University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino said he met with his team in preparation for Saturday's top-five matchup at Clemson and told them this game is the reason they came to U of L.
Petrino said the 8 o'clock matchup on ABC - which is the ESPN College GameDay - is a "great challenge" for his Cardinals. U of L is 4-0 and ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press Poll, while Clemson is also undefeated and ranked No. 5.
"This is an exciting game for us," Petrino said. "We tell our players this is why they come here to the University of Louisville, to play in big games like this. We are certainly looking forward to it."
It's the second time in three weeks the Cardinals have a major matchup. U of L whipped Florida State 63-20 two weeks ago before a raucous crowd at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
"We love it," senior defensive lineman DeAngelo Brown said. "We embrace the big stage."
But this one will be different - on the road. U of L co-offensive coordinator Chris Klenakis said he remembers Death Valley was "really loud" two years ago but noted the offense is experienced enough to handle the situation.
And wide receiver Reggie Bonnafon said the Cardinals relish the chance to play the Tigers.
"It's loud," Bonnafon said. "We have a lot of guys that were able to go there two years ago, so we will be prepared for it and we are excited for the opportunity."
The Cardinals are looking to go 5-0 for the first time since 2013 and just the ninth time in school history. Petrino started 5-0 in 2004 and '06 during his time at U of L.
Louisville is 21-9 since the return of Petrino to the head coaching position, while Clemson (66) and Louisville (58) are two of the winningest programs in the country since 2010.
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