Louisville v. Army Preview

News, notes and tidbits as the Cardinals prepare for their home contest against the Cadets of Army.

Louisville vs. Army
October 11, 2003 | 3:00 p.m.
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium

 

QUOTES


Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino:

On the running back Eric Shelton: "They've got to hit the hole harder, Eric in particular.  He knows and understands that and we went through the video with him yesterday.


Coach Petrino (ITV)
It's a situation where he practiced extremely hard all week, ran the ball hard and prepared very well for the game but it just didn't carry over and he's got to make sure that it does from now on."

On Army:  "What they do well on defense is they don't make a lot of mistakes," Petrino said of the Cadets. "They're always aligned right. They run hard to the ball. They tackle well. I think it's going to be important for us to spread them out. We're not going to sit in there with tight formations and let them play nine guys to the run. We've got to try to expose their athletic ability by spreading them out."

Army head coach Todd Berry:


Coach Berry (Army)

On Louisville: "Louisville is a good football team that has confidence. They lost a tough game this past week to a good South Florida team. They have a good defensive group that swarms around the football. Offensively they have a fine running back, a quarterback that is active and an offensive line that has done a much better job this year."

On the possibility of defense getting frustrated because offense has not scored the past two games:  "We have always told our players that it is the defense's job to make sure the other team scores fewer points than we score. We tell the offense it is their job to score more points than the other team scores. Those are the missions of each unit. I don't sense frustration, from our defense, nor do I expect to."

 

NOTES

LOUISVILLE

  • Updated Depth Chart

  • Louisville holds a 4-3 series record against Army, including two straight wins over the Cadets.

  • Senior kicker Nate Smith set a new school record for extra points when he kicked four PAT's against South Florida last Saturday.  Smith has converted 114 of 116 PAT attempts during his career as a Cardinal.

  • True freshman punter Brent Moody has been impressive since becoming the starter prior to the Syracuse game.  Moody is averaging 40.6 yards per punt and has placed six of his 20 punts inside the opponents 20-yard line.


  • Stefan LeFors (AP)
  • Junior quarterback Stefan LeFors has thrown a touchdown pass in all five games this season and will surpass the 1,000-yard mark on Saturday against Army.  LeFors has thrown for 977 yards through five games, along with nine touchdown passes.  He is 11th in the nation in passing efficiency.

  • J.R. Russell's streak continues.  The junior receiver has now caught a pass in 16 consecutive games.  Russell currently has team highs of 24 receptions and 383 receiving yards.

  • Senior tight end Ronnie Ghent's streak also continues.  He has now had at least one reception in 30 straight game.  He is now just 7 receptions from surpassing former Cardinal Anthony Cummings and climbing into the 10 spot on the school's all-time career receptions list.

  • Center Dan Koons has now started 25 straight contests.

  • With only nine rushing yards on Saturday, junior running back Lionel Gates will have rushed for more yards this season than he has during his first two seasons combined.  He entered his junior season with a career total of 296 yards and has rushed for 288 yards through five games this season.

  • Louisville currently ranks first in Conference USA in scoring offense by averaging 32.2 points per game.

  • Seven true freshmen have played so far this season.

  • At it's current pace of 430.2 yards per game, the Louisville offense is aiming at becoming just the third unit in school history to eclipse the 5,000 yard mark for the season.  The first Cardinal unit to reach that mark was in 1998, when Bobby Petrino was the offensive coordinator.

  • The Cardinals have scored on 16 of 18 trips into the red zone.  Louisville has scored 13 touchdowns and converted 3 field goals.

ARMY

  • The Cadets have lost seven straight games dating back to last season.

  • Army ranks 117th in the NCAA in rushing offense, averaging just 57.2 yards per game.  Discounting the 142-yard effort versus the Green Wave, Army has managed a total of just 144 rushing yards (36.0) in its other four games, averaging 1.1 yards per carry (128 att.) in those outings.

  • Army has defeated Louisville once while on the road.  The Cadets beat the Cardinals 37-12 in 1991 at Old Cardinal Stadium.

  • With Saturday's 27-0 loss to TCU, Army suffered its first back-to-back shutout losses since the 1979 campaign.


  • Zac Dahman (Army)
  • After managing just five quarterback sacks through the season's first four contests, Army registered five sacks Saturday against TCU. Junior DE Odene Brathwaite was credited with 2.5 of those quarterback stops, his first sacks of the season.

  • Zac Dahman became the first Army true freshamn to start a game at quarterback in 15 years when he lined up under center for the opening snap against Rutgers last season.

  • Junior WR Aaron Alexander is on track to shatter the single season school mark for receptions, which has stood for more than 30 years.

STATISTICAL COMPARISON

  Louisville Army
Rushing Offense 198.0 57.2
Passing Offense 232.0 225.0
Total Offense 430.2 282.0
Scoring Offense 32.2 15.0
Rushing Defense 137.2 159.4
Passing Defense 238.8 281.4
Total Defense 376.0 440.8
Scoring Defense 20.2 37.8
Net Punting 34.48 34.2
Punt Returns 6.6 17.7
Kickoff Returns 22.1 20.5
Turnover Margain +4 -12

ITV PREDICTION

The Cardinals couldn't have ordered a more attractive opponent to face after coming off a difficult double-overtime loss.  On paper this game should be over after five minutes into the first quarter.  However, as the saying goes, that's why they play the games.

The Cardinals offense and defense is just too much for Army to handle, so for the Cadets to have a chance to win, they must force U of L into turnovers and play nearly flawlessly on both sides of the ball.  However, Army is -12 in turnover margain, so I don't anticipate them winning that area of the game either.

LeFors won't see much action following halftime, Shelton will gain over 100 yards and the Cardinal defense may hold Army pointless for their third straight game.  Let the beach balls bounce throughout the Crunch Zone and enjoy watching the wave travel around Papa John's Cardinal Stadium...the Cardinals will win their first Conference USA contest of the season without much trouble.

Louisville easily, 45-7.


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