Russell Athletic Bowl 2013: Miami Hurricanes Keys to Victory Over Louisville

Miami's Keys to Victory Over Louisville

12/28/13 in NCAAF   |   Nick_Kaminsky   |   29 respect

Miami (Fla.) will face off with No. 18 Louisville in the Russell Athletic Bowl tonight in Orlando. The matchup will be a preview for Louisville’s entrance to the ACC next season, featuring Teddy Bridgwater: an initial Hurricane commit and native of Miami (FL). This could be his last collegiate game ever, while most are speculating he’ll enter the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Blog Photo - Russell Athletic Bowl 2013: Miami Hurricanes Keys to Victory Over Louisville

This bowl game also has significance for Al Golden and his Hurricanes. It'll be the first opportunity for the team to participate in postseason play after the self imposed bowl bans, in result of the highly covered Nevin Shapiro scandal. This showdown with the Cardinals also gives Miami a chance to reach its first 10-win season since 2003 and the opportunity to win its first bowl game since 2006, when it won the MPC Computers Bowl.

Here are my three keys to the game for Miami:

1. Put pressure on Bridgewater early and often

The Hurricanes must get pressure on Teddy Bridgewater. More importantly, they need to be able to get to him with a four man rush. Anthony Chickillo and Shayon Green have to make an impact on the edge for the Canes. Coach Golden stressed several times that they have to make Bridgewater uncomfortable for them to come out with a win.

“He’ll pick you apart if you just stay in one coverage or if you don't put any pressure on him,” Al Golden said during Friday’s press conference.

If Miami’s front seven plays well, it gives the secondary a chance to slow down Louisville’s dangerous receiving core.

2. Let Dallas Crawford and the offensive line get into a rhythm

Louisville’s defensive line is hyped to be the best unit of the defense, respectably so. However, this defense hasn’t faced an offensive line as strong as Miami’s. 

“In our four years that we've been here, it's the best offense our defense will match up with, the best offense that we've seen since I've been here in our four years,” Charlie Strong stated Friday.

If Miami stays committed to running the ball, it’ll open up big play opportunities for Stephen Morris.

3. Get Stacy Coley the ball 

Stacy Coley has been Miami’s big playmaker since Duke Johnson was injured in the Florida State game, and he will be relied upon even more with fellow wide out Herb Waters out for the bowl. Also, senior leading wide receiver Allen Hurns is questionable for the game, showing up to Friday’s Russell Athletic Bowl Kickoff Luncheon in a boot. Coley’s speed should present problems for the Card’s secondary; it’s up to Miami to exploit it.

*All quotes were obtained first hand.
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