Coming off one of the biggest wins in school history and heading into a new season with a ton of hype, the University of Louisville football team will be on the field Saturday for the Wendy's Wonderful Kids Spring Game.
The Cardinals will complete spring practice with the spring game at 1 p.m. in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The attendance is expected anywhere from 25,000 or higher and the gates will open at noon.
"When you win, you get winners and people want to follow," U of L coach Charlie Strong said. "That is what's happening with the momentum of this program.
"Our fans are unbelievable."
The game will end a month of practices this spring for the Cardinals, who beat Florida in the Sugar Bowl and are expected to be ranked in the preseason top 10.
U of L returns 19 starters and more than 50 letterwinners, including Heisman Trophy candidate Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback.
"Everybody is competing hard and jobs are not settled," defensive tackle Brandon Dunn said. "The young guys are learning from the veterans, and there is just a good vibe around the program."
Players say that practices have been smooth, while Strong said he's seen improvement but "we are still not there."
""We're returning a lot, and a lot is going to be said about this football team," Strong said. "The thing this football team needs to do is, it's still all about work for us, and I tell them all the time."
Strong said he's been hard on the team this spring and anytime they slack off he'll "just put that Syracuse game in," from last season when the Orange beat the Cardinals in the regular-season.
"Spring ball helps you perfect what you have to do in fall camp," defensive tackle Roy Philon said. "Spring is basically fundamentals and working on yourself. It's working on yourself so you can be better during the season. The defensive line took a step forward from last season. The defensive line looks good out there."
The Cardinals are hoping for a record spring crowd. U of L drew 25,000 fans for the 2007 Spring Game.
There will be plenty of activities all day long.
Both the men's and women's basketball teams will be honored at halftime of the game, while the women's team will sign autographs on the main concourse at noon.
The festivities begin at 9:30 a.m. with a Street Fest featuring rides, live music and concessions for children and adults. Fans can get a free photo with the men's basketball national championship trophy from 10-12:30.
The Norton Terrace location will sell $1 beers during the game.