Louisville rallies, beat Southern Miss 31-28.
1. Louisville CB Johnny Patrick: The corner had an interception, forced fumble, and a blocked field goal attempt to help the Cards get the win.
2. Southern Miss QB Austin Davis: The Southern Miss Qb passed for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns, while also catching another TD on a trick play.
3. Louisville QB Justin Burke: The normal backup completed 20 of 32 passes for 2 touchdowns to help the Cards rally.
Nice win for the Cards in their first season under Charlie Strong.
|Big East vs. C-USA|| St. Petersburg, Fla.
| Dec. 21
The Golden Eagles have a dynamic offense led by QB Austin Davis. Southern Miss has 3 of their 4 losses by 6 points or less, including 2 by 1 point. They are averaging 37.6 points per game. Austin Davis has many great receivers to throw to including Kelvin Bolden, who has 667 receiving yards, and Quentin Pierce. Also, there is a great threat at tight end in Johdrick Morris. Morris has 663 yards and 4 touchdowns. Southern Miss can also run the ball. Kendrick Hardy and Desmond Johnson both have 7 rushing touchdowns and Hardy has rushed for 855 yards. It will be tough to stop the high flying Golden Eagle offense.
The Louisville defense has been tremendous under first year head coach Charlie Strong. They are 15th in the country, giving up only 18.7 points a game. It will be strength on strength in South Florida. They will blitz and bring pressure. They had 9 sacks against Rutgers. Freshman SS Hakeem Smith has 80 tackles to lead the Cards. CB Johnny Patrick has 5 interceptions for Louisville. Look for the Louisville line to try and get pressure, and let the secondary make some plays.
The pick: I like Southern Mississippi to win this game. The Golden Eagles have been improving all season on offense and I think QB Austin Davis will have a big game. Offense beats defense in this case.
This pick has been made by bowlseason.yolasite.com and therefore will be correct.
But if you disagree or agree with me send and email to firstname.lastname@example.org saying who you think will win and why and I'll post it....
BS: Its obvious it was a huge turnaround from 1-6 Big East campaign last year. How much of that can be attributed to Charlie Strong? What has he meant to this team?
Charlie Springer: brought a new attitude with him to Louisville from Florida, along with a number of top flight assistants, including Vance Bedford, who had worked him at Florida (defensive backs) as his defensive coordinator.
BS:What can you say about the running game led by Blair Powell? And the performance of Adam Froman?And the offense in general?
Charlie Springer: Bilal Powell, a senior, chalked up 1,401 yards rushing at running back, crossing the goal line 10 times. He missed a game to injury near the end of the season, but was back in full force for the final two games against South Florida and Rutgers, picking up 140 yards and 123 yards, respectively.
Adam Froman missed the last four games after incurring a bruised thigh against Pittsburgh. He completed 132 of 218 passing attempts (60.6%), including 11 touchdowns while he was healthy. He has shown an ability to run against teams that overlook his speed. Not a great scrambler, however.
BS: The defense hasn't given up more than 21 points since the Cincinnati game. How much has it improved?
Charlie Springer: The defense is the most and surprising and consistent element in this team, continuing to improve all season, keeping Louisville in games when the offense was falling short. Smaller than the average defensive unit, the defense relies on its speed and a variety of blitzing attacks to keep opposing quarterbacks off balance. Would you believe nine sacks against Rutgers in the final game?
BS: If you had too choose one player who you think will break out in the bowl game, who would it be?
Charlie Springer: The player to watch is Bilal Powell, who became a totally different player under Charlie Strong, who remember Powell as a dynamic high school player in Florida. He met with Powell last spring, discussing his disappointment with Powell's grades and his performance on the field. They called his mother, and Strong threatened to send Powell home. After that session, Powell was never the same.
Thanks a lot to Mr. Springer. Check him out at uoflcardgame.com .
BS: 3 Southern Mississippi players were shot 3 weeks ago. Can you update their conditions? Also, how did the team stay focused amidst all the tragedy?
Patrick Magee: Two of the players, Tim Green and Deddrick Jones, are supposed to be here in St. Petersburg for the bowl game. Both are in good shape in their recoveries. Martez Smith is the player who is paralyzed from the waist down and he had another surgery this week, so it's unlikely he will be able to make the trip. But things are looking up for all three players.
BS: The offense was great, averaging over 37 points per game. How valuable has QB Austin Davis been and please comment on the offense in general along with some personnel.
Patrick Magee: Davis has been the real leader on offense for the Eagles, and is playing his best football headed into the bowl game. He improves as a passer each week, and he's a good athlete. He has three really good options at receiver in Quentin Pierce, Kelvin Bolden and tight end Johdrick Morris. DeAndre Brown is the best athlete at the receiver spot for USM, but he has battled injuries all year long. The backfield has really come into focus for the Eagles in recent weeks with Kendrick Hardy, Desmond Johnson and Tracy Lampley each playing well. Hardy is a redshirt freshman who seems destined for stardom.
BS: The defense has struggled. What has been their main problem? Who are the units top players?
Patrick Magee: For the defense, it's really a matter where they need to come through in the clutch. USM is about 10 points away from being an 11-1 team, and a big reason for that is the inability to stop teams in crucial situations. The talent is there, but it's just a deal where they have to stop blowing assignments and they have to maintain focus throughout a game.
BS: If you could choose one player to have a breakout performance in the bowl game, who would it be?
Patrick Magee: I'd have to pick receiver Quentin Pierce. He battled injuries much of the season, but he's very healthy headed into the bowl game.
Thanks a lot to Patrick Magee of the Hattiesburg American. Check him out at hattiesburgamerican.com