Jan. 3, 2013
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Seniors Adrian Bushell, Mario Benavides, Will Stein and Alex Kupper were today's game captains for the Cardinals.
Louisville made its 17th bowl appearance and third-straight bowl appearance tonight at the Allstate Sugar Bowl. With the win over the Gators, the Cardinals are 8-8-1 all-time in post-season contests.
The three bowl streak is the second-longest in program history. Previously, Louisville made nine straight bowl appearances starting with the 1998 Motor City Bowl and ending with the 2007 Orange Bowl.
Louisville made its second appearance in a BCS game having previously won the 2007 Orange Bowl 24-13 over Wake Forest. Louisville is now tied for the 18th-most BCS appearances. Louisville is tied with Cincinnati for the most BCS appearances by an active member of the BIG EAST Conference and Louisville is the only active member of the BIG EAST Conference to win a BCS game.
Louisville became the 17th program to win multiple BCS games. The Cardinals are one of five programs with a perfect record in BCS games with at least two BCS appearances.
Louisville's 24 points in the first half tied for the second most points scored in the first half in a bowl game. Louisville also scored 24 points in the first half of the Humanitarian Bowl in 1999. The school record for most points scored in the first half of a bowl game was 25 in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl.
The win ends the Cardinals' season at 11-2 and 5-2 in the BIG EAST Conference. The 11 wins marks the most wins for the Cardinals since 2006 when they went 12-1. It also marked the fourth time in school history that Louisville has won 11 or more games in a season.
The 11 wins were the most wins for head coach Charlie Strong, who won a career-best seven regular-season games last year. He ends his third regular season at 25-14.
Head coach Charlie Strong is 2-1 in bowl games during his first three seasons on the sidelines for the Cardinals and captured his first BCS win.
The win was Louisville's third against a top five opponent dating back to 1975.
Louisville's 33 points were the third-most in a bowl game.
Senior Alex Kupper made his 26th-straight start on offense. Senior center Mario Benavides made his 47th-career start and 23rd straight at center. Sophomore Jake Smith had his 25-game start streak snapped on offense. He missed the last couple of days of practice with an illness.
Junior tight end B.J. Butler recorded his first career pass reception on a 23-yard pass in the first quarter and later added a 20-yard reception in the third quarter. Sophomore tight end Jalen Harrington recorded a 16-yard reception in the second quarter for his first career catch.
Junior Jeremy Wright scored from one-yard out in the first quarter for the Cardinals' first rushing touchdown since Wright scored from three-yards out in a win over Temple on Nov. 3 -- a span of three games. It was Wright's 15th career touchdown run and the 10th this season.
Sophomore wide receiver DeVante Parker caught a touchdown pass for the sixth-straight game when he caught a 15-yard reception in the second quarter. It was the 10th of the season, which places him in a three-way tie for second place on the school's single-season list.
Teddy Bridgewater tossed two touchdown passes for the 10th time this season and has registered 27 this year, which ties him with Dave Ragone (2002) for the fourth most in a season. He has 41 for his career, which also places him fifth in school history for career touchdown passes.
Bridgewater completed 20-of-32 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns. He finished the year with 3,718 yards and 27 touchdown passes. For his career, Bridgewater has 5,847 yards passing, which is sixth all-time in school history.
The Cardinals tallied 33 points on the Gators, which was the most allowed this season. Florida yielded 26 points in the regular-season finale versus Florida State.
Junior Hakeem Smith started his 38th-straight game at strong safety for the Cardinals. He has started every contest since the second game of the 2010 campaign.
Sophomore cornerback Terell Floyd recorded his third interception of his career and the third this season and returned it 38 yards for his first career touchdown. The defensive score was the first for the Cardinals this season and the fifth in the three seasons under head coach Charlie Strong. It was the first defensive touchdown since Malcolm Mitchell returned a fumble 36 yards versus Connecticut last season.
Floyd's interception return for a touchdown was Louisville's second interception return for a touchdown in a bowl game. Previously, Joe Welch returned a 65-yard interception for a touchdown versus Long Beach State in the 1970 Pasadena Bowl. It was only Louisville's eighth non-offensive scoring play in bowl history.
Sophomore Calvin Pryor registered his fifth forced fumble on the season when he recorded his first sack of the year in the third quarter
Freshman Sheldon Rankins recorded his first career sack in the third quarter.
The Cardinals totaled three sacks in the win over the Gators.
Sophomore Andrew Johnson picked off his first career pass in the end zone in the fourth quarter against the Gators. After recording seven interceptions in the first 11 games, the Cardinals have totaled four in the last two contests.
Special Teams Notes
Redshirt freshman John Wallace booted a second-quarter field to and added one more to give him 16 for the season. He passed Ron Bell (1989) for the second-most field goals in a season.
Wallace became the first Louisville kicker to make multiple field goals in a bowl game with his 30-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Wallace is 16-of-21 on the season in field goal attempts, but all his misses have been from 40 or more yards.