Louisville will usher in the Big East bowl season Tuesday night against Southern Miss. So let's turn to the Cardinals now for our series looking at which players on the league's postseason participants need to step up their game for their teams to have success.
For the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl, my pick for the Cardinal on the spot is ...
Linebacker Brandon Heath. Southern Miss has a balanced attack and is one of only 13 FBS teams that is averaging more than 200 yards running and passing per game. The Golden Eagles will run some zone read plays, and quarterback Austin Davis has shown the ability to make things happen with his arm and his legs, rushing for 10 touchdowns this season.
Louisville will need its linebackers to read what Davis is doing and contain him to keep the high-scoring Southern Miss offense grounded. Heath is the Cardinals' best and most experienced linebacker who likely will have many opportunities to make open field tackles in this game. Heath needs to be at the top of his game.