Petrino says Cards need no extra motivation for UK

<b>LEXINGTON</b> University of Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino said Thursday at the Governor's Cup Kick-Off that his program doesn't need any extra motivation for its annual game against Kentucky.

Besides the debate to move the Battle of the Bluegrass from its traditional season opening slot, perhaps the most intense topic at Thursday's Governor's Cup Kick-off luncheon in Lexington was Louisville's final touchdown in the waning seconds of last season's 40-24 Cardinal victory.

In recent days, various media outlets in Lexington have reported comments from Kentucky coaches, including head coach Rich Brooks, about the Wildcats using U of L's final score in 2003 as added motivation heading into this year's contest.

However, U of L head coach Bobby Petrino, who said he has no regrets about his decision to score last season, doesn't believe his team needs any outside influence to prepare for the annual game

"[We] just need to get on the bus," Petrino said when asked if his team needed any extra motivation for the annual showdown against Kentucky. "We don't need much [outside] motivation for this game."

Billed as a battle between U of L's potent offense and UK's improving defense, Petrino said he expects a close and competitive game whose outcome could be determined by turnovers, special teams play and the running game.

"I know that this will be a tough, hard fought football game," Petrino predicted. "I'd expect it to come down to the fourth quarter and usually whoever has the best running attack late in the game usually wins."

With current conversation of the ten-year old series focused on Kentucky's desire to move the game to later in the season, U of L's Petrino continues to state his program's desire to keep things as they are now.

"I would hope the game will stay the same as it has," Petrino said.

Since the resumption of the series in 1994, the Cardinals hold a 6-4 advantage over the Wildcats and in recent years ESPN has made the annual showdown a kick-off to its college football coverage, a fact noted by UK's Ortmayer, oddly enough, in his remarks to the assembled fans and media at the Univesity of Kentucky Golf Club.

Petrino also said that he expects two of his offensive stars that are coming back from injury, running backs Eric Shelton and Michael Bush, to be fully healthy when practice begins next week.

"Eric should be one hundred percent ready to go as will Michael," Petrino said.

Asked if true freshman quarterback Brian Brohm would see action against Kentucky, Petrino said, "It's hard to play quarterback as a freshman. So I don't know if Brian will play against Kentucky at this point."

Petrino further explained that Brohm's ability to adjust to the speed of the game, his understanding and grasp of the offense and his ability to lead and read opposing defenses would likely determine his playing time.

U of L players report for the start of fall camp this Sunday.


"I don't believe in luck unless Kentucky beats Louisville this season," former U of L and Chicago Bears star Doug Buffone said.

"This is a great game and it's what this state needs," former University of Kentucky quarterback Derek Ramsey said. "And the former players love it!"

"I'm just disappointed that we couldn't stop their asses," Kentucky Assistant Head Coach/Special Team Coordinator Steve Ortmayer said of Louisville's final touchdown last season.

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