Governor's Cup outing signals start of football

While much of the talk among Louisville fans during the spring and summer has circled around the upcoming 2005 Cardinal football season, it's first as members of the BIG EAST Conference, Thursday's Governor's Cup luncheon and scramble served as a signal that it's time for the talk to end and for the action to begin.

Both teams will report on Friday and then participate in their respective media days, before opening fall camp on Saturday.

"We are looking forward to getting started," said U of L head coach Bobby Petrino. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for the University of Kentucky football team. We know that they have a lot of energy coming into this season."

As both coaches took their turns talking about their teams, it was clear that the two hold different expectations for their respective programs this year.

For Kentucky, which is coming off a 2-9 season and is still recovering from an NCAA probation, becoming a more competitive program would indicate a move in the right direction.

"Hope springs eternal on the opening day of training camp and I believe that this is going to be one of our better editions on the field," said UK head coach Rich Brooks. "We hope that we are a competitive team in this year's Governor's Cup game and I'm looking forward to getting into the season."


Rich Brooks is 0-2 against Louisville
"I'm probably as encouraged as I've been in the three years that I've been at Kentucky about our squad," he continued. "We have a young team and we are still short on numbers, but I'm really looking forward to this upcoming season."

However, for Louisville, there's predictions of a BIG EAST Conference title and a spot in a BCS Bowl.

"We understand that the expectations for this team are certainly high and particularly by the fans and the media," Petrino said. "The expectations really haven't changed a lot by the coaching staff and the players."

When asked for his opinion of the Louisville program, Brooks said that if it wasn't for a touch of bad luck that the Cardinals would have been an unbeaten team last fall.

"If it wasn't for a little bit of bad luck, they would have had an undefeated season last year," he said. "I watched the Miami game and it was a great game. It was one that they probably should have won. I think that made a statement about where this program is right now and we've got to work our fannies off to get back to being a competitive team. They are an outstanding offensive team and they also have tremendous team speed on defense."


Former Cardinal running back great Ernie Green
talks with Bobby Petrino

Entering the game with his team as heavy favorites, the third-year U of L coach said that having a one becoming overconfident is always a concern.

"That's something you always worry about anytime you are coming off a successful season," Petrino said. "I think the greatest thing for us is the change in conferences, because it gave us a lot of motivation and a lot to look forward to in our off season."

Despite how well he may prepare his team for the September 4th contest, Petrino admits that it's one that either program could win.

"Anything can happen," he said. "We've got to be well prepared and we've got to go out and play extremely hard because we know they will be."


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