The Belk Bowl features a great matchup of two top 25 teams going head-to-head with the 13th ranked Georgia Bulldogs facing the 21st ranked Louisville Cardinals on December 30 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Both 9-3 squads will be looking to get that that almighty 10th win of the year.
No. 21 Louisville Cardinals vs No. 13 Georgia Bulldogs
Date: Dec. 31, 2014
Start Time: 6:45 p.m. ET
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Stadium: Bank of America Stadium
TV Info: ESPN
Stream Info: WatchESPN.com
Radio: Louisville Vs Georgia
Point Spread: Bulldogs -7
Game Total: 56
Analyzing The Louisville Vs Georgia 2014 Belk Bowl Line & My Final Score Prediction
Georgia will win the Belk Bowl if
They can control the clock, win the turnover battle – and keep DeVante Parker from toasting them!
The Bulldogs closed out the regular season by winning three of their final four games, although they come into this matchup off a heartbreaking 30-24 overtime loss against Georgia Tech in their regular season finale.
If Georgia wants to win this game over a very good Louisville team, they are going to have to win the time of possession battle, the turnover battle and slow down gifted wide receiver DeVante Parker.
The Bulldogs need to run the ball effectively with SEC Freshman of the Year, Nick Chubb, but they’re going to face a very stout defense that ranks third in the nation against the run (93.7 ypg). The good news for Georgia betting backers is that Chubb rushed for at least 100 yards in every single game he started.
The Bulldogs also need to win the turnover battle against the Cardinals, but that could be easier said than done, seeing as how Louisville led the nation with a whopping 25 interceptions.
Last but not least, Georgia needs to slow down gifted wide receiver DeVante Parker.
The Cardinals scored 30 or more points in five straight games to close out the regular season and it should be noted that the streak began once Parker returned from an injury that cost him the majority of the season. Parker grabbed a team-high 35 catches for 735 yards and five touchdowns despite missing seven contests with a left toe injury.
Louisville will win the Belk Bowl if
They contain Nick Chubb and force Hutson Mason into a couple of turnovers!
If Louisville wants to win the 2014 Belk Bowl, then the Cardinals are going to have to stop Georgia star running back Nick Chubb first and foremost while likely forcing quarterback Hutson Mason into at least one costly turnover and possibly two.
Georgia ran for a conference-leading 35 rushing touchdowns – a figure that is second in school history to only the 39 the 1971 team scored. Chub rushed for at least 100 yards and a touchdown in each of his seven starts after taking over for injured Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Gurley. With one more 100-yard performance against Louisville, Chubb can equal the legendary Herschel Walker for the most rushing scores by a Georgia freshman.
Louisville’s sixth-ranked total defense finished third in the nation against the run, so if any team has a good chance of slowing the elusive Chubb, then it would be a team like the Cardinals.
Louisville gave up just nine rushing touchdowns on the season while also finishing a solid 31st in the country against the pass (199.6 ypg) and leading the country in interceptions with 25.
If the Cardinals can force Georgia Quarterback Hutson Mason into one or two uncharacteristic turnovers…that would undoubtedly go a long way toward helping their cause.
The good news for the Cardinals is that sophomore All-American safety Gerod Holliman led the nation with a stunning 14 interceptions to tie the NCAA single-season mark that Washington star Al Worley set way back in 1968.
Who will win the 2014 Belk Bowl?
I’ll be one million percent honest and admit that this is a very tough pick, seeing as how the Georgia Bulldogs were one of the biggest ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde teams in the nation this season.
Georgia blew out a very good Missouri team 34-0 on Oct. 11, but lost to lowly Florida 38-20 at home no less, just two weeks later. The Dogs’ 34-7 win over Auburn looked very impressive – until they lost two weeks later against an okay Georgia Tech team.
Louisville has been very solid in going 7-2 over their last nine games with their only losses coming against Clemson and Florida State.
Only 35 percent of the betting public like the Louisville Cardinals to even cover the spread as near touchdown underdogs, but I do and I think they can do so by getting the outright win against the Bulldogs.
Georgia had its three-game ATS winning streak snapped in their regular season finale while Louisville had their two-game ATS winning streak snapped in their finale.
I like the Cardinals to cover the spread in a thriller!