Thursday, December 26, 2013

U Miami v the Louisville Cardinals - the build up to Saturday's bowl game

Which team will bring its “A” game to the Russell Athletic Bowl game this Saturday?

This is nothing new, it is always a concern at bowl season.  Which team is hungry for a win versus the team simply ‘happy to be there’ and celebrating its way to a lay down loss.

The CNN Bleacher Report subplots:

A budding rivalry as Louisville moves from the American Athletic Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014.

Miami backyard recruiting conflicts, which I describe as Cardinals poaching some South Florida talent in what Howard Schnellenburger originally created “The State of Miami.”  Note that Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was originally a Hurricanes commit (there is more to this story).

The Miami Herald also details this ongoing backyard tug-of-war for So. Fla talent: Louisvillefootball team builds its squad with South Florida pipeline, noting that the Louisville Head Coach has recruited heavily in South Florida; current results being that 24 players Louisville’s roster are from South Florida.

I also like to read the hometown newspapers for the opposing-local slant on the game.  See The Courier-Journal online, Dec 24: Louisville coach Charlie Strong's sales pitch wins over Florida recruits. The Courier-Journal reports that Louisville has 39 from the state on its roster. Many of them hail from the Miami area and, like Rogers, grew up rooting for Saturday’s Russell Athletic Bowl opponent. 

There's also the coaching factor with Louisville head coach Charlie Strong and defensive line coach Clint Hurtt. Strong was the former defensive coordinator at rival Florida, while Hurtt is a former Miami player and assistant who was eventually implicated in the long-running NCAA investigation.

Read and prepare for the game

See today’s coverage in the Miami Herald for its daily lead up coverage to the big game: Disrupting Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is key for Miami in bowl game, there is a little "ouch factor" here in the coverage as Susan Miller Degan's article lead off with: Trying to fluster one of the nation’s most unflappable quarterbacks when you’ve struggled at times against the garden variety is like tackling the Rubik’s Cube when you haven’t quite mastered the jigsaw puzzle.

Go Canes!

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