song with the band after the Louisville loss. That is leadership and class. His weak teammates should watch a video of it if they want to see sportsmanship, fighting spirit, and far more important things than any football game!! Way to go Darrin.

  5. Dennis-What you and gator nation need to be worried about is the way your players acted like totally undisciplined thugs and all they did well that night was beat their chest after every play. They are a bunch of selfish individuals and that goes straight back to Mushchamp. Period!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Gotta agree with Nole on the last comment. It was embarrassing the way our boys danced around after a routine tackle. But, it may turn out to be the best thing to have happened for Muschamp and the Gators.

  7. I agree with Nolie we had a bunch of guys that acted like they wanted to make the pros in one night. I wouldn’t say thugs that is pretty harsh, and none were arrested on any violent crimes. But I do think it was a night that proves a great team effort will beat individual effort every time. We in Gator Nation are not concerned with that game, it should and will be a lesson to a young coach. On the other hand we are also not worried because we will beat FSU as long as you have the arrogant Jimbo Fisher calling your plays, and good luck when Louisville joins the ACC and Bridgewater is a senior. Way to early prediction Louisville 37 FSU 26 LOL

  8. Funny Uf and Alabama have win records of Uf 292 since 1980.Bama 295 since 1980.Had I of subtracted vacated wins by both schools Uf would win by more than 30 games.Using 80 as when the Gators got serious about Football.What if the A.C. as invented in the 1880’s.

  9. Yeah, just cut off time wherever it benefits you the most Marty McFly. Right after two of the most dominating decades of Bama football ever. We aren’t talking 1880s here…or even 20s/30s.
    10 AP/UPI/BCS titles in the last 50 years!