Cards hope to end Big East slide at WVU

Louisville (3-5) will attempt to end an eight-game Big East losing streak Saturday at rival West Virginia (6-2). Will Stein is expected to start the game at quarterback for the Cardinals.

Louisville has lost eight straight Big East games and are off to an 0-3 start in league play this season. Saturday, the Cardinals will try to end that streak at West Virginia with walk-on freshman quarterback Will Stein under center.

Stein is expected to make his second straight start against West Virginia. Last week, the 5-foot-8 Stein threw for 232 yards with an interception while leading Louisville to a 21-13 win over Arkansas State in his first career start. Now, Stein hopes to lead the Cards to a win over the Mountaineers in the most hostile road environment in the league.

"I thought he did a great job for us and was very consistent," Steve Kragthorpe said. "He did a great job with all the audibles and protection checks at the line of scrimmage and operated the game great. He did a great job of throwing the ball away when it wasn't there and I thought he managed the game well."

This one figures to be much tougher for Stein and the Louisville offense. The Mountaineers have beaten the Cardinals the past two years, including a 35-21 decision last season in Louisville, and are a three touchdown favorite today. Stein said he's looking forward to the challenge.

"I've always had doubters," Stein, 5-8, said. I can see through lanes really well. I always knew I could play. I'm just really glad I got the opportunity this past week. If you can go into Morgantown and beat West Virginia with all that tradition it's a big accomplishment."

The Mountaineers should have the best rushing attack in the Big East, averaging 182 yards per game on the ground. The Cardinals rank last in the league in rushing defense, allowing 148 yards per contest.

"They've got a very good football team," Kragthorpe said. "They've got good personnel on the offensive side of the ball. They're explosive and fast."

Though South Florida shut down Noel Devine last week, the speedy junior running back presents big problems for the Cardinals. Devine rushed for 154 yards last year against Louisville, as the Mountaineers ran for 376 yards and nearly 10 yards per carry. Devine has five 100 plus yard rushing games this year.

"Devine is something else with the ball in his hands," Kragthorpe said. "We've got to find a way to contain him. When he's got the ball he's dynamic with it. He can do a lot of things with it."

Louisville will attempt to use the game-plan South Florida followed for success last week in the Bulls victory.

"I thought they did an excellent job [not letting] him get outside," Kragthorpe said. "He likes to cut back and they were there when he tried to cut back. The biggest thing is not letting him get started because once he gets started he's so quick he can run by you."

West Virginia has dominated the series, winning eight of ten games overall. The Cardinals have won only once in Morgantown, a 9-7 decision in 1990. Kickoff is slated for noon.

Date November 7, 2009
Kickoff 12:00 p.m.
Location Milan-Puskar Stadium
Television WHAS-11
Radio 84-WHAS AM
Series West Virginia leads 8-2

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