U of L football: Weekly notebook

The University of Louisville football team has its third open date of the season this week, but Cardinal Authority still has its weekly notebook. Here are a few notes surrounding the Cardinals' football program.

COPELAND NOT READY TO MAKE A DECISION

Senior wide receiver Damian Copeland said he found out he had received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA back in the third week of the season.

Now, Copeland has to decided if he wants to use it.

Copeland played in only eight games his first three seasons because of injuries and missed all but one game in 2011 with a hamstring issue.

"It's like God telling me for all your trouble you went through the first couple of years here, here's something you can fall back on it you need too," Copeland said this week. "I am pretty fortunate."

Copeland, who has 49 catches this season and over 1,000 yards in two years, said he wants to "finish strong," this season and isn't fretting his decision.

He said after the bowl game he would make a decision.

"I am going to sit down with my family," Copeland said. "I have not thought about it at all. I will make a decision at the end of the year.

"When I have time, I will sit down with my family and my coaches and make best decision for me. I don't know what that will be."

KEEP THE KEG OF NAILS ALIVE?

U of L will play at Cincinnati next Thursday in the season finale, a game that for the moment is the series finale.

The two teams play for the Keg of Nails and have played 53 times, including every year since 1996 when U of L joined Conference-USA.

But with the Cardinals headed the Atlantic Coast Conference next season, the Bearcats are not on the schedule in the near future.

U of L coach Charlie Strong said he hopes that changes.

"You'd really love to continue to play Cincinnati because you're an hour away, and we recruit that area," Strong said. "It's a game that's been played for a long time, so you'd like to continue that matchup."

But Strong said right now he's not worried about the future.

The Cardinals will play the Bearcats before an expected sold-out crowd in Nipper Stadium with both teams 6-1 in the American Athletic Conference.

"We'll walk into a hostile environment," Strong said.

PARKER LOOKING HEALTHY

U of L junior wide receiver DeVante Parker has been hampered by that shoulder injury since the Temple game.

But wide receivers coach Ron Dugans said he feels like Parker will be fully healthy for the Cincinnati game.

Parker has 37 catches for 639 yards and nine TDs in 10 games, despite the injury limiting his play in the past four games.

Parker is tied for fifth with the nine TDs in one season, while he's third in school history with his 25 career TD catches. Ibn Green leads the way with 33 all-time for the Cardinals, while Arnold Jackson is second with 31.

He has 1,674 career receiving yards, which is 130 yards behind Zek Parker who is 10th on the school's all-time list with 1,804 yards.

Hakeem Smith A RECORD START

Barring some unforeseen circumstance, U of L senior safety Hakeem Smith will tie a school record next week in the game against Cincinnati.

Smith will tie the school record for career starts with 50.

Travis Leffew holds the current record.


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