Miami (9-3) vs. No. 18 Louisville (11-1), 6:45 p.m. EST (ESPN).
Line: Louisville by 3 1/2.
Series record: Miami leads 9-1-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
The 18th-ranked Cardinals missed out on their second straight BCS bowl berth, but can join the 2006 team as the only other squad to post 12 wins in a season. Louisville junior Teddy Bridgewater also has a chance to tie the school record of 27 wins for a starting quarterback. The highly-rated NFL prospect says he will decide after the season whether or not to forgo his senior year and enter the draft. Miami is back playing in the postseason for the first time since 2010 after a self-imposed bowl ban in 2011 and 2012 because of an NCAA investigation. The game is a preview of future conference foes with Louisville joining the ACC next season.
Louisville passing attack vs. Miami secondary. Louisville's offense has thrived this season primarily on the arm of Bridgewater, who threw for 28 touchdowns and more than 3,500 yards. The Cardinals passing offense ranks 18th in the nation (302.9 yards per game), and racks up 13 yards a completion. Miami's has at times been vulnerable defending the pass, allowing just 233.4 yards per game through the air, which ranks 71st in the country.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Miami: The Hurricanes do have players capable of disrupting the Cardinals passing attack. It starts with LB Denzel Perryman, who leads the team with 104 tackles and DL Shayon Green, who has 10.5 tackles for a loss on the year. CB Tracy Howard (four interceptions) will also be called upon to have a big game. On offense Miami will look to QB Stephen Morris, who has thrown for more than 2,800 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Louisville: It starts with Bridgewater who, in addition to posting his second straight 3,500-yard passing season, had a touchdown pass in all but one game in 2013. One of his favorite targets, WR DeVante Parker, also managed to post a career-high 46 catches for 743 yards and 10 TDs. DE Marcus Smith has had at least one sack in each of the Cardinals last four games and seven of their last eight.
FACTS & FIGURES
Louisville has scored at least 20 points in 28 straight games. ...Louisville has 26 players on its roster from the Miami area. ...The Cardinals are 1-2 all-time against ACC teams under coach Charlie Strong. ... Bridgewater (28 TDs in 2013) is approaching Brian Brohm's single-season school-record of 30 set in 2007. ...Miami is 19-17 all-time in bowl games. ...The Hurricanes have lost their previous three bowl games. Their last bowl victory was in 2006 against Nevada in the MPC Computers Bowl. ... Miami enters the Russell Athletic Bowl after the school's first nine-win season since 2009.