C-USA Farewell Tour: Stop 3

15th-ranked Louisville returns home to face the visiting South Florida Bulls, looking for redemption for last years 31-28 double-overtime loss.

South Florida at Louisville
October 22, 2004 | 8:00 p.m.
Louisville, KY | Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
840 WHAS | ESPN

QUOTES

Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino

On of the South Florida defense:  They have a very good defensive front and they are very active.  They're defensive front gave us some problems last year because they are so active. They try to take away the run by putting eight or nine guys in the box. They didn't do that real well in the second half of the Army because they're not as experienced in the secondary as they were a year ago.

On a potential letdown following the Miami game:  Yeah, you do have some concerns about it.  I think that's natural but what we need to do is go out and practice hard. We're cutting practice back a little bit, not a whole lot. Today's routine is pretty much the same...we are going out in full pads and we are going to practice hard and get ready for South Florida. I really think we have a senior class that's very close and very excited about what's in front of us and I think they'll do a really good job of leading them.

On being ranked:  The benefit of being ranked is the excitement that our players will have going to practice. They like seeing us ranked and they take pride in it. I think it also benefits our recruiting.

South Florida Head Coach Jim Leavitt

On Louisville:   They are a very strong team.  They are one of the top teams in the country. We are going to have to play a great game and we know that. They don't really have any weaknesses.

On last year's win over U of L:   Whenever you win it's fun, but I can't really remember. I can't think right now what I did last year. Winning's good; it always makes you feel better. Last year's so far away, it might as well be 50 years ago. I'm just trying to figure out how we're going to compete in this one.

On USF RB Andre Hall:  He's really been a good football player for us, really helped our offense no doubt about that. I mean I've really been pleased with how our offense has been playing when you rush for so many yards like we did last week, and Andre's been a real key for that. Andre works extremely hard; he works hard every day. He's getting better. I'm really happy with the way he has been playing.

NOTES

GAME NOTES

  • This is only the second meeting between the Cardinals and Bulls.  South Florida won the first contest, held last year, 31-28 in double overtime.
  • USF will be attempting to avoid its first 3-game losing streak in school history.
  • U of L is 2-0 in league play, while USF is 1-2.
  • Both programs will move to the Big East Conference next season.

    LOUISVILLE

    • Senior wide receiver J.R. Russell is coming off one of the finest seasons ever for a Cardinal wide receiver. The native of Tampa, Fla., recorded a career-high 75 receptions for a school record 1,213 yards. He became just the fourth player in school history to record 1,000 or more yards in a season and looks to become just the third pass catcher at U of L to record 1,000 or more yards in consecutive seasons. Deion Branch accomplished the feat in 2000-01 and Arnold Jackson did it in 1998-99. After five games, Russell stands seventh all-time with 142 receptions and sixth in receiving yards with 1,946 He needs 54 yards and seven catches to become just the fourth player to record 150 receptions and 2,000 yards receiving.

    • Senior quarterback Stefan LeFors became just the 10th quarterback in school history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in his career. LeFors has thrown for 4,197 yards, which is 10th all-time in school history.

    • The 2004 senior class begins this season as one of the winningest classes in the history of U of L football. This group enters the year with a 31-13 mark and three straight bowl appearances. The 2003 class set the mark for wins when they wrapped up their careers with a 36-15 record.

    • After five weeks, the Cardinals rank 11th in the country in rushing, averaging 239.60 yards per game after a 214-yard performance against #3 Miami last Thursday in the Orange Bowl. It marked the 12th time in 18 games under coach Petrino that the Cardinals have rushed for more than 200 yards in a game. The Cardinals are 10-2 when rushing for more than 200 yards in a contest.

    SOUTH FLORIDA

    • Louisville will be the first ranked opponent USF meets this season. The Bulls are 5-8 all-time against ranked foes, including those at the I-AA level in the Bulls first four season. USF is 1-3 against I-A ranked opponents, with a lone win over Bowling Green in 2002.

    • USF strongside linebacker Stephen Nicholas is one of seven Conference USA players on the Butkus Award Watch List compiled by the Downtown Athletic Club of Orlando. Nicholas was named a freshman All-American by The Sporting News last fall when he had 46 tackles and 5.5 sacks.

    • Despite playing in just three collegiate games, true freshman Chris Johnson has already made an immediate impact on East Carolina's offensive unit ... In his first career start, Johnson rushed for a team-high 96 yards and one TD on just six carries against Wake Forest -- an amazing average of 16.0 yards per carry

    • Running back Andre Hall is 29th in the nation in kickoff returns with an average of 25.5 per return.  Hall is also averaging 94.6 rushing yards per game, with an average of 5.8 yards a carry.

     

    STATISTICAL COMPARISON

      Louisville South Florida
    Rushing Offense 239.6 154.0
    Passing Offense 264.8 158.8
    Total Offense 504.4 312.8
    Scoring Offense 42.2 24.8
    Rushing Defense 90.4 140.2
    Passing Defense 204.8 210.8
    Total Defense 295.2 351.0
    Scoring Defense 13.8 30.8
    3rd Down Conversion 37/71 30/74
    Turnover Margain +8 -1

    ITV PREDICTION

    There won't be a post-Miami letdown, but this will be a game that Louisville gets tested early.

    South Florida Andre Hall will run and run often, so the Louisville defense must return to it's pre-Miami second half form and limit USF's ground yards.  Offensively, Louisville will once again use a very balanced attack, but will test the Bulls secondary frequently, more than it has against previous opponents.

    It'll be close in the first half, but the Cardinals open it up in the second frame, securing it's fifth victory of the season by the time the fourth quarter arrives.

    Louisville 37  South Florida 17

    "Get Used To It!" - Bobby Petrino


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