U of L football: Rutgers pre-game notes

It's game day – Louisville vs. Rutgers. Cardinal Authority has the latest on the game and this notebook of items heading into the 7:30 p.m. game.

BEST TEAM IN THE COUNTRY TALK

Louisville coach Charlie Strong was asked earlier in the week about showcasing his team on a Thursday night game with an ESPN audience.

Strong answered the question and later said he "tells my team every day they are the best team in the country."

Several players said they were pumped to hear Strong talk about them with so much confidence, while they all agreed.

"Oh yes, no doubt," quarterback Teddy Bridgewater responded when he was asked if the Cardinals were the best team in the country. "We just feel that way and it's all about confidence. We try and go out there every week and prove it."

Senior linebacker Preston Brown said there's no better spot for the Cardinals to backup the talk by Strong than with a national audience.

"We have to show it on Thursday," he said.

CARDS WAITING ON PARKER DECISION

Strong said junior wide receiver DeVante Parker would be evaluated later this afternoon and his status for the game would be decided at that time.

Parker, the leading receiver on the team with 21 catches, suffered a right shoulder injury last week at Temple.

"He's a player who has to be accounted for whenever he's on the field," Bridgewater said of Parker. "He has made plays and is one of those guys who just has an impact. He's big for our team."

But Bridgewater said he's prepared to play the game without Parker. The Cardinals are deep at the wide receiver position.

"We have guys who can do it," Bridgewater said. "We have depth at that position."

PUNT TEAM UPDATE

Special teams coach Kenny Carter said the late game punt block last weekend against Temple didn't have to do with the scheme.

The Owls blocked the punt and scored a touchdown late in the game.

"We were fine schematically," Carter said. "(The block) was a by product of (punter) Ryan (Johnson) being too far to the right.

"The scheme was fine."

Carter said there would be no changes to the punt team.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

U of L defensive coordinator Vance Bedford talking about Rutgers' mammoth offensive line:

"I wish they were in the Big 10 right now," Bedford said. "They are big, physical and solid linemen. They're a physical football team."


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