Sugar Bowl notes: Dome is 'massive'

NEW ORLEANS – The University of Louisville football team continues preparation for the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 in the Big Easy. Cardinal Authority has a Friday notebook from the SuperDome.


The University of Louisville basketball team played last spring in the Mercedes Superdome during the Final Four. But before Friday most of the U of L football players had never stepped foot into the stadium.

The Cardinals saw it all on Friday.

"Wow, it's huge," defensive lineman Brandon Dunn said.

Added defensive lineman Lorenzo Mauldin: "It was like opening up another Christmas present (about the walk into the building)."

Louisville spent two hour practicing in the dome and according to offensive lineman Alex Kupper "went pretty hard. It's a business trip."

"This place is huge," Kupper said of the Dome. "It's such a massive stadium. It's every bit of what people said it was like."

Fullback Nick Heuser said running back coach Kenny Carter tried to prepare some of the players for how big the stadium was before arriving.

"Coacg Carter told us when they built the stadium they tried to make this one of the wonders of the world," Heuser said. "I can definitely see why. It's huge."


Louisville senior offensive lineman Alex Kupper will see an old friend on the Florida sidelines during the Sugar Bowl.

Kupper and Florida senior lineman Sam Robey were classmates at Trinity High School and played four years together on the line for the Shamrocks. The two also played on the basketball team for three seasons.

"We never thought it would happen," Kupper said of a meeting in college. "But it has and it's going to be special."

Kupper, one of the senior leaders on the U of L team, said it's "really special," to have been so close to Robey and now the two end their careers on the same field. The two were mainly opposite tackles at Trinity

"I know him very well," Kupper said. "We meet once and for all."

The two helped Trinity to three state titles.


Junior wide receiver Damian Copeland said the players are all watching out for each other and making sure there's no trouble on Bourbon Street.

The Cardinals had a 1 a.m. curfew on Thursday and Friday and that changed to midnight on Saturday. U of L head coach Charlie Strong said he wanted his players to have some fun but not party too much.

"We did a pretty good job (On Thursday)," Kupper said. "Nobody got in trouble. We just have to be smart. We don't want to get anybody sent home."


Louisville will be finishing up practice at the Superdome during the first half of the basketball game against Kentucky.

But several players, including Kupper, said the team would try and find a spot to watch the game once they get back to the hotel.

"I'm a big hoops guy," Kupper said. "I'm going to watch it somewhere."


The Cardinals will visit West Jefferson Medical Center on Saturday morning as part of the pre-Sugar Bowl festivities.

U of L offensive coordinator Shawn Watson will hold a press conference on Saturday morning, followed by five offensive players in breakout rooms for interviews for the Cardinals.

U of L will then practice this afternoon for two hours.

Cardinal Authority Top Stories