In the midst of the No. 19 Cardinals’ final bye week of the season, offensive coordinator Shawn Watson talked with reporters on Wednesday outside the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex following their practice session. Louisville (9-1, 4-1 BIG EAST) learned this week that it will be without junior running back Senorise Perry for the remainder of the season after the Cardinals’ leading rusher suffered a torn ACL in last week’s road loss at Syracuse. Watson addressed Louisville’s plan at running back entering next week’s home finale against Connecticut (Nov. 24, Noon ET, Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, BIG EAST Network).
“For the next part of our season and the last three games (including the bowl game), Jeremy (Wright) will be the starter and Corvin’s (Lamb) going to be the backup to him,” Watson said. “Dominique (Brown) is ready in the wings if need be. We will keep being ourselves. We’re going to have three guys. Unfortunately, we won’t have Senorise, but Corvin will step up in his place. If we need to play Dominique to win a championship, then we’ll play him.”
Lamb Shows Speed, Talent on Touchdown at Syracuse
Fans got a glimpse of the speed and talent of sophomore running back Corvin Lamb in the Carrier Dome last Saturday when he went 53 yards for a touchdown on a screen pass from quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the first quarter of the game with the Orange. Lamb, a Miami native and a graduate of Northwestern High School, has seen very limited action in 2012 as the Cardinals’ third running back option behind Perry and Wright. In his seven games this season, Perry has two rushes for two yards (one touchdown), one catch for the 53-yard touchdown and two kick returns for 36 yards. Despite the limited opportunities, the Louisville coaches believe the impressive run after the catch at Syracuse was a glimpse of what he is capable of doing when afforded the opportunity.
“He’s got speed. He outran every defensive angle on the field on that touchdown he had (Syracuse),” explained Watson. “It was really impressive because there were guys that had pursuit angles and he blew the pursuit angles away. He can run and we knew that. Obviously, he was a great sprinter in high school. He’s had to be the three guy and he’s had to do it without a lot of the reps. He went in and did a really nice job. We’re very comfortable with him and very comfortable with what he brings to the table. Had he not been nicked up early, I truly believe he would’ve been in the mix with those guys for more playing time. He just didn’t have the opportunity.”
Cardinals Move Forward from Season’s First Loss
After playing undoubtedly their worst game of the season in the loss at Syracuse, the Louisville players and coaches have worked this week on learning from what happened and moving forward with only two regular season games left to play. As mentioned previously since last week’s loss, the Cardinals remain in control of their own destiny in the race for a second straight BIG EAST Conference championship and the program’s second BCS bowl berth. However, the film doesn’t lie and after seeing the truth of what happened in upstate New York, coaches believe the team has bounced back.
“You have to put it behind you because you can’t let it beat you twice,” said Watson. “We did not play well (at Syracuse) and everybody on the team would tell you that. We didn’t play well at all in any phase. There was some hard looking at we did on film. We addressed it as coaches and the players have addressed it. We’ve moved on from it through the lessons learned today.”