"We're very excited about being in Jacksonville for a January bowl," U of L spokesman Rocco Gasparro told InsideTheVille.com. "It's not going to be a pleasure trip for us. We're going to work hard this week to prepare to play this game.
The team landed in Jacksonville around 2 PM Tuesday. They had a welcoming party at Dave & Busters, before meeting with head coach Bobby Petrino. "Coach just wants to explain this weeks practice schedule and what he expects of the players," said Gasparro.
While the Cardinals enjoyed a fun and relaxing evening yesterday, they'll resume their practice regimen this morning. Since ending the season earlier this month at Connecticut, Petrino elected to put his team right back to work for their game against Virginia Tech next week.
"It's been a rough grind," Gasparro said. "We've been practicing for three weeks unlike Virginia Tech who just started practicing Dec. 18."
Adrian Grady will replace
Montavious Stanley at defensive
tackle against Virginia Tech.
"They've worked really hard and we're real excited about the game," he said. "These guys relish playing the underdog role. They know they're a good team and they want to prove it. I think we'll have a pretty good team on Jan. 2."
Besides quarterback Brian Brohm and defensive tackle Montavious Stanley (neither will play in the game), Gasparro said the Cardinals should be at full strength in the Gator Bowl. "We're pretty healthy," Gasparro said. "Gary Barnidge rolled his ankle last week in practice, but I think he'll be fine."
Filling in for Brohm and Stanley will be a pair of redshirt freshmen. While Hunter Cantwell will make his second straight start under center, 6-2, 310-pound Adrian Grady will replace Stanley in the middle of the U of L defensive front. "We'll certainly miss those guys, but I think Hunter and Adrian will fill in just fine for them."
Apparently, the 6-4, 220-pound Cantwell has made strides since making his first start against UConn. "He's looked good in practice," said Gasparro.