When No. 7 Louisville (4-1, 2-1) welcomes Duke (3-3, 0-2) to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Friday night it will be three days shy of a month and the last time that the Cardinals entertained in its home confines.
"We are looking forward to the game Friday night," said Petrino. "It seems like a long time since we have played here in our stadium so it will feel great to be back here in our home."
The last time U of L served as host, it grabbed the national spotlight after it handled Florida State like it was a struggling FCS program. This time out it'll be the Bluedevils, who are be searching for its first league win of the season. Following a week off, the Cardinals hope to continue to perform as one of the nation's best on both sides of the ball.
"When you watch Duke on video, they are a good football team," said Petrino. "They play good defense, they are very disciplined, they are very well coached, they run hard to the ball. Offensively, they have a young quarterback, they have some big wide receivers, and offensive line does a good job and understands what they are trying to do. So we are going to have to do a good job, come out and play our game and play the game of football the way we have the first five, but that will all depend on our preparation here this week in practice.”
Playing on a Friday night isn't a new challenge for the Cardinals. It will be the second time this season that the team has played on Friday night and the 10th time for Bobby Petrino while head coach at Louisville. Under the guidance of Petrino, the Cardinals are a perfect 9-0 on Friday nights and those contests, along with a number of other weeknight games, have helped interest in the program develop at greater levels.
"I think it’s great, the night environment, and the crowd, and the excitement for our players," said Petrino. "It always gives you a huge advantage to play at home and play under the lights and play with our crowd. So we just have to hopefully come out and have the same type of atmosphere that we had for the Florida State game. Then it is up to us to come out and perform and make plays and play the way that we’re capable of playing. Because I think that really helps you in recruiting is when you play well on national TV during the week. A lot of people, a lot of the players are watching it."
Friday's contest, which is an official Blackout game, marks just the second meeting between the two programs, with Louisville winning the prior meeting 40-3 in 2002. Following that defeat, Duke used the legal system to free itself from a contract calling for a four-game series. The Cardinals enter the game as a 35-point favorite.