"Right now, I know that I am personally ready to get the off season stuff over with and get started with practice," said junior running back Michael Bush. "The entire team is the same way. We are all coming in here everyday working hard on the weights and running, so we are all ready to hit the field."
Just voted by the media as the preseason pick to win the 2005 BIG EAST Conference crown, the Cardinals are looking forward to developing new rivalries, as well as maintaining and building current ones.
"We've had the rivalry with Cincinnati for a long time, but now we are going to start playing teams like Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Syracuse every year and those teams will start becoming our rivals," said sophomore quarterback Brian Brohm. "Those teams have a lot of great tradition, so we need to be prepared for them."
"Well, you guys in the media keeping putting West Virginia as our rival," added Bush. "There will be the regular one's like Cincinnati and Kentucky still. To me it's just like any other game. It's just lining up and playing football."
First-year starter Brian Brohm, who has spent the majority of his off season improving his timing with the receivers, says the offensive unit has continued to improve since the end of spring practice.
"We're getting our timing down and the receivers are running crisper routes," Brohm said of the offense. "The linemen are working hard against the defensive linemen everyday, so we are all getting better each day."
Bush, who flirted with the idea of playing linebacker as well as running back last fall, believes that there won't be much of a difference from last year's national top 15 defensive squad and this year's.
"I don't think our defense will have any fall off from last year," he said. "We have great coaches and the players are really stepping it up, especially a guy like Rod Council who is going to be one of our corners this year. Our defensive line and the linebackers will be real good, so I think the defense will be fine."
As the countdown to kickoff draws closer and closer, this year's Cardinals have become more and more focused on the possibilities that exist for them this fall.
"We are definately capable of winning a national championship," Brohm said. "That's one of our goals. First is to win the Kentucky game, then win our conference, try to go through the season undefeated and get to the BCS bowl, which will hopefully be the national championship game."
Fall practice begins on Saturday, August 6th and will be open to the public through August 13th.