Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl: Louisville (6-6) vs. Southern Miss (8-4)

December, 21, 2010
12/21/10
9:00
AM ET
Here is a quick preview of the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl between Louisville and Southern Miss tonight from St. Petersburg, Fla.

WHO TO WATCH: Southern Miss QB Austin Davis. The junior has been on a tear of late, and so has the Golden Eagles' offense. Southern Miss scored 40-plus points in seven of its last eight games, and much of that is because Davis has grown more comfortable in the offense after missing a good chunk of last season with a foot injury. Davis needs just 102 yards to go over 3,000 yards passing this season, and let us not forget that he is a rushing threat as well. The Golden Eagles are one of 13 FBS programs that are averaging over 200 yards per game in both rushing and passing.

WHAT TO WATCH: Southern Miss run D vs. Bilal Powell. The Golden Eagles have struggled as a defense of late, but they have been pretty decent at stopping the run. That is going to be crucial against Powell, who is No. 10 in the country in rushing, averaging 121 yards a game. Southern Miss ranks No. 13 in rushing defense, limiting its opponents to 113.3 yards per game. Heading into its final game, Southern Miss has allowed the fewest rushing yards since the 2001 team allowed just 101.5 yards per contest to finish that season.

WHY TO WATCH: Classic matchup of one of the best defenses in the country (Louisville) vs. one of the top offenses (Southern Miss). The Golden Eagles are usually very entertaining, while Charlie Strong has done a great job in his first season with the Cardinals.

PREDICTION: Southern Miss 30, Louisville 27. Yes, a good defense usually trumps a good offense, but Southern Miss is taking this challenge in a big way. The last time the Golden Eagles faced a good defense, they won -- 31-21 over UCF. The Knights have the best defense in Conference USA, and rank No. 18 in the country in total D. Louisville is No. 12.

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