A night of firsts in Cardinal football history
The Cards concluded spring practice with a dazzling display of offensive fireworks before 8,500 fans in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Friday night during the annual Spring Game.
The Red's, which comprised the first team units played well in defeating the White's (seconds team) 47-0.
Red quarterback Stephone Lefors was on the money all night, completing 15-18 in the first half for 270 yards, 3 TD's. Sophomore running back Eric Shelton carried 15 times behind the #1 offensive line and gained 121 yards and scored one touchdown. Wide receiver Broderick Clark caught five passes on the night for 139 yards and 2 TD's.
And the new coach seemed please with his Red unit offensively following Friday nights game.
"I was happy with the execution of the first team offense....I thought we looked fairly sharp, didn't make mistakes, didn't have penalties," Coach Petrino said following the game.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Justin Rascatti also played well, completing 6-7 passes in the second half for 89 yards, including a 29 yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Joshua Tinch with under a minute remaining in the contest.
"I thought the quarterbacks did a good job of executing what we wanted them to do," Petrino said. "So it's nice to stand back and when you expect them to throw the ball a certain place they did."
Defensively, the first unit played well and were led by safety Kerry Rhodes, who made 5 tackles, 1 TFL and intercepted the games only pass, tackle Montavious Stanley, who had 5 tackles and a TFL, middle linebacker Robert McCune (7 tackles) and sophomore safety Brent Johnson (7 tackles).
"I was happy with the way the one defense ran around and hit," Petrino said. " We had a lot of good hitting going on out there....I was just happy to see them run and hit."
And after 14 spring practices, the Cards appear to have taken away several valuable lessons heading into the fall, which pleased Coach Petrino following last night's game.
"I thought we got a lot out of it [spring practice], particularly introducing the new offense and defense and I know the players believe in themselves so that's a big part of it right there," Petrino said. "They had fun out here tonight..It was nice to get the coaches off the field let the players find the huddle, let the defense find the ball and get lined up...So it was good and I think they had fun."
On the field
- 2003 signees Michael Bush, Ryan Holifield, and Danny Barlow were in attendance for last night's festivities. Holifield, accompanied by his father Mark, was excited to be a part of the atmosphere and seemed eager to join the Cardinal program in the fall.
- 2004 quarterback prospect Brian Brohm was on the sidelines for last night's game and was accompanied by his father, former UofL great, Oscar.
- The 8,000 fans announced for last night's game set a new spring game record.
- Several UofL basketball players were in attendance, including Francisco Garcia, Alhaji Mohammad, Kendall Dartez, and Otis George.
- The First Annual Friends of ITV Spring Game Tailgate was a huge success. Some 50-60 people showed up to celebrate the conclusion of spring practice and appeared eager for the start of football season and more tailgaiting opportunities. Signee Ryan Holifield and his father Mark even dropped by to say hello before the game.