Michael McCammon

Here are 5 takeaways from the weekly news conference for Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino; his team is 3-0 and ranked No. 3 in AP

Here are 5 takeaways from the weekly news conference for Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino. The Cardinals are 3-0 and will play Marshall on Saturday night at 8 o'clock in Huntington, W. Va.

Here are 5 takeaways from the weekly news conference for Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino.

The Cardinals are 3-0 and will play Marshall on Saturday night at 8 o'clock in Huntington, W. Va.

1. The season is in focus: There has been a lot of chatter in the media and among the fans about the No. 3 ranking in the Associated Press poll following the 63-20 bashing of then No. 2 Florida State on Saturday.

But Petrino will have none of the talk.

Petrino said he had his team pat themselves on the back and then also said he told them he knows they are ranked No. 3 in one poll and No. 4 in the other poll. But he went on to tell them:

"We set goals and that certainly doesn't reach our goals."

While it was a big step to beat Florida State, Louisville's main goal wasn't just to win one of the three elite games everybody was talking about but to win them all and the team is back to work.

"We have a 24-hour rule," defensive lineman Drew Bailey said. "We celebrate and then 24 hours later we're back to work."

2. Special teams are really 'special' for Petrino: Coach Petrino sounded like a proud poppa when he was talking about the special teams, said he had a feeling the punt team was about to spring one.

Jaire Alexander returned one for 69 yards and a TD and another was 61 yards and tackled at the 15. He mentioned Alphonso Carter and also Zykiesis Cannon as guys who made "really good blocks" for Alexander.

Petrino said Alexander is a "special, special returner." Alexander was named ACC Special Teams Player of the Week and Petrino said he expects more excitement from his return game.

He used Alexander back on kickoff return - until he got cramps late - instead of freshman Seth Dawkins. The staff has been telling Dawkins to relax a bit - he was running to straight up and down.

Bottom line, Petrino excited about his big-play guys in the return game.

3. Lamar is tough on himself: After the game U of L quarterback Lamar Jackson said he would have given his performance a 'D,' despite the four touchdowns rushing and the one passing.

Petrino smiled when asked about the grade Jackson gave himself on Saturday.

"I wouldn't want him to be my teacher," Petrino said.

Petrino added that "we all know Lamar Jackson wasn't a D," but then added that "there is still room for improvement. He's always working and that's the good thing, we still have room to improve."

4. Set the edge on defense: Petrino is still elated over the performance of the defense and said a big reason for the success on that side of the ball against the Seminoles was because the defense "set the edge."

Devonte Fields was a disruptive force on defense for the Cardinals He was only credited for four tackles and a sack but he had five five quarterback pressures and even played well in pass coverage several snaps.

Petrino said James Hearns has also "really been playing well" and noted the Cardinals have a difference-maker in Josh Harvey-Clemons. The senior 'money backer' played "very physical."

Louisville sacked Deondre Francois five times and held the Seminoles to 2-for-13 on third-downs.

5. Injury update: Petrino didn't give an injury update on safety Chucky Williams or cornerback Shaq Wiggins after both were injured in the second half of the game on Saturday.

Williams suffered a left shoulder injury when he was tackled after an interception, while Wiggins suffered an ankle injury early in the half. Neither player returned to the game against the Seminoles.

Petrino has a policy not to talk about injuries.


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