Cardinals begin preparations for Hurricanes

With a rare day off on Sunday and a day of just lifting and video on Monday, the 20th-ranked Cardinals return to the practice fields on Tuesday to start preparations for the October 14th contest at #4 Miami.

Immediately following Louisville's 59-7 thumping of Conference USA foe East Carolina Saturday, the attention of the players and coaches quickly turned to their next contest, an out of conference road game at #4 Miami.

"This is one of those games that you look forward to playing when you are a little kid," said junior receiver Montrell Jones on Saturday following the game. "To me, not much needs to be said about a game like this."

While the team will return to the practice field on Tuesday afternoon for the first time since improving to 4-0 on the season, Coach Petrino started his prep for the upcoming game early Monday morning.

"I came in a little early [Monday] morning and started watching them," said Petrino. "They are really good on defense and very big on the defensive front. They are very active and play a lot of very tight coverage. We have a lot of work ahead of us to get ready for them. We are going to have to find a way to run the ball...its certainly a very big challenge ahead of us."

Petrino, who has assembled an overall mark of 13-4 since becoming the head coach at Louisville, knows it won't take much for his players to realize just how good this Miami squad is.

"Well, we'll just turn the video on. They are very fast and they are very well coached."

Fast, is often the response given when asked to describe the Hurricanes, as exampled by Jones, who faced Miami twice while at Tennessee.

"Fast," Jones quickly replied. "Faster than I have ever seen."

Louisville ranks third in the nationamong out of state programs with the largest number of Florida athletes with 26 and Coach Petrino realizes that will likely help his teams confidence at the Orange Bowl on October 14th.

"I think we'll go in there really confident," Petrino explained. "We are going to have to make sure that we play to our ability and don't do things that are unusual. Sometime you get in a big game and you get out of your element. We're just going to have to stay focused and keep our poise and be in it for all four quarters. We're going to have a good time and go down there and go out and do the best we can and enjoy it. It's something that we're excited about doing. They are certainly a very fine football team and there's a reason that they are. But we're certainly going to enjoy the preparation and take it very seriously."

Petrino also knows what a win against the favored Hurricanes would do for the Louisville football program.

"It would certainly help us a lot," Petrino continued. "It would help us a lot in recruiting and help our ranking go up a little bit. When you look at programs you would like to be like, you would certainly like to grow up and be like Miami...be able to recruit like that and have real fast guys on defense."

And while the Cardinals will be affiliated with the BCS next year through the Big East Conference, the game against Miami has possible BCS Bowl implications for the Cardinals this year.

"We'll go out and compete and if we find a way to win then we're a BCS contender and if we don't, we're not," Petrino said.

Freshman quarterback Brian Brohm agreed.

"We know that this is definately the biggest game of the year. It's our time to go and prove that we're a capable of going to a BCS Bowl. If we win this, we will have a shot at doing that. If we don't win, we obviously can't go to one, so it's a big game."

Right now however, the focus is on the preparation.

"We're certainly going to enjoy the preparation and take it very serious," said Petrino.


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