Cards seeking fourth straight win against UK

The 13th-ranked University of Louisville Cardinals will host in-state rival Kentucky at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Read inside for complete pregame news and notes. CardMarch begins at 5:45 p.m.

U of L will continue the new tradition at home games this season with the CardMarch, a creation of head coach Bobby Petrino. The team will be dropped off on the south side of the Denny Crum Overpass on Central Avenue two hours and 15 minutes prior to kickoff (5:45 p.m. for a 8 p.m. kickoff). With the assistance of the U of L marching band and cheerleaders, the team will walk from the Green Lot and into Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Fans are invited to arrive early and create an entrance way for the players as they head into the stadium.


2006 Team Captains
The Cardinals elected six players to captain the 2006 season. On defense, senior defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, senior linebacker Nate Harris and senior cornerback William Gay were elected by their teammates. On offense, the Cardinals elected senior running back Michael Bush, junior quarterback Brian Brohm and senior offensive guard Kurt Quarterman as captains.

Eric Shelton poses with the Cup in '04
The Governor's Cup
Weighing 110 pounds (heavier than the Super Bowl and Indianapolis 500 trophies), the trophy cost $23,000 when it was first created for the annual series between Louisville and Kentucky.

The cup itself is solid pewter with a 23-karat polished gold plated finish. The football players are cast in bronze with a 23-karat gold plate and handrubbed finish. Each fully-modeled player weighs in at nearly four pounds. The sculpture of the four unique figures took more than 200 hours. The glass components are comprised of Optic grade crystal. The base features genuine black marble, milled and finished by hand. The upright columns are also made of genuine marble. All metal parts are 23-karat, gold-plated solid brass. The "Governor's Cup" is 33 inches tall.

Remain Perfect
The Cardinals are a perfect 3-0 in home openers under head coach Bobby Petrino. U of L has upended UTEP, Kentucky and Oregon State, by an average score of 44-14. Louisville, which chose to end the game by the game by taking a knee near the goal line, shut out the visiting Wildcats 28-0 in 2004.

Extend the Streak
U of L has won 12 consecutive outings at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The Cards home winning streak is the third longest in the nation, trailing only USC has won a national-high 27 straight games at home, and Texas, which has won 15 straight.

Yet Another Streak
Head coach Bobby Petrino is 11-3 against non-conference foes in three seasons at Louisville, but is 10-2 during the regular season. Despite falling to Virginia Tech in the 2006 Gator Bowl, Petrino and his Cardinals have won four straight non-conference regular season games. The last regular season loss was a 41-38 decision against third-ranked Miami in the Orange Bowl in 2004.

Improving Defense
Since Mike Cassity has taken over as the defensive coordinator in 2004, the Cardinals' defense has steadily improved each season. Prior to Cassity's arrival, U of L was one of the worst defensive teams in the nation. In 2003, the Cardinals ranked 93rd in the country in total defense (428.6) and 103rd (258.31) in passing defense. However, in 2004, the Cardinals defense improved dramatically, moving to 15th in total defense (305.9) and 24th in scoring defense (17.9 ppg). Last year, the Cardinals were 23rd in total defense and 46th in passing defense. Cassity and Kevin Wolthausen are co-defensive coordinators for the Cardinals in 2006.

Packed House
With season tickets to Cardinal football sold out, and home games against Kentucky, Miami, Cincinnati, West Virginia, South Florida and Connecticut, there is little doubt that U of L will establish a new regular season attendance record this fall. Louisville has set regular season attendance records the last two seasons.

New Scoreboard
There will be something new when University of Louisville football fans enter Papa John's Cardinal Stadium for Sunday night's season opener against the University of Kentucky -- a brand new scoreboard.

"The addition of this state-of-the-art video technology will provide our fans the enjoyment of watching high-definition video at the game, which I hope enhances their game-day experience," said Louisville Athletics Director Tom Jurich. "This is another phase of the total stadium renovation that will make Papa John's Cardinal Stadium one of the finest football venues anywhere."

Fans of the 2006 Cardinals will see incredible, high-resolution, crystal clear, live video and replays on the 19 X 60 foot high-definition board. The end zone display will offer complete flexibility, with the capability to show one large single video image; multiple video images; and a combination of live or recorded video with real time scores and stats, out of town game information, sponsors' messages, graphics and animation.

Light It Up
Since Bobby Petrino has taken over the reins of the Cardinal program, he's been unbeatable at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The Cardinals are 16-1 under Petrino at home, but have been dominating. The Cardinals have outscored their opponents 802-290 (47.2-17.1) in the last three seasons. Last year, the Cards' averaged 55.3 points per game, while yielding an average of 15.5. They also averaged 514.0 yards off total offense and 314.7 yards through the air.

Oben to be Honored
The University of Louisville athletic department will honor Roman Oben's jersey number 72 at the Kentucky game on Sunday night. Oben, who begins his 12th season in the NFL, is on offensive tackle with the San Diego Chargers. He played for the Cardinals from 1992-95 and is one of the most decorated offensive linemen in school history. Oben was a first team All-American in 1994 by the Gannett News and was also voted to the Football News and Sporting News All-American squads as a junior. He didn't allow a sack duringthe 1994 season. After finishing his career at Louisville, Oben was a third round pick by the New York Giants in the 1995 draft.

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