Here are some fun facts and figures about tonight's matchup between No. 3 Florida and No. 21 Louisville in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:
Florida ranks in the top five in FBS in scoring defense and total defense entering bowl season. The Gators have allowed 11 plays of 25 yards or longer, four fewer than any other FBS team, and are the only team that has not allowed a rush of at least 25 yards.
PPG: 12.9 (ranks third nationally)
Yards per play: 4.3 (3rd)
25-plus-yard plays: 11 (1st)
Third-down conversion percent: 28.3 (4th)
Florida is the only FBS team that has not given up a run of 25 yards or longer this season. The longest run allowed by the Gators was 24 yards by Morgan Newton (Kentucky).
Florida has 58 missed tackles this season, fewest in the SEC and the third fewest among AQ schools. The Gators missed a season-high 13 tackles in their final game of the season against Florida State. Entering that game, they had not missed more than seven tackles in a game.
Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel is averaging 9.4 yards per rush on designed running plays this season, including 10.6 yards per rush on zone reads. He has scored all four of his touchdowns on called running plays, including three touchdowns of 10 yards or longer against Vanderbilt. Driskel has also been effective when the play breaks down, averaging 8 yards per rush when forced to scramble out of the pocket.
Louisville has fallen behind in nine of its 12 games this season. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has fared well when his team is trailing, leading the Cardinals to victory in seven of those nine instances. Bridgewater has a plus-11 touchdown-to-interception differential when trailing, tied for third-best in FBS.
Bridgewater Passing When Trailing
Completion percent: 67.0
Yards per attempt: 8.8
Pass efficiency: 161.7
Bridgewater has been even better when trailing late in games, leading the Cardinals to three come-from-behind victories in the fourth quarter or overtime. He is completing 66.7 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and one interception when trailing in the fourth quarter or overtime this season.
Florida has trailed at halftime in five of its 12 games this season, but has gone on to win four of those games. Notably, Florida came back to beat Texas A&M and LSU early in the season. All season, the Gators have been better in the second half than the first. Florida has a plus-50 point differential in the first half. That number jumps to plus-116 in the second half, the fifth-largest second-half differential in FBS.
Florida also trailed or was tied entering the fourth quarter in five of its 12 games this season. The Gators outscored its opponents 55-16 in the fourth quarter in those games. They held those five teams to a combined 383 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Louisville’s offense has about a 50-50 run-to-pass ratio this season (50.1 to 49.9 to be exact), which has resulted in long, efficient touchdown drives. Louisville has scored 13 touchdowns that have lasted five minutes or longer, tied for the most in FBS with Georgia Tech. The Cardinals have at least one such touchdown drive in nine of their 12 games this season.
5-minute TD drives: 13 (tied for first nationally)
10-play TD drives: 17 (t-8th)
80-yd TD drives: 16 (t-3rd)
Florida has allowed 17 touchdowns, second fewest in FBS. Three of the 17 touchdowns were on drives of 80 yards or longer. Overall, the Gators have allowed opponents to score on 11 percent of its possessions. Only Notre Dame has a better opponent touchdown percentage this season.
Florida is the only AQ team that has not allowed a touchdown pass thrown at least 15 yards downfield this season. The Gators’ opponents have eight interceptions on such passes, tied for fifth most among AQ teams. By comparison, Bridgewater has 10 touchdowns and two interceptions on the same throws.
THROWS OF 15-PLUS YARDS
Completion percentage: 45.7
Yards per attempt: 14.8
Completion percentage: 25.0
Yards per attempt: 6.9