OL JOYER FILLS IN FOR INJURED MILLER
Kamran Joyer hasn't seen a lot of extensive action during his career at the University of Louisville. But the junior from Tampa, Fla., was put on the spot last weekend when the Cardinals played at Southern Mississippi.
John Miller went down with an ankle injury in the first quarter and the 6-foot-3, 285-pound Joyer filled in for the rest of the game.
The coaches and his teammates lauded Joyer, who can play several positions on the line, after the game. He had several key blocks, including one downfield on Senorise Perry's 20-yard game-winning touchdown run.
"He did a great job," offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said. "When John went down, that was pretty significant for us. Kam came in and held his own.
"He did a really nice job filling in for John."
Joyer came to U of L in July of 2009 and spent the first year as a redshirt. He missed the entire 2010 season with a foot injury before playing in three games, including a start against Marshall, last season.
Senior center Mario Benavides, a team leader, said his teammates and coaches have "a lot of faith" in Joyer's abilities.
"He's one of those guys, he's like the swing guy," Benavides said. "If something would happen to me he could be at center or John at guard and Jake at guard. Kam knows all three of the inside positions.
"He had all the talent in the world and now mentally he's coming along."
EARLY GAME TIME NOT A FIRST
The Cardinals game time against Pittsburgh next weekend is slated for 11 a.m. and the game will be televised on ESPNU.
It's not the first early start for the program.
The Cardinals have played at least two 11 a.m. games in recent years, including a win over Rutgers on the road in the final game of the 2010 season.
The other 11 a.m. start many fans don't remember because Papa John's Cardinal Stadium was pretty empty on Nov. 27, 2009.
Yes, the last time U of L had an 11 a.m. kickoff it was a 34-14 loss to Rutgers in the last game of the Steve Kragthorpe-era.
The program has played several other early games.
DURANT MAKES BIG LAST PLAY
A play that was overlooked a bit from last week's 21-17 win over Southern Miss was the final play of the game by the Golden Eagles.
Southern Miss running back Desmond Johnson attempted to pass back to quarterback Ricky Lloyd, similar to the Western Kentucky converted two-point conversion to beat Kentucky several weeks ago.
But this time, linebacker George Durant stayed home. The pass never had a chance to be completed as Durant knocked it down.
"We had never seen that on film," safety Calvin Pryor said. "But everybody read their keys and did their jobs on that play."
With linebacker Daniel Brown sidelined because if a knee injury, Durant stepped up and played well. He finished with seven tackles, which was one more tackle than he had through the first four games of the season.
PERRY HAS SUCCESS IN THE SLOP
Senorise Perry has never considered himself a mudder.
Then again, it was all rain and standing water – and not mud – that Perry sloshed through last weekend for a team-high 118 yards. He scored the game-winning touchdown on a 20-yard scamper around the right side.
"It doesn't matter what the conditions are, we just have to run," Perry said. "If you go out and execute, no matter what the conditions are, everything will be fine."
Perry ran 22 times for 118 yards and two TDs in the victory.
WHAT BACK GETS THE CALL
Perry and Jeremy Wright have both been carrying the load in the running game for the Cardinals through five games.
Perry has run 84 times for 458 yards and five TDs, while Wright has run 86 times for 389 yards and five TDs.
The numbers are similar, but how do the coaches decided on who gets the carry. Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said that's up to running back coach Kenny Carter, who puts the backs in the game.
"Kenny plays to the hot hand and who has the best rhythm," Watson said. "He's doing a great job at it right now and the guys are running hard.
"He rotates those guys in and with the play calling, I don't worry about it. I really don't worry about what back is in the game. I just call the play. They both have similar suits and both do a great job."
KICKERS STILL PERFECT
After five games, two Louisville place kickers are still perfect for the season on six field-goal attempts.
John Wallace has made 4 of 4, including a 38-yard field goal in the middle of a downpour and the slop last week at Southern Miss.
Matthew Nakatani is 2 of 2 on the season.
Natakani's longest was a 45-yard make against Missouri State, while Wallace has a long of 43 against North Carolina.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Senior center Mario Benavides on the Cardinals' open week:
"I'm old, so I'm ready for the by week," he said. "I need to lay down."