Anderson hopes to play bigger role against UC

If Louisville harbors any hopes of upsetting fifth-ranked Cincinnati on the road Saturday, the Cardinals will need a healthy Victor Anderson in the lineup.

The talented sophomore running back didn't start last weekend at Connecticut because of a leg injury. With Anderson nursing an injury, Bilal Powell carried a season-high 29 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Powell also had two crucial fumbles in the Cardinals 38-25 loss to the Huskies.

Though his role wasn't as big against UConn, Anderson played through the pain to give Powell an occasional breather. Anderson carried five times for 58 yards and a touchdown against the Huskies and hopes to be healthy this weekend against the Bearcats.

"I'm feeling good," Anderson said. "I've been getting treatment all week. For the most part it's just going to take a little rest for my knee to get better. It's just a little aggravation it's not a major issue."

Anderson is critical to Louisville's chances against Cincinnati, who has been stingy on defense this season. The Bearcats rank 13th in the nation in scoring defense, giving up just 14.33 points per game.

Anderson is nursing a knee injury.
"Vic's doing alright," Kragthorpe said. "He's getting closer to full strength this week, at least I hope he is. He's somebody that we want to feature in our offense because of his capabilities. He's very dynamic with the ball in his hands. Hopefully we can get him closer to full strength this week and give him a go."

Anderson leads Louisville with 424 rushing yards on just 74 carries this season. He ranks 6th in the Big East and is 65th nationally in rushing yards per game and recorded a season-long 37 yard run vs. UConn.

"I've played through injuries before and I'm going to play through injuries now," Anderson said. "I'm going to play my heart out. Football is a physical game and if they're not nicked and banged up right now they're not really trying."

Despite his injury, Anderson averaged 10.8 yards per carry against UConn.

"I thought he showed great toughness in the game," said Kragthorpe. "I was proud of him the way he persevered through the pain and injury. It showed me a lot about his toughness."

Louisville definitely needs a healthy Anderson in the lineup. The Cardinals are 2-4 this season and will be looking for their first conference win against Cincinnati after dropping their first two league games this season against Pittsburgh and UConn.

"Right now we're going through a tough situation with our team," Anderson said. "We're finding it hard to win ball games but we're working hard in practice. Turnovers and penalties have killed the team. It's the little things that are killing us. That's why we're not winning ball games. We've got to stick together as a team and keep working hard."

Anderson and the Cardinals hope to reclaim the Keg of the Nails at Nippert Stadium this Saturday. The Cardinals had won five straight games against Cincinnati before losing to the Bearcats 28-20 last season at PJCS.

"We can't get caught up that they're ranked No. 5," Anderson said. "It's a conference game and it would be a big game regardless if they were ranked No. 5 or 30. We've got to prepare in practice and put together a great game on Saturday."

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