The Wire

Mid-week musings include comments from Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino previewing the match-up in South Bend this weekend and a preview of visitors expected to be in town on official visits.

Petrino previews Notre Dame

- On whether a bye week is as big for a team as people think:

Petrino: “I don’t know. I think it was good for us in the sense that, you know, we’ve had a long year. We’ve had a lot of game in a row. It was our time to have a bye, and a time to refresh with two real difficult games coming up back-to-back.”

- On the significance of playing at Notre Dame:

Petrino: “Being here in Louisville, with the Catholic community we have, and Paul Hornung, and all the ties that the city of Louisville has to Notre Dame, I think that’s significant. I think we’ll have a good crowd up there. I know that everyone was talking all summer long about they’ve got tickets and on their way up there. You know, I grew up getting up on Sunday mornings at nine o’clock and listening to Lindsay Nelson saying, ‘Notre Dame was unable to sustain a drive, so we’ll move to further action.‘ You know? So I think it’s cool that we’ll play there and coach there, simply because of the way that I grew up when I was young, and what I got to listen to on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m.” - On if he has ever been to South Bend:

Petrino: “I have never been there. Nope. Never been there.”

- On Petrino watching Notre Dame games as a child:

“Well there were three channels at that time, you know. It might have been the only one at that time, but my grandparents were fans of Notre Dame, so I always went for the other team. You know how you are when you’re young, right?”

- On Notre Dame:

Petrino: “They’re a good football team. When you watch them on video and they’re very, very physical on defense. Their defensive front does a good job against the run and rushing the passer. They have a linebacker that is really active, that can run and make a lot of plays against the run and against the pass. They intercept the ball, and have a number of interceptions, so that’s concerning. Then offensively, they just keep going and scoring points. They have turned it over, but they keep scoring points, so you know that you’re going to have to move the football and get it in the end zone. Even when you look at the Arizona State game, who jumped way up on them, they came back and got it back 34-31, so it’s a situation where you know you have to continue to move the ball and get it in the end zone.”

- On the weather affecting the game plan for Louisville:

Petrino: “I don’t think it will affect it a whole lot. It’ll be nice if we can get outside here, one of these days this week. It is artificial surface, that’s a good thing. I was cheering this summer when I heard they were putting in turf, because I didn’t like watching games in mud and the old deep grass that was about four inches longer than it should’ve been, so I’m excited that they have the artificial turf and that really takes some of the elements away.”

- On what Petrino has seen from Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson this year:

Petrino: “Yeah, two years ago I don’t know if I even watched them play, but Golson is a really good quarterback. He’s another one of those threats that can throw the ball and run it, which is a real concern. He’s got a great arm; real live arm so he can throw the ball deep downfield. He can throw the outs from one hash to the far sideline and he’s a great competitor. He’s certainly a guy that we have to game plan for.”

- On concern about being “wowed” by the Notre Dame atmosphere:

Petrino: “No, I don’t think so. We’ve been able to play in a lot of big stadiums and be a part of it and I guess the only concern is I understand they don’t have a jumbotron, so we won’t have anyone on the sideline looking up at replay. We’ve kind of got used to that, on the sideline when you’re trying to coach your guys and they all keep looking up at the replay, so we’ll have a little bit more focus on the sideline.”

- On whether he has concerns playing a team that may be struggling at this point in the season:

Petrino: “You know what you really do is concentrate on ourselves. We just need to have a great week at preparation, good week of focus, understand our game plan and go out and play our game, play the game we know how and I think we will have an opportunity to win the game. You focus on the schemes and what other people are doing but basically it comes down to doing our job in our preparation.”

- On the significance of a win at Notre Dame:

Petrino: “I think it would be great, it would get us to eight wins this year and certainly give us some momentum going into our next game. It should also give us some momentum on the recruiting trail so it is fun to go on the road, at a very prominent program and get a win. I think that is very positive for your program.”

- On how teams have found success against Notre Dame in recent weeks:

Petrino: “I think it is the balance is what you have seen people have the ability to run and throw, Northwestern was very balanced. I think they rushed the ball for 270 and threw it for right around the same amount of yards. I think if you can get the ball in the secondary, we have some guys that can run after the catch with some speed that will help us get big plays. I think that is the one thing that shows up is that people have gotten big plays against them.”

On Notre Dame's schedule

Rice (6-4) lost to Marshall 41-14
Michigan (5-5) - Bye
Purdue (3-7) - Bye
Syracuse (3-7) lost to Duke 27-10
Stanford (5-5) lost to Utah 20-17
North Carolina (5-5) defeated Duke 45-40
Florida State (10-0) defeated Miami 30-26
Navy (5-5) defeated Georgia Southern 52-19
Arizona State (8-2) lost to Oregon State 35-27
Louisville (7-3) - Bye
USC (7-3) defeated Cal 38-30

Previewing the weekend in recruiting

Expected this weekend on campus as official visitors include:

- 4-star CB Ykili Ross (Riverside, Calif., Poly) - Ross was scheduled to visit Notre Dame last weekend on an official visit but rescheduled for this weekend. Ross has been Notre Dame's radar for months now, but getting him on campus has been an ordeal primarily due to scheduling conflicts. Ross will also see Notre Dame play next weekend when USC takes on the Irish. The general feeling is that USC and Notre Dame are Ross' top schools at this point. Oklahoma and Oregon are likely to receive officials as well.

- 4-star RB Dexter Williams (Winter Garden, Fla., West Orange) - A current Miami commit, Williams is down to Florida, Miami, and Notre Dame. The Irish are currently recruiting three running backs in the 2015 class with vigor, and Williams falls in that category, along with Sotonye Jamabo and Nicholas Brossette. This weekend's visit should go a long ways in determining if Notre Dame has a chance of flipping the Hurricanes' commit. It will be his first visit to Notre Dame.

-3-star S Ben Edwards (Jacksonville, Fla., Trinity Christian) - Edwards was once committed to Ohio State and also to Auburn. He's now primarily considering Miami, UNC, Notre Dame, Stanford and UCLA. Stanford is thought to be his leader at this point. Top Stories