Sugar Bowl 2013: Teddy Bridgewater Will Crumble vs. Daunting Florida Defense

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistJanuary 1, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 24:  Teddy Bridgewater of the Louisville Cardinals throws a pass during the game against the Connecticut Huskies at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on November 24, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Teddy Bridgewater led the Louisville Cardinals to 10 wins this season, but he hasn't faced a defense like the Florida Gators.

Units like that simply don't exist in the Big East, and Bridgewater won't be prepared for it in the Sugar Bowl.

It's not that Bridgewater doesn't have talent, the Big East is just weak. Facing a defense like Florida's without any sort of preparation is barely fair, especially when you consider that it comes during a BCS bowl game.

Louisville's dual-threat quarterback had nearly 3,500 yards and 25 touchdowns this season, but he also had seven interceptions. That's not a huge number, but the game is going to be moving much faster when he steps onto the field across from Will Muschamp's bunch.

Bridgewater is also a capable runner, but that won't be as available either. The Gators have tremendous speed on the defensive side of the ball, and they will have their eyes in the backfield just in case Bridgewater decides that it's time to take off.

The Cardinals will attempt to balance the offense by allowing Senorise Perry to carry the ball 20-plus times. Giving Bridgewater a competent ground game will help in terms of yards gained, but it will also keep the Gators from pinning their ears back on every play.

Too bad Perry won't have room to work either. Once Bridgewater and Co. are forced to play one-dimensional football, that's where the wheels will come off.

This game won't necessarily be a blowout, although the potential is there. The Gators can be just as bad offensively as they are good defensively, but the defense will give them one tremendous advantage.

Because this unit is used to facing SEC-caliber competition, the Cardinals will seem like nothing. Florida's defense has talent at all three levels, and it will come ready to play in the Sugar Bowl.