Football

Louisville faces Georgia in Belk Bowl top 20 matchup

Louisville's DeVante Parker ran in for a touchdown against Kentucky in November. Parker missed the first seven games of the season but has five touchdowns in five games since his return.
Louisville's DeVante Parker ran in for a touchdown against Kentucky in November. Parker missed the first seven games of the season but has five touchdowns in five games since his return. Herald-Leader

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — No. 21 Louisville meets No. 13 Georgia on Dec. 30 in a Belk Bowl matchup that matches Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Grantham against his former team.

Grantham was Georgia's defensive coordinator from 2010-13 before taking over the same position at Louisville this season.

It is the fifth consecutive season the Cardinals will play in a bowl game, and the 14th in the last 17 years.

"I am proud of our team's hard work and commitment this season, and playing in Belk Bowl against a nationally ranked SEC team is very exciting for our program," Louisville Coach Bobby Petrino said. "Georgia is a high-quality opponent with a great tradition, and the bowl's first-ever top 20 matchup will definitely be exciting."

Both teams have withstood injuries to key players.

Georgia (9-3) lost running back Todd Gurley to a torn anterior cruciate ligament after he returned from a four-game suspension. Louisville (9-3) lost starting quarterback Will Gardner to a knee injury last month, and receiver DeVante Parker missed the first seven games of the season with a foot injury.

Parker has caught 35 passes for 735 yards and five touchdowns in five games since his return.

Louisville is led by one of the best defenses in the country, ranking sixth in total defense at 293.3 yards per game and third versus the rush, yielding 93.7 yards per game. Led by junior safety Gerod Holliman, who is tied for the NCAA record for interceptions in a season with 14, the Cardinals lead the country with 25.

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