Louisville Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Louisville Cardinals
Big East


Louisville started the 2012 campaign with nine consecutive wins. They may not have been the most impressive or dominating wins, but they were wins. When the schedule got tougher, the Cardinals faltered. First was a 26-45 loss to Syracuse on the road. Then there was a home loss to Connecticut. That could have been enough to allow Rutgers to win the conference’s BCS bid. But the Scarlet Knights failed to capitalize, setting up a winner take all finale. With Louisville losing two games in a row and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater dealing with some injuries, the Cardinals could have had trouble on the road. But Coach Charlie Strong pulled his team together and Louisville came away with the huge win.

2012 Record: 10-2, 5-2
Coach: Charlie Strong
Coach Bowl Record: 1-2

Big Wins: 10/26 Cincinnati (34-31), 11/29 at Rutgers (20-17)
Bad Losses: 11/10 at Syracuse (26-45), 11/24 Connecticut (20-23)

Louisville is most comfortable when the ball is in the air. Offensively, Bridgewater has had a superb season, throwing for 3,452 yards and 25 touchdowns. A wrist injury has limited what Bridgewater can do when it comes to taking snaps under center, but that should be less of an issue by bowl time. If needed, as was the case against Rutgers, Will Stein can come in and take some snaps. He is a veteran quarterback who has the experience to come in whenever he is needed. But Bridgewater is the player who has led this team this year and he will do it again. DeVante Parker, Damian Copeland, Andrell Smith and Eli Rogers are all capable receivers who can make Bridgewater look even better. Parker is the big play receiver, catching 38 passes for 712 yards and nine scores on the season. The Cardinals secondary is a bit young, but they have a great amount of talent. Adrian Bushell is the senior leader and Terell Floyd is emerging as a great complimentary cornerback. With safeties Calvin Pryor and Hakeem Smith helping out, Louisville is a very tough team to throw against.

Jeremy Wright and Senorise Perry have done a fine job running the ball. Together they have scored 20 touchdowns. However, the rushing yardage has been lacking as a whole. Louisville ranks sixth in the Big East and 91st in the nation in rushing offense. Fortunately, Wright and Perry can do enough to open up the passing attack for Bridgewater. The rushing defense has had its share of problems as well. In their loss to Syracuse, Louisville allowed the Orange to rush for 278 yards, while they only tallied 48. Against Connecticut the numbers were not nearly as bad, but the Cardinals did get outrushed 149 yards to 27 yards. When the opposition can establish an effective ground game, Louisville has had some trouble and that is what they need to avoid if they want to leave the Big East with a BCS bowl win.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Jeremy Wright, RB, 740 yards
Passing: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, 3,452 yards
Receiving: DaVante Parker, WR, 712 yards
Tackles: Preston Brown, LB, 96
Sacks: Lorenzo Mauldin, 4.5
Interceptions: Calvin Pryor, S, 2; Terell Floyd, CB, 2; James Burgess, LB, 2

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 134.82 (91st in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 296.45 (26, 2)
Total Offense: 431.27 (44, 3)
Scoring Offense: 32.00 (40, 1)
Rushing Defense: 159.91 (60, 7)
Pass Defense: 185.55 (14, 1)
Total Defense: 345.45 (26, 4)
Scoring Defense: 24.45 (44, 5)
Turnover Margin: .64 (27, 3)
Sacks: 1.73 (77, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 2.09 (75, 6)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    Belk Bowl        North Carolina State (24-31)
2010    Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl    Southern Mississippi (31-28)
2006    Orange Bowl        Wake Forest (24-13)
2005    Gator Bowl        Virginia Tech (24-35)
2004    Liberty Bowl        Boise State (44-40)

*all team stats through 11/24


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