University of Louisville senior offensive lineman Jake Smith joked as he left the field Saturday night that he was more sore from standing more than a half on the sidelines with his equipment on that he was from the limited snaps the first team received.
The Cardinals rolled 66-21 over Murray State and the snaps were limited for the starters.
But U of L head coach sure wasn't limited in the players he put in the game. Cardinal Authority did a count that had U of L playing a whopping 76 players in the win over the Racers.
U of L played eight true freshman - six for the first time - and had 26 different players see action in their first career games, including several walk-on players.
"We got a lot of people in and that was our goal," Petrino said after the game.
On Monday, Petrino said in a team meeting last Friday he told his team that, 'We should win this game. We're a better football team than they are.'
His point was letting his players know a lot of folks would play.
"We had a lot of guys in that room that contributed to us winning the Miami game by how hard they practices and the looks they gave us in practice, but they didn't get into the game," Petrino said he told his team. "So what we need to do is go out and take care of business in the first half. Play well and get a lead so we can get everyone in the game."
Petrino said he told his starters on offense they were finished at halftime and the defense had one series in the second half before they called it a night.
The rest was all backups.
The Cardinals played four quarterbacks, including third and fourth-stringers Brett Nelson and Kyle Bolin. Those two saw action for the first time with Nelson completing 3 of 4 passes for 23 yards and Bolin completing 1 of 2 for 10 yards.
Darius Skinner, a redshirt senior walk-on from Clark County High School in Winchester, Ky., carried eight times for 27 yards. Chris Miele, a walk-on from Manual, caught a pass for 10 yards, while walk-on Luke Brohm from St. Xavier had a kickoff return for nine yards.
"A lot of guys went in there and played hard," senior lineman Jamon Brown said after the game, noting some linemen "deserved the chance to play," including walk-on David Noltemeyer, who saw his first action in a game at U of L.
Petrino said last week the staff would decided on redshirts prior to the game and inserted several players who are true freshman. Running back L.J. Scott, tight end Charles Standberry and defensive back Trumaine Washington played in the opener against Miami.
Quarterback Reggie Bonnafon, wide receivers Javonte Bagley and Cameron Polk, defensive back De'Eric Culver and defensive end Henry Famurewa. Another freshman who saw action for the Cardinals was kicker Jon Brown, a former U of L soccer player.