Notebook: Temple Edition

High flying Louisville will travel to Philadelphia for a noon kick-off against the Temple Owls this Saturday. While the Cardinals boast the nation's top-rated offense, Temple enters the game having allowed just nine points in their season-opener. Can the 0-1 Owls slow down Brian Brohm and the U of L offense?

Louisville coach Bobby Petrino came out of the Kentucky game pleased with the play of his re-tooled offensive line. With two new starters – George Bussey at tackle and Danny Barlow at guard – and the return of senior tackle Renardo Foster, the U of L offensive front helped pave the way for a ground attack that churned out 363 yards rushing and over 600 yards total offense.

More importantly, they gave Brian Brohm plenty of time to throw in the pocket. The junior quarterback was knocked down three times and sacked only once against the Wildcats.

"Our offensive line did a real nice job run blocking and a good job protecting the quarterback for the most part," Petrino said. "We've got to continue to give (Brohm) room."

Not only did Louisville's offensive front control the line of scrimmage, the Cardinals defensive line completely dominated UK's offensive front, limiting the Wildcats to just 22 yards rushing and sacking Kentucky's quarterbacks three times. Defensive ends Zach Anderson and Michael Adams, and tackle Amobi Okoye all recorded sacks against the Wildcats.

"Our defensive line did a good job against the run and was very active," Petrino said. "They did a nice job getting off blocks, but I would like to improve the consistency of our pass rush and putting more pressure on the quarterback."

With a short week of practice before heading to Philadelphia for a noon kick-off Saturday, Petrino will focus more on his team's mental preparation this week during practice.

"I like the short week because that challenges us mentally to do a better job," Petrino said. "We'll pull back our reps in practice - instead of being two days in full pads we'll only go one because we finished so late (Sunday) night. I want to make sure that we go in physically fresh."

Here's a little known fact, Temple boasts a 3-1 series lead on Louisville, though the Cardinals did knock off the Owls in the teams' last meeting in 2003, 21-12. Temple's three wins came in 1980, 1982 and 1983. The Cardinals will enter this weekend's game a near 40 point favorite and face a Temple squad led by first year head coach Al Golden, a former defensive coordinator at Virginia. The Owls lost to lowly Buffalo last week in overtime, 9-3, and posted just 183 total yards.

"I want to see our offense execute and our defense flying around making plays," Petrino said. "We're looking to get better between our first game and second game."

The Owls, who use a multiple offense and 3-4 defensive alignment, enter the game against Louisville tied for 11th nationally in sacks per game (4.0) and tied for 8th (10) in tackles for loss. Temple is 27th in scoring defense (9.0). While the Owls rank highly in the NCAA in several defensive categories after one game, they rank near the bottom in several key offensive categories, including total offense (100) and scoring offense (tied 103).

Golden's Owls will be hard pressed to slow the Louisville offense, the nation's leader in total offense. The Cardinals also rank high in several other offensive categories, including rushing offense (3), passing offense (13), and scoring offense (3).

Louisville fans will be watching closely the play of George Stripling and Kolby Smith, the two main rushers who will replace Michael Bush. Even without their star running back in the lineup, Petrino expects his team to go all-out against the Owls.

"Our guys are going to work hard and play hard," Petrino said. "We still have great belief that we can accomplish all of our goals."


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