Posts Tagged ‘Beef O’Brady’s Bowl free picks’

Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Picks: Louisville vs. Southern Mississippi

December 20th, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Picks: Louisville vs. Southern Mississippi

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The Louisville Cardinals fought long and hard all season long to beat the college football odds often enough to make it to the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, FL. The Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles had an up and down season, but they were certainly one of the best teams in a very respectable Conference USA. These two are going to be in the Sunshine State on Tuesday, December 21st to continue the bowl season. Check of these three keys to the game for these two teams as they get ready to wage war against each other and before you make your Beef O’Brady’s picks.

Key #1: Bilal Powell must be strong for the Cardinals
Louisville thought that it was going to be a team that was based on the pass all season long, but Head Coach Charlie Strong really found a diamond in the rough in the form of Bilal Powell. Powell, who hadn’t rushed for even 400 yards in a season prior to this, busted out for easily the biggest year of his life, rushing for 1,330 yards and ten TDs. The rushing attack was great for the Redbirds all season long, averaging 181.9 yards per game, ranking No. 32 in the land. With Adam Froman dealing with a leg injury, Powell is going to be the man in charge of this offense. Southern Miss had one of the best defenses in Conference USA this year against opposing ground games, allowing just 109.8 yards per game. One way or the other, this is going to be the biggest key for both teams, as Powell won’t just be providing points to the game, but will be keeping that potent SMS offense off of the field.

Beef O’Brady’s Bowl Odds at BetUS Sportsbook
Louisville Cardinals -2.5
Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles +2.5
Over/Under 57
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Key #2: The “better” SMS defense has to be the one that comes to play
We’ve mentioned how great the Golden Eagles were against the rush this year, but part of the reason for that is because teams have been destroying their secondary all year long. They gave up 248.8 yards per game through the air, ranking No. 103 in the nation. This defense was torched for at least 41 points five times this year, including basically every game against a rock solid offense. Louisville, at least by Big East standards, didn’t have a great ‘O’ this year, but there’s no telling what could happen when you pit these teams against each other from these different conferences, especially when you’re talking about bowl games with weeks and weeks to prepare for the games. However, we know if the bad ‘D’ that allowed 56 points to the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the finale of the regular season, the Golden Eagles really don’t stand even half of a chance of winning this game.

Key #3: The passing game has to get something going for the Golden Eagles
This is going to be a fantastic showdown between these two units. The Golden Eagles have one of the most dynamic offenses in the country, and the argument could be made that this might be the best SMS offense in the school’s history. There weren’t a ton of teams that averaged at least 200 yards per game both through the air and on the ground. QB Austin Davis has rushed for 436 yards and has thrown for 2,898 yards. He really only had a few games to really be disappointed with, and for every game that was a dud, he had at least one that was a real stud effort. The ground game for the Golden Eagles is likely to at least something going, as there are just too many good rushers on this team, including RB Kendrick Hardy, RB Desmond Johnson, and RB Tracey Lampley, all of which had at least 350 yards on the year. Davis needs to be a rock in this one and work the ball around to all of his targets. The Big East wasn’t a fantastic passing league this year, which probably skews some of the numbers for the Louisville passing defense. Still, this is no mistake the Strong came over from the University of Florida and immediately made this defense a formidable one. The Cards averaged allowing just 162.5 yards per game this year, ranking No. 9 in the country.