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Sugar Bowl 2012: Gators begin practice for bowl game

Florida set to start prepping for the Cardinals.

USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators' run for a Sugar Bowl victory starts Friday.

That's when the Gators will be allowed to practice for the first time in preparation for No. 21 Louisville on Jan. 2. The game will kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET.

In the early practices, Florida will focus on themselves and not the Cardinals, writes Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union:

UF has enjoyed a 13-day break following its 37-26 victory at Florida State. The Gators will be in helmets and run more of a conditioning practice, according to Muschamp.

"Our first four or five bowl practices will be absolutely no work on the opponent," Muschamp said. "It will be all working on ourselves, getting our guys back in the swing of playing football again, and working on developing our young players."

The Gators will bring a good running game into the Sugar Bowl. Mike Gillislee is the the team's leading rusher, racking up 1,104 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground this season. Quarterback Jeff Driskel is second on the team with 404 yards this season. He's averaging 37 yards rushing per game.

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater has been Louisville's biggest offensive threat this season. Bridgewater has completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,452 yards. He's thrown 25 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He's averaging nearly 290 passing yards per game.

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