When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Bank of America Stadium; Charlotte, N.C.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Coach Bobby Petrino won’t say who will start at quarterback for Louisville in the Belk Bowl. He will concede this: Both Reggie Bonnafon and Kyle Bolin will play against Georgia.
“We’re going to let you see when they run out there who the starter is,” Petrino said with a coy smile Monday.
Bonnafon, a freshman, became Louisville’s starter Nov. 8 after Will Gardner tore his anterior cruciate ligament. He has started five games but injured his knee in the season finale against Kentucky. That’s when Bolin, a redshirt freshman, stepped in and threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns, rallying the Cardinals (9-3, 5-3 ACC, No. 21 CFP) to a 44-40 victory.
Both quarterbacks took reps last week in practice.
“We’re real fortunate that we have two guys who have playing experience and have won big games for us,” Petrino said.
Petrino said the team’s plan for Tuesday night’s game is subject to change.
“If somebody is hot, you keep him in there and give him more reps,” he said.
Neither Louisville quarterback attended media day. They were unavailable for comment.
Offensive lineman Jamon Brown said even the players don’t know who’ll start.
“Whoever is in we are 100 percent behind them, but we are anxious as anybody to find out who is the starter,” Brown said. “Coach Petrino does a good job of not tipping his hand.”
The two quarterbacks bring different styles. Bonnafon is more of a running quarterback who brings the read option into play. Bolin’s strength is his passing ability.
Some things to watch between No. 13 Georgia and No. 20 Louisville:
NEW PLAY CALLER: Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason joked that practice has been a “tad bit quieter” this week with former offensive coordinator Mike Bobo leaving to become head coach at Colorado State. That means tight ends coach John Lilly will be handling play-calling for the Bulldogs (9-3, 6-2 SEC, No. 13 CFP).
“It is a little different when you are with a guy for five years and you are used to having him in your ear,” Mason said.
Mason described Lilly as “calmer.”
Georgia coach Mark Richt said he has spent more time than usual this week with the quarterbacks discussing strategy now that Bobo is gone.
Richt said the team hasn’t begun its search for a new offensive coordinator.
THE PARKER FACTOR: Regardless of who is playing quarterback for the Cardinals, they’ll undoubtedly be looking to get the ball to wide receiver DeVante Parker, who may be the most dangerous player on the field.
The 6-foot-3, 202-pound Parker battled through a broken foot early in the season and caught 35 passes 735 yards and five touchdowns in just five games.
“He is a big, physical presence and a guy who is a mismatch for really any defensive back in the country,” Richt said. “He’s going to be very difficult to deal with.”
DYER INELIGIBLE: Louisville senior running back Michael Dyer’s college career will end unceremoniously after he was ruled academically ineligible for the Belk Bowl.
Dyer transferred to Louisville last year from Arkansas Baptist College and was the fourth-leading rusher for the Cardinals with 481 yards and five touchdowns.
The former Auburn star rushed for more than 1,000 yards in both of his seasons with the Tigers and was named the MVP of the 2011 BCS championship game.
Brandon Radcliff is expected to start for Louisville.
LETTING IT GO: Mason and others on the Bulldogs roster have the challenge of moving past a heartbreaking loss to Georgia Tech, which came two days after a Missouri win took the Bulldogs out of the running for the SEC championship game.
“It stinks,” Mason said. “You throw a pick against Tech and you have to remember that for the rest of your life.”
FAMILIAR FACE: The Bulldogs will face a familiar face in Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who held that same position at Georgia from 2010-2013.
“We’re not exactly sure what he’s going to do,” Richt said. “Most people will run what they ran all year. But I’m sure Todd will have some things up his sleeve.”