Louisville vs. EKU - pregame notebook

Michael Dyer

The University of Louisville football team takes on Eastern Kentucky University on Saturday at noon in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The Cardinals are 1-0 and ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press poll heading into the weekend. Here are a few notebook items heading into the game:

CARDS FOCUSED ON THE COLONELS

The University of Louisville football team is a 40-plus point favorite over Eastern Kentucky heading into Saturday's noon kickoff.

But don't expect the Cardinals to be looking ahead.

U of L coach Charlie Strong said he has his team's focus on the Colonels and not next week's game against Kentucky. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater echoed those sentiments earlier in the week.

"If you respect the game, your focus should never shift no matter who you are playing," Bridgewater said.

Added defensive tackle Roy Philon: "The only team we are worried about right now is Eastern Kentucky."

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITY

Both offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and running backs coach Kenny Carter talked this week about the depth on the offensive side of the ball.

Watson said all the weapons – both running backs and wide receivers – understand the game plan and know they have to do the job when they are in the game because they may not be in very long.

"They know they are only going to get so many opportunities, but they just have to maximize it," he said. "All of the kids are doing a great job. Everybody is working hard. You saw Kai (De La Cruz) benefitted from it. It took advantage of his."

Carter said he pointed to recent years when talking to his running backs, noting in the end of the year the numbers seemed to be even.

"They push each other," Carter said. "The past couple of years, it's balanced out almost perfectly. It's just how you go through it.

"We have guys that we want to get the ball, you just have to manage it."

Carter said the Cardinals left about 80 yards on the ground in the running game and will likely remain with Senorise Perry getting the first carries before Dominique Brown and later Michael Dyer come into the game.

Dyer, a former Auburn transfer, has been "unreal" in his transition onto the team and Carter said he "did a great job for us."

"There have been multiple times when we have had guys with 11 carries get over 100 yards here," Carter said. "It's all about what you do with your touches and they know that. You can't leave yards on the field."

LAMB TOOK INJURY ‘VERY HARD'

Carter said sophomore Corvin Lamb took the news of a torn ACL after last week's game as expected – "very hard."

"He played a lot for us in the kicking game and was going to play a role for us on offense," he said. "You just hate it for the kid. He's blessed with so much talent but he's just been plagued with injuries.

"We have to work him through it and make sure that he comes back and will be a difference maker for us."

Lamb carried four times for 13 yards and was a starter deep on the kickoff team for the Cardinals last week.

KICKOFF TEAM UPDATE

With Lamb out for the rest of the season, Carter said Robert Clark will stay back returning kicks and now be joined by Devontre Parnell.

Carter said Parnell is one of the fastest guys he can put back there and noted that Eli Rogers will also do some returning and "Senorise Perry depending on the game could be back there too."

U of L used three kickers on kickoffs last week – John Wallace, Josh Appleby and Matthew Nakatani – but Carter said Wallace will get the start again.

Wallace kicked two out of bounds but Carter said he was "trying to play the ball. He tried to finesse it instead of kicking it."

UHL COMES THROUGH FOR CARDS

Redshirt freshman Griffin Uhl didn't play high school football because his high school – Henryville, Ind. – didn't have a team.

But he saw a bunch of plays last week at U of L as a fullback.

The 6-foot-2, 270-pound Uhl made a key block on Dyer's touchdown run and was a solid contributor for the offense.

"He's doing such a good job," Carter said. "He's taking in everything and he's so eager to learn. He's still a work in progress."

Carter confirmed that senior B.J. Butler has been moved to fullback on a full-time basis. He had been listed as a tight end.

CardinalAuthority.com Recommended Stories


Up Next


Tweets