Archive for September, 2012

September 30, 2012

Louisville 16th in USA Today Coaches’ Poll, 19th in AP Top 25

After last night’s road win at Southern Mississippi, Louisville moved up one position to No. 16 in the USA Today coaches’ poll and remained No. 19 in the Associated Press Top 25 released on Sunday. Entering week six of the season, the Cardinals are joined in the national rankings by BIG EAST Conference foes Rutgers (No. 21 in USA Today/No. 22 in AP) and Cincinnati (No. 23 in USA Today).

Up next, unbeaten Louisville (5-0) will have its first bye week of the season before opening BIG EAST action on the road against Pittsburgh on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Heinz Field. Game time for the Cardinals and Panthers as well as television details are expected to be announced on Monday afternoon.

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September 29, 2012

No. 17 Cardinals Survive at Southern Miss in Soggy 21-17 Win

Senorise Perry’s 14-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter gave Louisville the lead while a defensive stand in the final minute of the game closed the door as the 17th-ranked Cardinals escaped with a 21-17 road victory at Southern Mississippi on a rainy night at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg.

Playing through heavy rain for most of the evening, Louisville scored the final 15 points of the game to overcome a 17-6 second quarter deficit and improve to 5-0 overall. The win, which extended the Cardinals’ winning streak over the Golden Eagles (0-4) to six straight games, continued Louisville’s best start to a season since winning eight straight to open the 2006 campaign.

Perry, who scored the game-winning score on a third and goal run with 5:35 left in the game, finished with a career-high trifecta on the wet surface rushing for 118 yards on 22 carries and scoring two touchdowns to set new personal highs in all three categories. Jeremy Wright added 84 yards rushing for the Cardinals, while quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was limited to a season-low 85 yards through the air on 9-for-13 passing, including a 29-yard touchdown throw to DeVante Parker.

After regaining the lead for the first time since a 6-0 edge in the first quarter on the run by Perry, the Cardinals made it stand with a defensive stop on the Golden Eagles’ fourth down pass attempt from the Louisville 25-yard line with 55 seconds left in the game. Linebacker Keith Brown led the way for U of L with nine tackles, including eight solo stops, while linebacker Preston Brown and safety Calvin Pryor added eight tackles each as Southern Miss finished with just 25 yards passing on 2-of-9 attempts.

Following its final non-conference contest of the season this week, Louisville will have its first bye week of 2012 before taking its unbeaten record on the road to Pittsburgh for the BIG EAST Conference opener on Oct. 13 at Heinz Field.

A complete recap of Saturday’s win, including stats and photos, is available here at UofLsports.com.

Post-Game Notes

  • With heavy rain forcing both teams to turn almost exclusively to the run game, Louisville finished with a 269-249 advantage in total offense. The 269 yards of offense set a season low for the Cardinals.

  • The six-game winning streak for Louisville over Southern Miss is the Cardinals’ longest winning streak ever against the Golden Eagles.

  • Of Teddy Bridgewater’s nine pass completions on Saturday night, five came on the Cardinals’ opening touchdown drive in the first quarter prior to the arrival of the strongest rainfall. On that first drive, the Louisville sophomore was 5-for-5 for 64 yards.

  • The Cardinals finished with a 35:22 to 24:38 advantage in time of possession on Saturday night.

  • Louisville is one of three unbeaten BIG EAST Conference teams entering the month of October joining Rutgers (4-0) and Cincinnati (3-0).

September 28, 2012

Series History Notebook: Louisville & Southern Miss

Saturday night’s matchup in Hattiesburg will be the 30th meeting all-time between Louisville and Southern Mississippi with the Golden Eagles holding an 18-10-1 advantage. The rivalry between the Cardinals and USM dates back to 1949 and ranks as the fourth most-played series in Louisville’s previous 93 seasons of football. The two programs spent 10 years as league rivals from 1996 to 2005 in Conference USA.

In their most recent meeting, quarterback Justin Burke threw a pair touchdown passes and Jeremy Wright scored on a 95-yard kickoff return to help the Cardinals beat their former Conference USA rival 31-28 in the 2010 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl. Burke tossed scoring passes of 11 yards to Cameron Graham and 10 yards to Josh Chichester while Louisville erased a 14-point first-half deficit, then produced a go-ahead 36-yard field goal from Chris Philpott in the fourth quarter.

  • The Cardinals trail 11-3-0 all-time against the Golden Eagles in Hattiesburg.

  • Louisville has won five straight in the series, including the final three matchups as Conference USA foes.

  • During their 10 seasons as league rivals, Louisville and Southern Miss combined to win seven Conference USA titles.

  • Saturday’s game will be the Cardinals’ first visit to M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg since earning a 20-17 win over USM in 2002.

Notable Louisville-Southern Miss Results

  • U of L 25, USM 23 (10/10/2009 – Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium): Ryan Payne kicked a 32-yard field goal with 30 seconds to play to give Louisville a 25-23 win over Southern Mississippi. Scott Long had a career day for the Cardinals with 146 yards receiving on five catches, plus a touchdown. The Cardinals trailed 16-7 at halftime but scored touchdowns, including a 2-point conversion, on their first two possessions of the second half to go ahead 22-16. USM took back the lead 23-22 after a 13-yard touchdown run by Tory Harrison prior to Payne’s game-winning kick.

  • U of L 20, USM 17 – 2OT (11/14/2002 – M.M. Roberts Stadium): Dave Ragone’s passing set up Nate Smith’s go-ahead 27-yard field goal in the second overtime as the Cardinals defeated Southern Miss for the third straight year 20-17. Kurt Jones missed four field-goal attempts for the Golden Eagles, including a 32-yarder in the second overtime that would have forced another period. Ragone was 19-of-37 for 200 yards with two touchdowns.

  • U of L 24, USM 14 (10/16/2001 – Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium): Nathan Smith kicked three field goals and the Cardinals scored 16 points off three Southern Mississippi turnovers in a 24-14 victory. The Eagles were allowing only 10 points per game, while the Cardinals were giving up 16. However, it was Louisville who made more defensive plays when it counted to earn the win in a season that culminated with the program’s second straight Conference USA title and a Liberty Bowl victory over BYU.

  • U of L 49, USM 28 (11/4/2000 – M.M. Roberts Stadium): After five straight losses to Southern Mississippi, Louisville wanted revenge. They got it on that Saturday, stunning the No. 13 Golden Eagles 49-28 in a homecoming game and swiping the Conference USA lead. Dave Ragone completed 25 of 42 passes for 293 yards with two touchdown throws and two touchdown runs against a Southern Mississippi defense that had been ranked second nationally in points allowed per game at 9.8. Louisville followed the USM victory by winning the program’s first ever Conference USA title two weeks later.

  • USM 30, U of L 27 (11/20/1999 – Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium): In a game featuring two of Conference USA’s best quarterbacks (Chris Redman and Jeff Kelly), it was a punter’s arm that decided No. 20 Southern Mississippi’s league-clinching win over Louisville. Facing a 4th-and-5, Jamie Purser dropped back to kick, but instead threw to Shawn Mills for a 26-yard gain to the Louisville 11. A few moments later, Brant Hanna kicked a 27-yard field goal with 1:07 left to give the Golden Eagles a 30-27 victory and clinch USM’s second trip to the Liberty Bowl in three years.

September 27, 2012

Matchup Spotlight: Louisville Defense vs. USM Offense

Video Interviews: Preston Brown | Adrian Bushell

Statistics never tell the full story in football, but for No. 17 Louisville, there are some key defensive numbers that must change in a hurry as the team prepares for its final non-conference matchup of the season at Southern Mississippi on Saturday night. Through four games this season, the Cardinals have managed just two interceptions and only four sacks. Some of that can be attributed to the types of offenses and play-calling Louisville has faced, but that explanation doesn’t cut it with head coach Charlie Strong.

“If you look at us on defense, because of the teams we’ve played with the spread offenses, we have been in the backfield, but we haven’t finished with the sacks,” said Strong. “The tackles for loss plays aren’t showing up right now in the defensive stats, and that’s what you would like to see is getting the tackles for loss and sacks and getting off the field on third downs. They’re completing some balls that we have to challenge. We have to challenge routes more.”

Against the run, the Cardinals have been up to the task ranking 16th nationally and third in the BIG EAST this season allowing opponents to an average of 91.75 yards per game and 3.6 yards per carry. However, the numbers do back up Strong’s assertion that Louisville hasn’t produced results with its pressure as the Cardinals rank 101st in the nation in sacks with only four and are 117th in tackles for loss with just 12. The players know their chances at making plays have been limited because of the offensive styles they have faced, but they also know it’s up to them to do more.

“We’ve been playing a lot of three-step teams. They’ve been getting the ball out hot,” said junior linebacker Preston Brown. “Linebackers are a part of that too. We blitz and we haven’t got enough pressure either, so we all have together as a whole and get some sacks.”

Despite the good numbers against the run this season, the Cardinals did allow a season-high 128 yards rushing to FIU in the 28-21 win over the Panthers last Saturday night in Miami. And though the total offensive yardage for FIU was the second lowest given up by Louisville in its four games, the defense and the entire squad lacked the energy, speed and emotion that is expected. According to coaches and players, it started with bad practice habits last week, but that seems to have been addressed this week.

“Practice was slow last week. We weren’t really flying around. No one really had a lot of energy,” Brown explained to reporters on Wednesday. “You can see we’re coming out with a lot more energy and fire (this week). Everybody is hitting more. We’re basically tackling now, so we’re having a lot more fun.”

The verdict on whether or not this week’s practice sessions translate to a better performance will come on Saturday night in Hattiesburg when the Cardinals will face a Southern Miss offense which has rushed for more yards (146.3 per game) than it has gained through the air (136.3) during its 0-3 start. The Golden Eagles have been hampered by injuries at quarterback this season as both junior Chris Campbell and freshman Anthony Alford were hurt and left the game in last week’s loss to Western Kentucky. If they can’t go this week, redshirt freshman Ricky Lloyd will likely make his first start of the season against Louisville. Whoever takes the snaps on Saturday will be surrounded by some talented playmakers, most notably wide receiver and kick returner Tracy Lampley and running back Desmond Johnson.

“They’re basically running the same thing they did when we played them in the bowl game (in 2010),” said Brown. “They have the same playmakers – No. 1 (Tracy Lampley) and No. 7 (Desmond Johnson) – so they’ll do the same type of stuff, try to get you in space and make you miss. We just have to swarm the ball and hopefully we can contain that.”

September 26, 2012

Matchup Spotlight: Louisville Offense vs. USM Defense

Video Interviews: Offensive Coordinator Shawn Watson | Teddy Bridgewater | Senorise Perry

The 17th-ranked Cardinals enter Saturday night’s road matchup at Southern Mississippi following their lowest scoring and lowest total yardage performances of the season in last week’s 28-21 win at FIU. Louisville finished with just 323 yards of total offense, more than 130 yards less than the previous low of 462 a week earlier against North Carolina. Following last week’s outing, offensive coordinator Shawn Watson put it very simply as to what the Cardinals must do this week in preparation for Southern Miss.

“We just have to get better,” said Watson. “We’re trying to chase perfection, so we have a lot of improving to do. It would be that way even we had played (at FIU) the way we did in the first three games. We have to learn to be a team that finishes, especially on our side of the ball. We did not do that in the last game.”

The drop-off in scoring and production offensively actually started with the second half of the win over UNC on Sept. 15. During the Cardinals’ last six quarters, they’ve scored just 31 points while managing 425 yards of total offense. The explanation for the recent struggles is easy to pinpoint for Watson.

“I think our biggest enemy is consistency,” Watson explained to reporters on Tuesday. “At times, we’re lights out and at other times, we’re not. We’re just too inconsistent. That’s something our sophomores and juniors have to learn. They have to learn how to be a consistent football team and we’re not there yet.”

The pursuit of the kind of consistency needed to finish games and find winning success on a weekly basis starts with the coaching staff and the Cardinals’ practice sessions. For Louisville to continue its rise in the national rankings and have a chance at winning the program’s second straight BIG EAST title, Watson says the coaches must lead by example.

“We just keep coaching hard. We treat every day like it’s training camp or a spring practice,” Watson said. “As a coach, that’s when you’re trying to stress fundamentals and you’re stressing scheme. It’s the little details that make the big picture work and that’s what we have to keep doing as a staff. We have to keep demanding that and holding ourselves accountable because it all starts with us.”

The Cardinals hope to carry the momentum of a strong practice week into Saturday’s matchup with the Golden Eagles. USM is directed by first year head coach Ellis Johnson, who previously served four seasons at South Carolina as the Gamecocks’ defensive coordinator. With the new coaching staff came a new defensive scheme and some early growing pains for Southern Miss. However, Watson sees a talented group of players on defense for USM and another strong challenge ahead for the Cardinals.

“They’re very athletic. I know they’re learning a new style on defense, but every week, you see improvement,” said Watson. “In the game of football, you respect the fact that those kids are getting coached. They have a very good staff. Those guys are all veterans and they’ve been around the ball for a long while. They’ll have them up to speed. They’re teaching their defense right now, so they’re going to give us all we want.”

September 25, 2012

Weekend Preview: No. 17 Cardinals Visit Southern Miss

For the second straight weekend, 17th-ranked Louisville will take to the road as they travel to Hattiesburg, Miss., to renew the long-time rivalry with former conference foe Southern Mississippi. The Cardinals and Golden Eagles will kick off on Saturday at 8 p.m., ET at M.M. Roberts Stadium in a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network. U of L enters its final non-conference game with a 4-0 record following last weekend’s 28-21 win at FIU, while USM is off to its worst start since 1976 with a 0-3 mark. However, Cardinals’ head coach Charlie Strong doesn’t want his squad paying attention to the record of this week’s opponent as much as he wants them to be ready to perform every time they take the field.

“I told our guys from here on out, we’re going to get the best. Whomever we play, we’re going to get their very best, so don’t ever look at someone’s record, especially when you’re going into someone else’s house,” said Strong. “What we have to do is maintain our focus and not get caught up in the emotion of the game. We must stay level-headed. We’re going to get someone’s best no matter where we go play, so it’s all about us making sure our guys are locked in and focused.”

Saturday night’s game will renew a rivalry between Louisville and Southern Mississippi which dates back to 1949. With 29 previous meetings between the two programs, the rivalry with USM ranks as the fourth most-played series in the Cardinals’ previous 93 seasons of football. From the historic Conference USA matchups from 1995 to 2004, to Louisville’s Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl win over the Golden Eagles in 2010, the two programs have a track record of great games. However, don’t expect this year’s Cardinals to fully appreciate the history between U of L and Southern Miss going into Saturday’s game.

“I try not to bring it into the discussion with the team but the history is still there,” Strong said. “Back then, we were in the same conference (as Southern Miss), but our players just don’t understand the old rivalries so I try not to bring that up to them. I just tell them this is what we have to do and talk about our focus. We’re going into a hostile environment and I think they have a blackout promotion scheduled down there, so we’ll see how well we can manage ourselves.”

The Golden Eagles enter Saturday’s game following a disappointing 42-17 defeat at Western Kentucky last Saturday. Prior to that, they suffered losses at Nebraska (49-20) and at home against East Carolina (24-14). Despite those results, the reigning Conference USA champions have talent up and down the roster. Most notably, Southern Miss ranks No. 5 nationally in kickoff returns with a 32.3-yard return average, while senior receiver Tracy Lampley ranks No. 7 in that category for an individual at 36.80 yards per return.

“On offense, it’s a spread and they play two quarterbacks (Anthony Alford and Ricky Lloyd). The thing about their quarterbacks is that they’re so athletic and they try to run the ball,” said Strong. “I think they return six starters on offense and defensively, they return five. They’re very multiple on defense with a 4-2-5 look where they play five defensive backs. What is going to be critical for us is we have to execute. We have to play within ourselves and make sure we’re consistent in every phase.”

Louisville’s execution and consistency has not been at the level expected by Strong and his coaching staff through four games. Despite the unbeaten record, the Cardinals have not played a complete game according to Strong and are still learning how to finish games. After the second half struggles against North Carolina two weeks ago and last week’s inconsistent play at FIU, Louisville still has plenty of room to grow and get better entering week five.

“You would like to say we can still improve and we can still get better, and that’s what you want to see this football team do. We just haven’t been consistent,” Strong said. “You go into game one, and game two and game three you get a big lead, and the last two quarters – even the fourth quarters from the past games – six quarters, I don’t think we’ve played our best football. It’s kind of where we hit that spell, and so we can get better. We want to see that improvement. I said to the team (Sunday), ‘If you want to be the football team you want to be, if you want to be a good team, then continue on the level you are. If you want to be a great team, then we can step it up and go get better.’ That’s what you want to see, for us to become one of those teams where we can step it up and get better.”

Game Information: Louisville (4-0) at Southern Miss (0-3)
When: Sept. 29, 2012 – 8 p.m. ET
Where: M.M. Roberts Stadium (36,000), Hattiesburg, Miss.
TV: CBS Sports Network – James Bates (p-x-p), Aaron Taylor (analyst) and Evan Washburn (sideline) will broadcast the game live.
Radio: The Louisville Sports Radio Network with Paul Rogers (p-x-p), Joe Tronzo (analyst) and Doug Ormay (sideline) calling the action
Series Record: USM leads 18-10-1
In Hattiesburg: USM leads 11-3
Last Meeting: Louisville 31, USM 28 – 2010 in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl)
Rankings: Louisville is ranked 17th in this week’s USA Today coaches’ poll and 19th in the latest AP Top 25; USM is unranked.

September 24, 2012

Monday Press Conference Notebook

Press Conference Audio from CardsTV: Head Coach Charlie Strong | Hakeem Smith

After going on the road for the first time this season and earning a 28-21 win at FIU last Saturday night, the Cardinals were reminded first hand of the challenges that come with playing away from home. Despite not playing its best football of the season, 17th-ranked Louisville found a way to win and will now turns its focus to a new road challenge at Southern Mississippi this weekend (Saturday, 8 p.m., ET, CBS Sports Network).

“Going on the road for the second straight week, what’s going to be critical for us is that we maintain our focus, our emotion and our confidence,” said Strong during Monday’s weekly press conference at the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex. “Last week, we got behind 14-7 and I never lost confidence in our team. I felt like, when we got to 28-14, we didn’t really finish and we relaxed.”

The breakdowns for the Cardinals at FIU came on both sides of the ball as they were outgained 326-323 in total offense. Louisville allowed a season-high 128 yards rushing and was limited to a season-low in total offense.

“Defensively, we allowed (FIU) to run the football and we missed four sacks. We have to continue to put pressure on the quarterback and get him down at the right time,” Strong said. “Offensively, we just never got in a rhythm and never got in sync. It wasn’t one of Teddy’s (Bridgewater) best games because we expect him to play better than that each week. Andrell Smith had an outstanding game. Our running backs were able to run the ball and offensive line did a good job of blocking. On special teams, we have to get better.”

After winning three straight games at home to open the season, Louisville didn’t appear to play at the same level in its first road test. For Strong, he was not surprised at what he saw on Saturday night because of the practices that led up to the road trip.

“I thought we played pretty well in the first three games, but in our fourth game, we didn’t play at the tempo we had been playing at,” said Strong. “We didn’t practice well last week, so going into that game, I knew we weren’t going to play well. We’re still dealing with a young football team. As coaches, we still have to be demanding and we have to make sure we coach the little things.”

Cardinals Taking on Coaches’ Character
Off to the program’s best start since 2006, Strong’s third Louisville team seems to have a better grasp of what he and his coaching staff are demanding on a daily basis. And despite not playing its best football at FIU, the Cardinals left Miami with their fourth straight win showing the maturity that has developed within the team.

“With us being in the program for three years, this is our football team,” said Strong. “The toughness is there. Those games we were losing by seven last year we’re winning by seven this season. Now that we’ve had them in the program, they understand how to compete. They’re playing with confidence. That’s what you like about this football team. If you look at the past two seasons, this is a totally different football team.”

Emergence of Andrell Smith
On Saturday at FIU, senior wide receiver Andrell Smith had a career-best five catches for a season-high 50 yards and one touchdown. The Miami native has caught at least two passes in each of the Cardinals’ first four games this season and has emerged as one of the team’s most physical and reliable players on offense.

“When a guy gets to his senior year, you’d like to see him play his best football and he’s playing his best football,” Strong said of Smith on Monday afternoon. “The one-handed catch (at FIU) was unbelievable and on the touchdown catch, I thought the guy was on him but he came away with the big catch. He’s so physical that they can’t get him down. You watch people bouncing off of him because he’s running so strong. It’s fun and I’m so happy for him.”

Locked In For Their Best Shot
Having won four straight games to open the season and ranked as highly as No. 17 in the latest USA Today coaches’ poll, the Cardinals have no chance at sneaking up on an opponent. With a target on their backs as a high caliber team, Strong is preparing his squad to be ready for a huge challenge every time they take the field.

“I told our guys from here on out, we’re going to get the best. Whomever we play, we’re going to get their very best, so don’t ever look at someone’s record, especially when you’re going into someone else’s house,” warned Strong. “What we have to do is maintain our focus and not get caught up in the emotion of the game. We must stay level-headed. We’re going to get someone’s best no matter where we go play, so it’s all about us making sure our guys are locked in and focused.”

September 23, 2012

Louisville 17th in USA Today Coaches’ Poll, 19th in AP Top 25

Following yesterday’s road win at FIU, Louisville moved up one position in both the USA Today coaches’ poll and the Associated Press Top 25 released on Sunday. The Cardinals enter week five of the season ranked 17th by the coaches and 19th by the AP. Louisville is joined in the national rankings this week by fellow BIG EAST member Rutgers, which is 23rd in the coaches’ poll and 25th in the AP poll.

Up next, the unbeaten Cardinals (4-0) will play their second straight road game visiting Southern Mississippi (0-3) on Saturday at 8 p.m., ET in Hattiesburg. The game will be televised nationally by CBS Sports Network.

September 22, 2012

No. 18 Cardinals Win at FIU to Remain Unbeaten

Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater passed for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead 18th-ranked Louisville to a 28-21 win at FIU on Saturday night in Miami. With the win, the Cardinals improved to 4-0 overall to continue their best start to a season since opening 8-0 in 2006, a season which ended with a BIG EAST title and an Orange Bowl win.

Bridgewater, a Miami native, was 19-for-36 for 194 yards passing and scoring throws to Andrell Smith and Nick Heuser. Smith finished with five catches for 50 yards, including his first touchdown of the season and the fifth of his career. Junior Senorise Perry led the way on the ground for the Cardinals rushing for 74 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown.

Louisville, which trailed for the first time this season at 14-7 midway through the second quarter, was outgained for the first time in four games (326-323 in total offense). The 323 yards of offense for the Cardinals were a season low. After facing the seven-point deficit, U of L scored the next 21 points in the game to gain command for good.

Defensively, senior cornerback Adrian Bushell led the way for Louisville with seven tackles, including five solo stops and one for loss. Calvin Pryor, Preston Brown and Marcus Smith added five tackles each for the Cardinals in the win.

A complete recap of Saturday’s game, including stats and photos, is available here at UofLsports.com.

Post-Game Notes

  • Saturday’s victory avenged the Cardinals’ 24-17 home loss to FIU last season.

  • Louisville has won back-to-back regular season games in the state of Florida and three straight overall in the Sunshine State overall.

  • Saturday’s win marked the second straight season the Cardinals have won their road-opener.

  • With a 129-128 edge in rushing yards on Saturday night, Louisville has outrushed its opponents in all four games this season.

  • FIU became the first team this season to score in the first quarter against the Cardinals. Including Saturday night’s first quarter, which ended tied at 7-7, Louisville has outscored its opponents 41-7 in the opening quarter this season.

September 21, 2012

Series History Notebook: Louisville & FIU

Saturday’s matchup will be just the second meeting all-time between Louisville and FIU with the Panthers holding a 1-0 advantage. Last season, FIU won the first ever meeting between the two programs taking a 24-17 decision over the Cardinals at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. This weekend’s rematch with the Panthers will mark Louisville’s first visit to Miami since winning the 2007 Orange Bowl to close out the 2006 season.

  • The Cardinals are 2-0 in the state of Florida under the guidance of head coach Charlie Strong with wins at USF in 2011 and over Southern Miss in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg in 2010.

  • Louisville is 34-25 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference.

  • The Cardinals’ Teddy Bridgewater, Michaelee Harris, Corvin Lamb, Jermaine Reve and Eli Rogers all attended Northwestern High School in Miami with FIU’s Kenneth Dillard, E.J. Hilliard, Dominique Rhymes, Billy Rolle, Donald Senat, Clinton Taylor and Wayne Times.

  • Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt and FIU head coach Mario Cristobal were on Miami’s staff in 2004 and 2006. In addition, Cristobal was a graduate assistant at Miami while Hurtt was a defensive lineman for the Hurricanes.

Assorted Recent Louisville Results in the State of Florida

  • U of L 34, USF 24 (11/25/2011 – Raymond James Stadium – Tampa, Fla.): Louisville got three touchdown passes from freshman quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to defeat South Florida 34-24 and clinch a share of the 2011 BIG EAST championship. Louisville, which rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the first half, took the lead for good on Bridgewater’s 10-yard pass to DeVante Parker with 9:38 remaining. The Cardinals added to their lead on Dominique Brown’s 9-yard touchdown run with 4:12 remaining. Bridgewater finished the game 19-of-28 for 241 yards passing.

  • U of L 31, Southern Miss 28 (12/21/2010 – Tropicana Field – St. Petersburg, Fla.): Justin Burke threw for a pair touchdowns and Jeremy Wright scored on a 95-yard kickoff return to help Louisville beat former Conference USA rival Southern Mississippi 31-28 in the 2010 Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl. Burke tossed scoring passes to 11 yards to Cameron Graham and 10 yards to Josh Chichester while the Cardinals (7-6) erased a 14-point first-half deficit, then produced a go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter. The win enabled Louisville to finish Charlie Strong’s first season as a head coach with the Cardinals’ first winning record since 2006.

  • U of L 24, Wake Forest 13 (1/2/2007 – Dolphin Stadium – Miami, Fla.): Anthony Allen scored two touchdowns, one on a trick play, and Brian Brohm threw for 311 yards to lead Louisville past Wake Forest 24-13 to win the 2007 Orange Bowl. The Cardinals averaged 39 points and ranked second in the nation in total offense this season, but fell behind 13-10 in the final period before their offense went into high gear. Touchdown drives of 81 and 71 yards on consecutive possessions sealed their first win in a major bowl since the 1991 Fiesta Bowl. No. 5 Louisville finished 12-1 to ensure the highest final ranking in school history.

  • Miami 41, U of L 38 (10/14/2004 – Orange Bowl – Miami, Fla.): Third-ranked Miami erased a 17-point deficit over the final 20 minutes and came from behind twice in the fourth quarter to beat No. 17 Louisville 41-38 in a nationally televised Thursday night showdown. Brock Berlin threw three touchdown passes and directed the winning drive, a 56-yard march capped by Frank Gore’s 1-yard run with 49 seconds left. The touchdown capped a seesaw fourth quarter. Devin Hester scored on a 78-yard punt return to put Miami ahead 34-31, but Louisville regained the lead when freshman backup quarterback Brian Brohm directed an 80-yard touchdown drive. Stefan LeFors threw three touchdown passes for Louisville before departing with an injury in the fourth quarter.