Aug. 29, 2011
Game Day Central
Charlie ~nbsp>Strong Video
Charlie ~nbsp>Strong Audio | Will ~nbsp>Stein Audio
Charlie ~nbsp>Strong Audio on Podcast
Louisville Football Weekly Game Notes
Charlie ~nbsp>Strong Quotes | Will ~nbsp>Stein Quotes
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville head coach Charlie Strong and junior quarterback Will Stein met with reporters on Monday to preview the Cardinals' 2011 season-opener against Murray State. The Cardinals and Racers will kick off on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, and the game will be televised nationally by ESPNU.
The Cardinals, opening their 93rd season of football, are coming off a 2010 campaign in which they finished 7-6 overall and 3-4 in the BIG EAST. Louisville, which lost five games by eight points or less last year, reached a bowl game for the first time since the 2006 season. The Cardinals defeated Southern Mississippi 31-28 in the 2010 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla.
However, the 2011 campaign will represent the beginning of a new era in Louisville football as the team breaks in a new starting quarterback. Two-year starter Adam Froman and Justin Burke graduated last year, leaving the Cardinals with junior Will Stein, true freshman Teddy Bridgewater and sophomore Dominique Brown as the three quarterbacks on the roster.
Louisville returns just four starters from an offense that averaged 26.4 points per game and led the BIG EAST Conference in rushing.
Defensively, the Cardinals return seven starters on a unit which was ranked in the top 15 nationally in total defense. Louisville stood 14th in the country in defense, allowing just 311.7 yards per game, and was sixth in sacks at 3.0 per game. The Cardinals were also ninth in pass defense and 18th in scoring defense. Sophomore Hakeem Smith, the BIG EAST's Newcomer of the Year last season, led the Cardinals with 88 tackles and returns as the leader in the secondary.
Murray State is led by second-year head coach Chris Hatcher and Casey Brockman, one of the top quarterbacks in the FCS.
fnThe Cardinals and Racers are meeting for the 18th time in school history. Louisville owns an 11-6 overall series advantage, including a three-game winning streak. The last meeting between the two in-state foes was a 73-10 win for the Cardinals in the 2007 season opener. The Cardinals have won the last three games in Louisville, and the Racers haven't won since a 26-23 decision in 1984 at old Cardinal Stadium.
Louisville: Charlie Strong begins his second season as head coach of the Cardinals. Strong owns a 7-7 overall record, going 7-6 in his first year as head coach of the Cardinals. He went 0-1 as interim coach at Florida in 2004. Strong is 3-4 vs. the BIG EAST; 4-2 vs. non-conference opponents; 3-4 at home; 3-2 on the road.
Murray State: Chris Hatcher is 100-32 in 11 seasons as a head coach and is 6-5 in his second season as head coach of the Racers.
GAME FACTS - Louisville (0-0) vs. Murray State (0-0)
Date: Thursday, Sept. 1
Time: 6:02 p.m. ET
Site: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (55,000), Louisville, Ky.
TV: ESPNU will televise the game live, with Rob Stone (play-by-play), Danny Kannell (analyst ) and Allison Williams (sideline) calling the action.
Radio: Paul Rogers (play-by-play), Tony Stallings (analyst) and Doug Ormay (sideline) will call all the action on the Louisville Sports Radio Network, available in Louisville on WKRD 790 AM. Live audio of the game is also available online at UofLSports.com and on SIRIUS satellite radio on channel 92.
Rankings: Both teams are unranked in this week's national polls.