Oct. 11, 2010
Charlie ~nbsp>Strong Audio | Quotes from Press Conference
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville football head coach Charlie Strong met with reporters on Monday to preview Friday's BIG EAST Conference opener against Cincinnati. The Cardinals and Bearcats are scheduled to kick off at 8 p.m. at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in the annual showdown for the Keg of Nails, and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN. (Visit the Game's Rivalry Page)
Last time out, Louisville returned home in impressive fashion by routing Memphis 56-0 behind one of its top offensive performances of the season. Louisville put up 35 points and 380 yards of total offense in the first half to put together its most complete performance of the season to improve to 3-2 overall.
Senior quarterback Adam Froman played his most efficient game of the year, despite playing just a little more than two quarters. The 6-foot-4 signal caller was 16-for-20 for 235 yards and a career-high four touchdown passes. Junior wide receiver Josh Bellamy continues to showcase his ability, catching six passes for 112 yards and two scores, while junior tight end Josh Chichester and senior tight end Cameron Graham also notched touchdown receptions.
Louisville also showed a potent ground game for the second straight week, accounting for 299 yards and three touchdowns. Senior running back Bilal Powell tallied a career-high 204 yards and two scores, recording just the ninth 200-yard game in school history. Powell had his second scoring run of 70 or more yards this year when he raced 74 yards for a touchdown.
The Cardinals' defense registered its first shutout since a 62-0 win over Temple in 2006 with a smothering and pressuring defense. Louisville sacked Memphis quarterbacks six times and notched one interception. The Cardinals allowed just 223 total yards, including 39 on the ground.
The Bearcats enter the game at 2-3 on the season following a 45-3 home win over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday night. Cincinnati also has a win over Indiana State (40-7) with losses at Fresno State (28-14), at N.C. State (30-19) and to Oklahoma (31-29).
The Series - Louisville and Cincinnati
The Cardinals and Bearcats will meet for the 50th time, with Cincinnati holding a 28-20-1 advantage in the series, which dates back to 1929. The Bearcats have won the last two meetings between the two schools - a 41-10 victory last year at Nippert Stadium and a 28-20 win in 2008 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. However, since 1998, the Cardinals have won nine of the last 12 decisions.
Louisville-Connecticut Game Set for 3:30 p.m. Kickoff on ESPNU
Kickoff for Louisville's Oct. 23 BIG EAST home game against Connecticut is set for 3:30 p.m. at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium and the game will be televised live by ESPNU.
GAME FACTS - Louisville (3-2, 0-0) vs. Cincinnati (2-3, 0-0)
Date: Friday, Oct. 15
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Site: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (55,000+), Louisville, Ky.
TV: ESPN will televise the game live with Joe Tessitore (play-by-play) and Rod Gilmore (analyst)
Radio: Paul Rogers (play-by-play), Stefan LeFors (analyst) and Doug Ormay (sideline) will call all the action on WHAS 840 AM
Also: SIRIUS Satellite Radio, Ch. 122; XM Satellite Radio Ch. 143
Rankings: Both teams are unranked in this week's national polls.