This is Numbers to Know, a compilation of the statistical miscellany most likely to have an influence on the outcome of this evening's Belk Bowl between your Georgia Bulldogs and the Louisville Cardinals. I am eschewing the number of motorcycle accidents in which Bobby Petrino has been involved (1) and the number of FOIA requests filed by Arkansas boosters during his tenure in the Natural State (6,738,957) in favor of other, more predictive data. Like the following:
35. The number of rushing touchdowns scored by Georgia this season, second all-time only to the 39 notched by the 1971 squad.
9. Total number of rushing touchdowns surrendered by the Louisville defense this season. That's an impressive number, no matter what conference you play in. That bring said I'm not sure Louisville has yet faced a team that can line up and pound it like this Bulldog unit, especially after a month off to get healthy.
5th. Louisville's national rank right now in total defense. That's also where Georgia's defense was ranked at the conclusion of Todd Grantham's first season in Athens (2011). The law of diminishing returns is real, and it is spectacular, Cardinal fans.
93.67. Average rushing total surrendered by Louisville on the season. This total stands in stark contrast to the 255.0 the Red and Black has averaged on the year. This game is truly a matter of an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. I have no idea who wins, but I sort of like the Bulldogs' chances.
54.8. The somewhat anemic combined completion percentage of Louisville freshman quarterbacks Reggie Bonnafon and Kyle Bolin. I think that with the layoff since their last game and the chance to make an impression heading into 2015 one or both of these young men is going to make a fantastically bad decision with the football at some point this evening. The question will be whether Georgia can capitalize on it.
320. The number of rushing yards tallied by Bonnafon before a knee injury against Kentucky that forced Bolin into the starting spot. It will be interesting to see if he's able to take off on that leg. If so it will be a worrisome additional dimension for the Georgia defense to be aware of.
25. The total number of interceptions snagged this year by the Louisville defense.
14. The borderline obscene number of those 25 attributable to Thorpe Award-winning safety Gerod Holliman, who announced already that he's leaving for the NFL. I don't expect John Lilly to test Holliman unless it's necessary. If he does, you'll hear me screaming "RUN THE DANG BALL LILLY!!!!" from miles away.
We'll be back shortly with the First Half Open Comment Thread. Until then....