For Muschamp and most that have followed the build up for this game mst of the thought on their talent revolves around Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and his impressive 2012 season.
“I think the first thing that jumps out is Teddy Bridgewater,” Muschamp said Tuesday. “He's an outstanding player. He's accurate. They put a lot on him at the line of scrimmage as far as the run and pass game. He's very accurate. I think he makes very good decisions. He creates a lot of off rhythm, plays with his legs and he scrambles with the throw. He's not scrambling to run as much as you think. I think just a really good decision maker is what I see.”
Florida has played some very good quarterbacks this year including Georgia’s Aaron Murray and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, and some believe that Bridgewater may be better than any of them.
“That's the respect we have for Teddy,” Muschamp said. “We think he's a really good football player. The film speaks for itself. (The) guy threw for over 3,000 yards, 28 touchdown throws and only six interceptions, (and) makes great decisions with the ball.
“He's by far the leader of their football team. We think he's a really good player.”
“I think he's a guy that's very accurate with the football, because he creates a lot of vertical throws. He's still completing right around 70 percent of his passes… when you turn the tape on, he's very successful with what he wants to do.”
Bridgewater also has some talent around him that makes things go. Receivers DeVante Parker and Damian Copeland combined for over 1300 yards and running back Jeremy Wright has 740 rushing yards and provides another receiving option with 38 catches for 306 yards as well. Muschamp knows Louisville has a mriad of ways to attack on offense.
“(They have) a really talented receiving corps,” Muschamp said. “You look at Parker and Wright and Copeland, all three guys that can make plays in space. Parker, is a guy that had nine touchdown receptions this year. Jeremy Wright has done a nice job filling in at running back position.
”Shawn Watson is a guy I have a lot of respect for, offensive coordinator… being able to spread the field to get his best athletes on the field.
“They like to move you, double down the red zone. They do a great job. (They are) the number one red zone offense in the country. No question they've certainly moved the ball offensively well versus everyone they've played.
With Charlie Strong at the helm of the Cardinals, the Louisville defense has been stout and Muschamp expects nothing less.
”I think defensively Charlie's background speaks for itself,” Muschamp said. “I think they only had one senior starting, (Adrian) Bushell.
”They have a very young defense, very athletic, (that run) extremely well. Marcus Smith is a guy, a pass rusher that we need to account for as far as protection is concerned.
”(They have) a team that's played very well. You win ten games, you win your league, you've obviously accomplished a lot. You see Charlie's handprints all over their football team as far as how they play… the physicality they play with.”
All of this adds up to a very talented and well coached Louisville team that has the attention of the Florida players and staff. The head coach isn’t buying into the notion that his team believes it will be a cake walk game.
”I think that's hogwash,” Muschamp said. “I don't think there's anything to that at all. I've seen a football team prepared and how they practiced, and we've been physical and we've practiced and prepared the right way. Been on time for everything. Totally in tune with what we're trying to do.
“We're playing a good football team. The film speaks for itself. We have great respect for the opponent. And at the end of the day, regardless of who we play, we take care of it. As long as we take care of it the way we have, we'll play well.
And the Gators will play in their first BCS bowl game in three years and get what is going on.
“I think that our guys understand what's at stake,” Muschamp said. “They understand this is a big game for our university and for our football team and an opportunity to be the sixth team in U.F. history to win 12 games. So I think we understand what's at stake.”
Florida does have the added pressure of being a prohibitive favorite in the contest. Pressure is just part of what makes these players come to the University of Florida.
”Every game is important,” Muschamp said. “As a competitor I don't care what you're doing… want to go play in the parking lot, it's important. As a competitor you want to play. That's the way our football team approaches the game. With the University of Florida there's a lot of pressure in every game. We're expecting to win them all.”