U of L football: Weekly notebook

The University of Louisville football team has its second open week of the season. The Cardinals will play Connecticut next Friday night at 8:30 p.m. Here's a look at a weekly Cardinal Authority notebook with some information on the team.

CARDS ENJOYING THE OPEN WEEK

The University of Louisville football team has a rare schedule with three open weeks this season. The Cardinals are in the middle of the second right now and will have another open week prior to the Dec. 4 finale at Cincinnati.

The U of L coaches said they enjoy the open week to get some players rested and healthy and to also work on basics and fundamentals.

And the players are also enjoying the down time.

"It's good to get in rhythm and take a break," senior wide receiver Damian Copeland said. "We also get to enjoy the weekend and watch other teams play.

"You want to play every week, but I like it."

OTHER AFROS STEPPING UP

Copeland said a bright spot so far for the Cardinals this season has been the other guys in the wide receiver group who have stepped up.

DeVante Parker has been slowed by a shoulder injury and Kai De La Cruz with a hamstring, but Eli Rogers, Robert Carter and Copeland have been solid.

And freshman James Quick has stepped up with a catch in three straight games, while Jarrett Davis is also a solid contributor.

"Coach (Ron) Dugans day in and day out tells us we have to all step up," Copeland said. "I feel like we are the AFROS and when one guy goes down have other guys that can step in and play the role.

"It takes the pressure off all of us."

PARKER, DE LA CRUZ HEALTHY AGAIN

U of L offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said Parker, who was injured in the Temple game, should be close to 100 percent against Connecticut.

Parker missed the Rutgers game but was back for Central Florida. He only had one catch last week against South Florida.

"If you watch his play, he's still not using his arm way he once did," Watson said. "But he's getting better every week. He's getting back to where he needs to be.

"His mobility was back last week, now he needs to get his strength back."

Watson said De La Cruz, who was injured against Rutgers, would "for sure" be back for the game at UConn next Friday.

"We're being smart with him this week," he said.

BROWN BACK IN FOR 100

U of L running back coach Kenny Carter said the folks on the sidelines made sure Dominique Brown reached 100 yards last week against USF.

Brown came back into the game in the fourth quarter, broke off a long run, and finished with 125 yards rushing. He also had 61 yards receiving and a TD.

"As the game went on, there were multiple people who realized that he was really close," Carter said. "We put him back in the game so he could have a 100-yard game."

It was the first 100-yard game of Brown's career. Senorise Perry has recorded a pair of 100-yard games this season.

RIGHT GUARD UP IN THE AIR

Watson said he's been pleased with the line play and said right tackle Ryan Mack was one of the stars of the win at USF.

"He's really coming along," Watson said.

One position still with multiple guys competing is right guard where Kam Joyer and Chris Acosta have split time. Joe Manley has seen some time, while Nacho Garcia has also played but was injured last week.

"Chris has played well," Watson said. "Kam had a really good game against Central Florida. We'll just see who competes. It's a battle every day."

WALLACE HAVING A BANNER SEASON

U of L sophomore kicker John Wallace is having a solid season again, hitting 12 of 15 field goals and 36 of 37 extra points.

Two of the field-goal misses were blocked, while the lone miss was a 45-yard field goal in the win against Rutgers.

"He's doing what he did last year," Carter said. "He's been solid. He's just been spot on. He missed the 49-yarder but other than that, he's been right on.

"He's having a great season, again."


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