by CFP Staff
January 3, 2012
Terell Floyd intercepted Jeff Driskel on the first play of the game and returned it 39 yards for a Louisville touchdown to set the stage for a shocking 33-23 upset of Florida in the Sugar Bowl on Wednesday night (January 2).
The two touchdown favored Gators (10.96 according to the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com) never recovered as former Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong's Cardinals scored on each of their first four possessions to take a 30-10 lead. It could have been worse as a pair of third quarter field goal attempts went awry when a 43-yarder was missed and a 41-yarder was blocked.
For the game, Florida had three possessions end in turnovers and four more on punts. The Cardinals didn't punt for the first time until there was under 7 minutes left in the game.
Florida's highlight was a 102-yard kickoff return in the 4th quarter after Louisville had increased its lead to 33-10 on a 30-yard field goal. The field goal came after Florida had driven to the Louisville 9, only to have Driskel throw his second interception of the game. A touchdown on that drive by the Gators would have cut the cap to 13 points with roughly 14 minutes left in the game, but like everything else for Florida on this night, it wasn't to be.
Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater was 20-of-32 for 265 and 2 touchdowns, and Jeremy Wright ran for 83 yards and a score. For Florida, Driskel finished 16-of-29 for 172 yards with 1 TD to go with the 2 INT's.
SEC teams have lost three of the last four Sugar Bowl they've played in with Utah downing Alabama (2008 season), Ohio State beating Arkansas (2010) and now Louisville taking down Florida.
Both teams finish the season 11-2 while Louisville improved to 8-8-1 in bowl games and Florida fell to 20-20.
Louisville is now 2-0 in BCS bowl games, having also defeated Wake Forest in the 2006 season Orange Bowl.
Florida had won its last 4 bowl games coming into this Sugar Bowl contest, as well its last 4 BCS bowls. The BCS bowl streak included national titles in 2006 and 2008. The Gators are now 5-2 in BCS bowls.