Louisville ready for showdown at WVU

Two Top 25 teams, No. 19 Louisville (4-1, 0-1) and No. 25 West Virginia (5-1, 2-0), will face off in a Big East showdown Saturday afternoon in Morgantown, WV.

It doesn't get any bigger than No. 19 Louisville (4-1, 0-1) against No. 25 West Virginia (5-1, 2-0) in the Big East.

Saturday afternoon at 3:30, the Cardinals hope to get back on track in the Big East by winning on the Mountaineers home field.

Since losing their Big East opener 45-14 on the road against South Florida, Louisville has returned to their high scoring ways, hanging 61 points on Florida Atlantic two weeks ago, and 69 against North Carolina last weekend.

But both of those games came on the Cardinals home turf. Now, Louisville coach Bobby Petrino's troops want to prove they can take their high-octane offense on the road.

"We've got our back against the wall because we went out and lost our first conference game," said Petrino. "We kind of felt like that way last week too - that our back was against the wall. That's just hopefully how it's going to be every week. Of course, you have to keep winning to be able to make sure it means something. It's a big game for us. It should be one our players have no problem getting up for. It's supposed to be a good environment to go in and play a football game."

West Virginia is holding its opponents to just 268 yards total offense and 16.1 points this season, but they'll face a stern challenge trying to slow down the Cardinals balanced attack, led by sophomore quarterback Brian Brohm and junior running back Michael Bush.

"When you look at West Virginia on video, they're a very good defensive football team," Petrino said. "Someone told me they're in the top 20 in four or five different categories on defense. They play a unique 3-3-5 style defense where they basically use three down linemen, three linebackers, and five defensive backs. They'll blitz from different sides."

The Mountaineers first goal will be to stop the Cardinals ground assault.

"They really put a lot of people in the box trying to stop the run first, and play mostly three deep," Petrino said. "We're going to have to be able to still run the ball at it. We have to be real efficient passing the football and real patient in making sure that we dump the ball off to our check downs or short passes when they drop (back)."

Defensively, Louisville must slow down West Virginia's rushing attack that averages nearly 221 yards per game on the ground.

"Offensively, they run the ball, they run the ball, and they run the ball," Petrino said. "I think they're only averaging 13 passes a game. They do it out of a lot of different formations. So they try to stretch your defense."


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