Tempers are already flaring as the Big East’s Louisville Cardinals and Conference USA’s Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles prepare to meet in the third annual Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, Florida. Each team was invited to a Beach Bash this past Sunday prior to the contest where they partook in multiple excursions with the fans. Apparently, the festivities culmited in near fisticuffs as the two teams competed in a dance off. The preceding storyline may actually be more interesting than the game Tuesday night as each team hovered near a .500 record all season.

3 Keys from the scouts

1. Maintaining discipline. It may not seem like much, and the story is relatively humorous, but if either of the teams allow its emotions to remain unchecked then it will affect the game itself. Neither team is known for its discipline on the field. Southern Mississippi is ranked 108th in the nation regarding penalties per game (7.67). Surprisingly, Louisville is slightly worse ranked 110th (7.83).

2. Covering the giants. Two of Southern Mississippi’s top targets, Johdrick Morris and DeAndre Brown (injured), are both 6-feet-3-inches or taller. Louisville counters with its own basketball-like player in 6-feet-8-inch (listed) target Jonathan Chichester. Unlike the Golden Eagles; Louisville can lessen the burden in coverage with one of the top senior cornerbacks in the country, Johnny Patrick.

3. Power of Powell. The Cardinals possess a ferocious running attack. Breakout senior performer Balil Powell is a dominant downhill runner who finished the regular season 10th in the nation in rushing with 1330 yards. Aside from Powell’s prodigious production, redshirt freshman Kelvin Bolden and senior Victor Anderson combined for 605 yards to accentuate their 215 pound battery mate. Southern Mississippi’s defense finished 13th in the country giving up a mere 133.33 yards per game, although four teams did manage 200 yards in their respective contests.

Bold Predictions

These two teams met a year ago with only two points proving the difference in Louisville’s favor. The same outcome is highly unlikely. Southern Mississippi has proven weekly it can light up the scoreboard amassing 40 or more points in seven of the team’s past eight games. Louisville does not have the same level of output offensively. Southern Mississippi 42, Louisville 28

Pro-Prospects

Southern Mississippi

Rnd Name Pos Num Yr Comments
5thKorey WilliamsOLB424JrExplosive linebacker that’s developing a complete game.
7-FAQuentin PierceWR853SoSolid possession receiver with reliable hands.
FAMartez SmithOLB325SrFast pursuit linebacker who plays with terrific speed and aggressiveness. Covers a lot of area on the field.
FAJustin WilsonS85SrDownhill safety with average instincts and ball skills.
FAAnthony GrayDT955SrShort, wide bodied blocker that commands double teams in the middle of the line. Does not always play up to his ability and often gives up on the action.
FAJohn HendersonDT484SrWide bodied lineman who makes plays up the field or down the line in pursuit.
FAJonathan MasseyTE194SrStrong blocking tight end that does the little things well.
FAJohdrick MorrisWR835Sr

Louisville

Rnd Name Pos Num Yr Comments
4thJohnny PatrickCB195SrDeveloping cornerback whose game took off this season. Athletic and fast, he’s transitioned well to a fulltime corner.
4thMario BenavidesC553SoQuick, explosive blocker on the pivot that very effective in motion.
5thBilal PowellRB154SrLarge, north/south runner who took his game to another level this season.
6-7Josh ChichesterWR114JrMassive target learning to become a football player.
7-FADoug BeaumontWR274SrFundamentally sound receiver with one speed.
FABrandon HeathOLB54SrPotential weak side/one-gap linebacker best in pursuit.
FAVictor AndersonRB203JrResilient, straight line ball carrier that also excels as a pass catcher out of the backfield.

Game Preview: Brent Sobleski

Prospect Preview:  Tony Pauline