2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Preview
Georgia and Central Florida will square off on December 31st in Memphis, Tennessee for the 2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl. The Georgia Bulldogs started the season 1-5, but were able to put together some wins down the stretch to become bowl eligible at 6-6. Central Florida went 7-1 in conference play and ended the season with an overall record of 10-3. UCF won the Conference USA title this year by beating SMU in the championship game on December 4th.
When Central Florida has the Ball
The UCF Knights finished the season ranked 24th in scoring at 33.8 points per game. Quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey put together a great season as a freshman. Godfrey had 2042 yards passing with 13 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Godfrey also showed that he could run the ball this year gaining 546 yards on the ground and 9 rushing touchdowns. Ronnie Weaver had the most carries for the Knights this season and finished the year with 185 carries for 890 yards and 11 touchdowns. Sophomore Latavius Murray began to see more carries towards the end of the season and averaged 5.7 yards per carry on his way to 533 yards on the ground. If the trend continues Murray should see the majority of the carries against Georgia.
The Georgia Bulldogs defense played well this year giving up 23.1 points per game on average. The Bulldogs were lead on defense by linebacker Justin Houston. The junior linebacker played well enough this season to be named a second team All-American by the AP. Georgia’s size and athleticism on defense should help them in shutting down Central Florida’s run attack.
When Georgia has the Ball
The Bulldogs offense was slightly better than Central Florida’s this year scoring 34.3 points per game. Like their opponent in the Liberty Bowl, Georgia was lead this season by a freshman quarterback. Aaron Murray played very well as a freshman with 2851 yards, 24 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions. Half of the interceptions Murray threw this year came in a game against Florida on October 30th. Murray has the luxury of throwing to A.J. Green, one of most talented receivers in the country. Green is 6’4″ and has the ability to go up an make plays for his young quarterback. The junior wide receiver 771 yards and 9 touchdowns in the eight games he played this year.
Central Florida ranked 12th in the nation in scoring defense giving up only 18 points per game this season. The Knights have a good defense, but they probably aren’t as good as their numbers look. Central Florida took advantage of their soft schedule this season and beat the teams they were supposed to beat. Central Florida played the team that ranked second to last in scoring this season, Memphis, and played another team, Marshall, that ranked 100th in scoring offense.
2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Prediction
The game between Georgia and Central Florida will be a fun one to watch. Both teams have freshman quarterbacks on the field against solid defenses. I think the big difference maker is going to be Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green. Central Florida will have trouble matching up against Green’s size, strength, and speed. Look for Georgia to throw Green’s way early and often. I wouldn’t be surprised if Green finished with 10 catches, 150 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
Prediction: Georgia 31 – Central Florida 24