John Miller focused on Sugar Bowl

Sophomore John Miller, who has already notched 20 starts along the Louisville offensive line, tells Cardinal Authority that he's looking forward to the challenge of facing one the nation's best defenses in the Sugar Bowl.

As one of just five true freshmen in the nation to start on the offensive line in 2011, John Miller quickly became a key figure along the Louisville front line. Through two seasons, the 6-foot-2, 320-pound offensive guard from Miami (FL) Central high school has notched 20 starts for an offense that fueled back-to-back Big East crowns, a school record 9-0 start and a Sugar Bowl birth.

"I feel like I've been getting a lot better, but I still have things to work on," Miller told Cardinal Authority following a recent practice. "As a team, we achieved a lot this year, but it's not over yet, so we want to go to the Sugar Bowl and get a win to make sure we end the reason right."

"This season has been a special one, but it kind of fell off for a couple games, but we picked it back up to finish. We want to mare sure we take the right mentality to the Sugar Bowl."

During his first two years as a Cardinal, Miller has gained valuable experience while learning from the line's senior leaders, center Mario Benavides, a Rimington Trophy finalist, and tackle Alex Kupper, a former walk-on who has started 25 consecutive games.

"It's been a blessing to play on the same line as Mario and Alex Kupper," he said. "They are both seasoned guys, so they pointed me in the right direction. It's been a great experience to play with those type of guys."

Miller will face one of his biggest challenges of his career when Louisville faces 3rd-ranked Florida in the Sugar Bowl on January 2. The Gator defense ranks among the nation's best, topping the country in pass efficiency defense and third in scoring defense, giving up just 12 points a game.

"Obviously going into any game you want to keep your quarterback protected and the Florida defense is one of the best in the nation, so we have a good challenge in front of us," Miller said. "Right now my focus is on playing my best in the Sugar Bowl and to help make sure that the team is ready. I'm just looking forward to playing against a great defense."

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