Louisville, which defeated ACC rival Miami 31-13 on Monday, will face in-state FCS program Murray State on Saturday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The contest against the Racers presents a different sort of challenges for Bobby Petrino as he preps his team for week two.
Coming off an impressive and emotional season-opening victory - one that lifted the program into the AP Top 25 – the Cardinals could easily fall into the trap of not respecting their opponent and not give a similar effort at practice throughout week.
“Well, it will challenge our maturity,” said Petrino. “I think the No. 1 thing we need to do is come out and practice today and work on getting better ourselves. We saw on video, we have a lot of improvement to make technically on our technique and fundamentals and consistency.”
Murray State defeated Division III opponent Union College in its opener, winning 73-26. The Racers utilize a no-huddle offense, featuring multiple weapons in the passing and running attack. They gained 535 total yards, including 298 on the ground.
“They are up-tempo and really fast, which is college football today,” U of L defensive coordinator Todd Grantham told Cardinal Authority on Wednesday. “We'll have our hands full. We just got to execute.”
Following a day off on Tuesday, the players reviewed film on Wednesday morning and then hit the practice fields later in the evening. Grantham was pleased at the maturity level and focus that the players displayed during two-hour workout.
“I thought it was a good work day,” he said. “It was a grind day. I thought the guys for the most part worked and did what they had to do.”
The focus during practice on Wednesday and Thursday is to correct the mistakes they saw on film and strive to improve each day out.
“I think if we can do those things and really focus on our execution and doing things the way we need to do them,” Petrino said. “And getting better; I think that's the biggest thing is our players understand that we need to continue to improve and get better.”
Kickoff for Murray State (1-0) at Louisville (1-0) is slated for 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN3.