As No. 7 Louisville prepared for NC State, they heard multiple comments about how the Wolfpack would bring a physical style of play to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. It became a point of motivation throughout the daily practices.
"I think we got a little tired all week long of hearing about how physical a team they were and how hard they hit and I think our guys took it personal and felt like we were the more physical team out there today," said U of L head coach Bobby Petrino. "We executed well."
That they did. Louisville scored early and often, building a 44-0 halftime advantage before cruising to a 54-13 win.
Despite facing an NC State team that ranked 5th nationally against the run, allowing just 95 yards per game, and among the top 20 in sacks and tackles for loss, the Cardinals offense dominated. Louisville finished with 553 total yards - that's 238 more than the Wolfpack have averaged through their prior six games.
An NC State offense that entered the contest averaging 186 rushing yards per game was held to a meager 14 on Saturday. The Pack managed just 250 total yards against the Cardinals defense.
"I thought we really controlled the line of scrimmage, but going into the game our players, I think, really wanted to prove that we were a physical football team and that we could control both fronts," said Petrino. "Our defensive front and offensive front took it personal. We really had a good, hard, physical week of practice and it carried over to the game."
Check out Petrino's complete post-game press conference in the video player above.
Lamar Jackson, Cole Hikutini, Keith Kelsey, Stacy Thomas and Jonathan Greenard all spent time with the media following the win.