Found August 16, 2013 on
Fox Sports Ohio:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. Three years ago only seems longer than it was for Louisville football. The Charlie Strong era began with a thud; a 23-16 loss to rival Kentucky at home in the first game at renovated Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium was not how the Cardinals faithful envisioned things going.
Single games can be defining moments, however. For Strong and his fledgling program, it was just a first game. The last game Louisville played, now thats the one that has people talking.
The Cardinals finished in a four-way tie for the Big East championship with Cincinnati, Rutgers and Syracuse but earned the conferences automatic BCS bowl game bid and went on to surprise everyone but themselves by beating Florida 33-23 in a game that wasnt that close. Led by junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville is a consensus top-10 pick in preseason polls.
As big of a job as Strong had in raising the program from those first steps, reining in the expectations of this season could be a bigger task.
I tell them all the time, guys, the measuring stick of this team is going to be measured to that Florida game. And we played very well in that game. So now everyone is going to expect you to play each game the way you played in that game, and it's not going to happen, said Strong at the American Athletic Conference media day. So let's not get full of ourselves and let's not think that we have all the answers because the moment you do, you will walk into a game, you'll get into a week where you won't practice well and you'll go get it put on you pretty good. And then that would be a wake-up call. We don't need any wake-up calls. We need to hit the alarm button before somebody comes in there and puts it on us really good.
Louisville was the medias preseason pick to win the American, ahead of Cincinnati. The two teams will play the regular season finale at Nippert Stadium on Dec. 5. This is Louisvilles one season in the conference before joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2014.
As much talent as the Cardinals have returning, paramount to their success is going to be keeping Bridgewater healthy. The offensive line is Strongs biggest concern as preseason preparations for the Sept. 1 opener against Ohio continue.
The Cardinals were already pleased with their running back group, even though top backs Dominique Brown and Senorise Parry are coming back from knee injuries, before it was announced that former Auburn running back Michael Dyer was transferring to Louisville. Dyer was the MVP of the BCS national championship game in 2011 when Auburn beat Oregon but troubles off the field, including drug and gun incidents, got him kicked off the teams at Auburn and Arkansas State.
Dyer spent last year at Arkansas Baptist College and earned his associates degree there, making him immediately eligible to play this season.
Hes fit in great, said Brown, from Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati. He adds something weve never had. For two years he was a 1,000-yard rusher so were trying to get to where he once was. National championship, he played on a big stage, he was the national championship MVP so hes bringing a lot of stuff like that. Hes been there. Were trying to get over that hump.
Brown quarterbacked Winton Woods to the Ohio Division II state championship as a senior in 2009 in an explosive triple-option offense. While the transition to running back isnt a great one for him, hes still had to learn different nuances running the ball in a pro style offense. He played sparingly as a true freshman in Strongs first season but was utilized greater as a sophomore when he was just learning those nuances.
That years game at Kentucky, a 24-17 Louisville win, stood out to Brown for more reasons than the 91 yards he gained on 14 carries.
I ran out of bounds and (running backs) coach (Kenny) Carter ripped me, said Brown. He said youre a running back now and we dont do that stuff. I think it was more of a mental thing. I had more of quarterback mentality. I wasnt being as physical as they wanted me to be.
Preston Brown (no relation) is another Cincinnati native who has grown up with Strongs program. Brown started as a true freshman out of Northwest High School against Kentucky in the 2010 opener.
That lasted about four plays, linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary recalled.
Brown survived that first game. He played in every game the rest of the season and has been a starter since his sophomore season. He was named second team All-Big East last season as the middle linebacker.
Because of the situation we were in with the program, he had start out of necessity because we didnt have a lot of bodies, said Jean-Mary. We probably threw him into the mix a little too early but it was trial by fire and hes grown from there. Hes had to play all three positions, which is stunting his growth a little bit but you could really see him coming into his own toward the latter half of last year and hes progressed from there. He is one of the rocks of our defense and we feel hes got a chance to be one of the better players in the conference.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Charlie Strong and the Louisville Cardinals conducted their first official scrimmage of the fall camp on Saturday morning. Although there is still room for improvement, Charlie Strong seemed very pleased with his team today.
“We had a really good day today,” head coach Charlie Strong said after the scrimmage. “Just offensively, Teddy did a good job of throwing the football...
University of Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson has played a huge role in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s epic transformation over the past two years. Watson and Bridgewater have formed a special bond that has been well documented.
Louisville fans aren’t the only ones who noticed Shawn Watson’s success as the offensive coordinator after being given the job once...
Richard Benjamin, a 6-foot, 200-pound, freshman was one of the five true freshman featured in our article about the five true freshman who could receive make an immediate impact.
The Tampa, FL., native played mostly wide receiver in high school, but was recruited by most schools as a defensive back, which is what he’s been playing in fall camp. At least until today. Benjamin Tweeted...
The Louisville Cardinal defensive backfield will have some new faces getting serious playing time this season.
Last season, Charles Gaines was a wide receiver for the Cardinals, catching 11 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown before an injury cut his season short, while Jermaine Reve spent time at both safety and corner, seeing the field primarily as a nickel back when opposing...
Since making his return to college football, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has picked up right where he left off. After two years away from the game, Meyer took the job in Columbus in 2012 and guided the Buckeyes to a 12-0 record.
Meyer made a name for himself in the college football ranks during his five years at the University of Florida where he celebrated two national championships...
Here's a look at one of the players that should be a standout on the offensive side of the ball again this season for the University of Louisville - tight end Ryan Hubbell.
The 2013 preseason associated press college football poll was released on Saturday morning. The Louisville Cardinals came in at No. 9. Louisville was also ranked No. 9 in the preseason Coaches Poll that was released a couple of weeks ago.
The only team to on Louisville’s schedule that received any AP votes was the Cincinnati Bearcats who picked up just three votes, which puts them...
This morning, the Cardinals conducted their first of two practices on Thursday. Following the two-hour session, defensive coordinator Vance Bedford, along with cornerbacks Terrell Floyd and Jermaine Reve, visited with the media.
About half way through a boosters meeting late Wednesday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Charlie Strong sent a message to the fans assembled on the third floor of the PNC Club.
The message, delivered by stadium manager K. C. Scull, was for the fans not to go near the showcase windows overlooking the field. “The coach is running some special plays and requests that no one look...
Rick Pitino’s top target, Trey Lyles, won’t be the only big man taking an official visit to Louisville at the end of the month.
Chinanu Onuaku, a 6-foot-9 center from Upper Marlboro, MD., received a scholarship offer from Coach Pitino last week. On Wednesday afternoon he scheduled an official visit to Louisville. Onuaku will be on campus August, 31.
At this point, Lyles and Onuaku...
Cardinal Authority continues our position series – a look at tight ends – with a short story on the transition of former defensive end B.J. Butler to the offensive side of the ball for the University of Louisville football team.
There were three recruits in Charlie Strong’s 2011 recruiting class that were ranked in the top 170. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and wide receiver DeVante Parker were two of them. However, the third one may surprise you. Sophomore saferty Gerod Holliman was ranked as the 168th best prospect in the entire 2011 class. If you follow football...
Seems to be a lot of confusion regarding what’s actually happening on Fan Day at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Sunday.
What we’ve been able to surmise is that won’t be a full scale scrimmage, despite what has been repeated from many sources. The University of Louisville football team held a scrimmage Saturday. No way Charlie Strong is putting his troops through that two...
Kendall Randolph, a 5-foot-11, 170-pound, defensive back from Tallahassee, FL., tells GoUpState.com that he plans to announce his college decision in September and the Louisville Cardinals are currently at the top of his list.
Randolph attends Lincoln High School in Tallahassee, FL., which is the alma matter of current Louisville freshman Louisville James Hearns. Louisville assistant...
University of Louisville coach Charlie Strong said on Wednesday the defensive line is further along than the offensive line at this point in camp. Here’s an update from Cardinal Authority on one of those defensive guys – Roy Philon.