Cards credit 'Wet Ball Wednesday' drill

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Really, no football team is ever prepared for the awful conditions the University of Louisville faced on Saturday night against Southern Mississippi. But because of a drill the offense does each Wednesday, the Cardinals were as prepared as they could be with the torrential rain.

Even with the football spotted in a puddle for every down and rain pouring in their faces, University of Louisville center Mario Benavides and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater only didn't connect on one snap.

"Still one too many," Benavides said.

But given the circumstances – more than five inches of rain during the game and a field that didn't drain – offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said it was "a remarkable job," by the offensive guys in a 21-17 victory.

Benavides gave a lot of credit to his coaches.

The senior leader said the conditions didn't bother the Cardinals as much because of a drilled called "Wet Ball Wednesday" they do every week.

"That's a testament to our coaches for sure," Benavides said. "We do it every week and it's really annoying. They get those (water fountain pumps) like we drink out of, it's almost like a super soaker.

"They spray me in the face and spray the ball and just soak it. There's usually so much that when I snap it, (Bridgewater) gets water in his face. So we're used to it."

Benavides said managers and offensive line coach Dave Borbely literally stand over the ball and keep spraying throughout the drill.

Bridgewater noted the only bad snap was a bobble that he eventually got his hands on and handed off for a short gain.

The sophomore quarterback lauded the coaches for the drill.

"We take pride in Wet Ball Wednesday," he said. "It's something we work hard. It's important and we have been doing it since day one. It paid off."

Benavides said the only difference was at practice he thought the ball got a little heavier but Bridgewater said, "I don't know about that."

"They just squirt the ball there," he said. "(On Saturday) the ball was put in puddles and spotted there every play. It was tough."

But the Cardinals were prepared. Benavides said there really wasn't any questioning of the drill before but even more so now the players will be more apt to pay attention and focus on Wet Ball Wednesday.

Added Bridgewater: "I never question anything we do around here. When the coaches do a drill, it's usually the best thing for us."


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