U of L football: Weekly notebook

The University of Louisville football team puts a 6-1 mark on the line this weekend, traveling to Tampa, Fla., to meet South Florida. Cardinal Authority has a notebook full of U of L football items to get you prepares for the game against the Bulls.


Despite the 38-35 loss to Central Florida, University of Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson was elated over the offensive performance.

The Cardinals had two turnovers but did amass 445 yards on 62 plays, including 104 yards rushing and 341 yards passing by Teddy Bridgewater.

After falling behind 31-28, the Cardinals drove down the field and scored with about three minutes left to take the 35-31 lead.

"We might have played one of our best games of the season as far as execution," Watson said. "On our side of the ball, it came down to two turnovers. We had one going into the end zone and one coming out and those hurt.

"We have to get the ball up tight and take care of it."

But Watson said "overall the kids played really well," and he's hoping that performance carries over into the South Florida game tomorrow.


The U of L offense will stay with the three running back rotation, but junior Dominique Brown is expected to get his first start of the season.

"He'll get the nod to go out there first," Watson said. "We'll still roll with all three of the guys but he's done a really nice job. He's put a lot of physical football on film. He's had two really good games in a row for us."

Brown ran 12 times for 88 yards last week and has been solid in his past three outings. He has 57 carries for 359 yards and four touchdowns this season. He's averaging 6.3 yards a carry and had two TDs last week.

"He ran behind his pads, ran hard and ran over people," U of L coach Charlie Strong said. "That is what you want to see. When you get a back that is playing like that, you just want to ride that back."

Senorise Perry has carried 75 times for 420 yards and five TDs, while Michael Dyer has carried 44 times for 223 yards and two TDs.

Watson said all three backs will "still get their chance."


With a rash of injuries at the position, the U of L staff needed more depth at the fullback position and Watson said recently they "held a tryout."

Former linebacker Lamar Atkins was the guy who stood out and was moved to the spot several weeks ago.

The 5-foot-11, 246-pound Atkins played some against Rutgers and saw his workload increase in the Central Florida game. He had one catch for two yards and made some key blocks in the offense.

"He's very physical and we needed that with the lead blocker," Watson said. "We keep adding more to his playbook, but so far we like what he's given us."


South Florida comes into the game on a two-game winning streak, beating Cincinnati and Connecticut without scoring an offensive touchdown.

Kicker Marvin Kloss had four field goals and the Bulls added a touchdown on special teams and defense in the win over Cincinnati.

The Bulls had a bye last week. Kloss has kicked nine consecutive field goals, including the game-winning field goal in a 13-10 win over UConn.

"They've only scored six touchdowns (all season)," Strong said. "But they are playing so well on defense."


**Wide receiver Kai De La Cruz is still a game time decision because of a hamstring injury he suffered against Rutgers.

**Teddy Bridgewater has connected with 10 receivers in four games during his career. He hit a career-high 11 against Syracuse in 2011.

**Bridgewater is only the fourth quarterback in school history with over 8,000 career yards. He now has 8,060 and trails only Chris Redman (12,541), Brian Brohm (10.775) and Dave Ragone (8,564) on the school's all-time list.

**Brown has 951 career yards and could surpass the 1,000-yard mark for his career this weekend.

**This will mark the fourth noon game of the season.

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