Lozo, Pio back; U of L ready for Notre Dame

University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino met with the media on Thursday night as the Cardinals prepare to travel to South Bend, Ind., for a game against Notre Dame. Petrino updated the media on injuries and how the Cardinals have practiced this week.

University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino said his team is likely to get a pair of defensive starters back for Saturday's game at Notre Dame.

Petrino said linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin and defensive lineman Pio Vatuvei are expecting to play against the Irish after missing time with injuries.

Mauldin, who leads the team in tackles for a loss with 12, missed the Boston College game with a hamstring injury. Vatuvei, a junior-college transfer with 13 tackles and four tackles for a loss, has missed two games with an arm injury.

Both players have practiced all week for the Cardinals.

"I think they'll both be ready," Petrino said. "They've both practiced all week and done a nice job. I think they'll be back for us."

One player who won't be back is quarterback Will Gardner, the starter who is sidelined the rest of the season with a knee injury. True freshman Reggie Bonnafon, who is 2-1 as a starter this season, will get the call for the Cardinals.

Bonnafon has thrown for 662 yards and four touchdowns and also rushed for 138 yards and three TDs this season.

"He has some experience under his belt," Petrino said. "I'm really happy with the way he played and the poise he showed at Boston College. He's going to have to go up there and take care of the ball and make sure we execute."

Petrino said with Bonnafon in the game, Kyle Bolin will be the back up and the game plan will be to "call the game and play to win."

The Cardinals did practice outside on Thursday to get the special teams some work and to get the entire team adjusted to the cold weather.

The temperature is expected around 40 on Saturday in South Bend, Ind.

"A nice, cool day," Petrino laughed. "We just wanted them to get used to the fact that it's going to be cold. It's supposed to rain but that really doesn't matter, we just have to go up there and execute. I'm happy with the week of practice."

The Cardinals will fly to South Bend on Friday afternoon.


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