Unbeatens set to square off in Manhattan

8th-ranked Louisville and Kansas State both enter Saturday's contest in Manhattan, Kansas with a perfect 3-0 record. The game, which will be broadcast nationally on Fox Sports Net, is the first meeting between the two programs.

#8 LOUISVILLE (3-0) at KANSAS STATE (3-0)

September 23, 2006 | 12:00 p.m.

Manhattan, KS | Snyder Family Stadium

840 WHAS | FOX Sports

Playing in it's third nationally televised contest of the season this Saturday afternoon, the 8th-ranked and undefeated University of Louisville Cardinals travel to face undefeated Kansas State of the Big 12 Conference.

The Cardinals enter the game with the nation's most potent offense, averaging over 560 yards and 50 points per outing. Ranked among the top ten in rushing and passing offense, Bobby Petrino's squad has proved to be much more than a lethal offense. Entering it's fourth game of the year, Louisville has the nation's third-ranked rush defense, allowing a stingy 34 yards per contest.

The Kansas State Wildcats defense has allowed an average of just 10 points in it's three wins, good for 12th in the land. Giving up a meger 229 total yards a game the KSU defense is among the top 15 in the nation.

Saturday's meeting will mark the first series between the two programs and is the first of a home-and-home series with the Wildcats. FOX Sports Net will broadcast nationally.

QUOTES

Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino

On Kansas State: "They play very good defense. They are very sound and they don't give you anything. They make you earn it. They are always going to be lined up right, they are always going to be in good position and they play real fast of defense. Offensively, we face another real good running back and a very good scheme. They will throw the ball down the field, so it's going to be a good challenge for us."

On guarding against a possible let-down game: "We have to talk to them about maturity and we have to have our seniors, and the guys that have played a lot, show that maturity. The good thing is they are 3-0 and when we watch them on video you can see they know how to play football."

Kansas State Head Coach Ron Prince

On Louisville's Defense: "Defensively this is one of the best team's we've seen. I would compare this to – only because it's my first year in the Big 12 – I can easily compare this defense to Florida State, Virginia Tech, Miami, and all of the best defenses that we've gone against. If you just look at it from a statistical standpoint, on both sides of the ball they rank at the top or near the top in virtually every category. They have guys that are fast, they run and hit, both on the defensive line, linebackers and in the secondary. They have terrific coverage skills and they have a penchant for the big play on offense."

On facing Louisville:  "This will obviously be an exciting game for us to have a chance to be able to compete against a team that we knew going into the season would be a top-10 team. We were very clear that they would beat Miami and that they would be undefeated when we played them – that was no surprise to us, having known both teams and watched how this team has been put together over the years. I've had a lot of experience in following how this team has been put together from a recruiting standpoint. Many of the players on this team I'm familiar with from recruiting back east and it's as advertised. This is a coach that is in the national elite. I think he might be the best offensive mind in the game of football today, college or pro. I think because of that you can see the winning record, the statistics that have come forward, the atmosphere surrounding him and coaching at Louisville and being such a terrific coach, and how many people have sought his services. All those things make this a very compelling match up and we're very excited about it. We think this is a great opportunity."

NOTES

GAME NOTES

  • Louisville is 1-0 on the road this season.
  • The Cardinals have seven straight regular season out of conference games.
  • U of L head coach Bobby Petrino is 11-1 in the month of September and 14-3 against non-conference opponents.
  • Since the arrival of Bobby Petrino as the school's head coach, the University of Louisville is a perfect 3-0 in it's fourth game of season, however this is the first time that the game is on the road.
  • With a 32-8 career record, Bobby Petrino now ranks sixth among NCAA Division I active coaches. His .800 winning percentage trails only Pete Carroll (USC), Larry Coker (Miami), Urban Meyer (Florida), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), and Mark Richt (Georgia).
  • LOUISVILLE

    • In the three seasons prior to Bobby and Paul Petrino's arrival as the architects of the Louisville offense, (2000-02), the Cardinals scored 40 or more points in just nine of 38 (23.6 %) games. Since the Petrino's have taken the reigns of the Cardinal offense, the Cardinals have scored 40 or more points in 24 of 40 (60.0 %) games. The Cardinals have scored 50 or more points 14 times in 40 (35.0%) games under Petrino and just twice (5.2 %) in the three years prior to his arrival.
    • Last season, third down was very successful for the Cardinals on both sides of the football, and last Saturday against Miami was no different. Louisville was an impressive 5-of-10 on third down against one of the nation's toughest defenses. Louisville ranks sixth in the country in third down conversions, converting 58 percent of their tries.
    • The Cardinals have their own dynamic duo from the receiving corp in junior Harry Douglas and sophomore Mario Urrutia. The two have combined to catch 24 passes for 495 yards and two scores. Urrutia ranks 23rd in the country in receiving yards (85.67 ypg) and Douglas stands 36th (79.67 ypg.). The two are also making the most of their catches. Urrutia is in the top 10 in the nation with his 23.4 yards per catch average and has two touchdown receptions of 50+ yards.

    • Art Carmody
    • Through three games, Louisville is tied for fifth in the nation with 4.0 sacks per contest. Senior Zach Anderson and Malik Jackson each have a pair of sacks.
    • Junior placekicker Art Carmody is likely to shatter every school kicking record at the University of Louisville. Carmody, who set a school record for field goal percentage in a season by hitting 14-of-16 attempts, needs just seven field goals to break Ron Bell's (1987- 90) mark of 36 career field goals. Carmody currently holds the school record for career accuracy, hitting 30-of-36 attempts, which is 83.3 percent.
    • The tandem of George Stripling and Kolby Smith are leading the Cardinals in rushing with 201 and 200 yards, respectively. However, they've only touched the ball a total of 64 times. Stripling has carried 28 times and is averaging 7.2 yards per carry and Smith has averaged 5.6 yards on 36 attempts. The two have also combined to score seven touchdowns.
    KANSAS STATE

    • Kansas State is 4-6 all time vs. current members of the Big East Conference.
    • The Wildcats have played in 29 games that have started before noon and have posted a 17-12 record in a.m. kicks with wins in three of their last four.
    • Kansas State secured its 14th 3-0 start in the last 17 years with its 23-7 victory over Marshall. The Wildcats will now look to go 4-0 out of the gate for the 10th time in the last 14 seasons
    • The Wildcats enter their fourth game of the young 2006 season riding a seven-game winning streak vs. non-conference opponents and have posted perfect nonconference ledgers eight times in the last 10 years.
    • Kansas State enters the Louisville game playing its best defense in three years. The Wildcats have not allowed a defensive touchdown in eight quarters, marking their most productive run on the defensive side of the ball since K-State went 13 straight quarters against Kansas, Baylor, Iowa State and Nebraska late in the 2003 season without yielding an offensive score.
    • Tight end Rashaad Norwood, who has flourished early on in K-State's new West Coast offense, is the Wildcats' leading receiver with 13 catches for 143 yards, but will miss the game

     

    STATISTICAL COMPARISON

      Louisville Kansas State
    Rushing Offense 256.7 121.3
    Passing Offense 307.0 181.3
    Total Offense 563.7 302.7
    Scoring Offense 50.7 30.7
    Rushing Defense 34.0 67.3
    Passing Defense 243.3 162.0
    Total Defense 277.3 229.3
    Scoring Defense 11.7 10.0
    Turnover Margain +2 +1
    Sacks By 12 10

    ITV PREDICTION

    The Cardinals face another stiff challenge on Saturday against K-State in Manhattan, Kansas. Bobby Petrino's squad faces a talented Wildcat team, who is eager to prove their worth to the country, with concerns of a possible let-down following their 31-7 over Miami last weekend looming.

    Those concerns should be put to rest soon after the noon (ET) kick off. The Cardinals have prepared well for this game all week and are in position to solidy their top ten national ranking by continuing to play well on both sides of the ball.

    Once again the Cardinal secondary will be challenged as K-State head coach Ron Prince attempts to open his running attack by establishing air success. One can't rule out the possiblity of the big play, but the speed and determination of U of L defensive front will keep the Wildcat passing attack off balance.

    Offensively, the Cardinals and junior quarterback Hunter Cantwell will perform well against a Kansas State defense that has yet to face a real challenge. While a slow start is possible, the Louisville offense will find success through the air and on the ground.

    Louisville claims it's first victory over a Big 12 opponent since a 41-13 win over Texas in 1193.

    Cardinals 41 Wildcats 17


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