September 15, 2012
Game Day: North Carolina
North Carolina at Louisville
Saturday, Sept. 15
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
Radio: WHAS 840 AM
The Louisville football team will play its third consecutive home game when the Cardinals host North Carolina on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3:30 p.m. The game will be shown on ABC as a regional telecast.
Louisville ran its record to 2-0 with a 35-7 victory over FCS foe Missouri State on Saturday at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater continued his fine play by going 30-for-39 for 344 yards and a pair of scores, while the Louisville offense amassed a season-high 475 yards of total offense.
The Cardinals are 2-0 overall for the first time since the 2007 season when they opened the year with wins over Murray State and Middle Tennessee.
For the second straight game, running back Senorise Perry was the leading rusher, carrying 19 times for 72 yards and a touchdown, while also catching four passes for 41 yards. Junior Jeremy Wright rushed 10 times for 43 yards.
Senior tight end Nate Nord caught a career-high four passes for 59 yards and a 14-yard touchdown reception, while sophomore wide receiver Eli Rogers led the Cardinals with six receptions for 30 yards.
The Louisville defense held Missouri State to 249 yards of total offense, including 150 through the air. The Bears turned the ball over twice and were limited to 15 first downs. The Cardinals allowed the Bears one scoring drive, going 73 yards in eight plays to trim the Cardinals lead to 18-7.
Sophomore safety Calvin Pryor led the defense with eight tackles and an interception - the third of his young career. His counterpart at safety, Hakeem Smith, recorded six tackles and a tackle for loss.
The Tar Heels dropped to 1-1 after Wake Forest put together an 11-play, 93-yard touchdown drive with just 2:09 remaining to defeat North Carolina 28-27 on Saturday night at BB&T Field. Tanner Price capped off the go-ahead scoring drive with his second rushing touchdown of the game, a one-yard sneak up the middle, to tie the score at 27-27. Jimmy Newman put Wake Forest on top with a successful PAT.
Saturday's game will be the seventh meeting in the series between North Carolina and Louisville with the series deadlocked at 3-3. The Cardinals have won two of the last three meetings, but the Tar Heels did win the last encounter, 14-7 last season in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Cardinals are 1-1 all-time in Louisville and won the last game, 69-14 in 2005.
Louisville - North Carolina
Louisville and North Carolina will be meeting for the seventh time in school history and for the third time in Louisville.
The series is tied at 3-3, but the Cardinals have won two of the last three encounters. North Carolina won the last meeting 14-7 in Chapel Hill, N.C., last season.
In the last meeting in Louisville, Brian Brohn threw for 304 yards and four touchdowns, leading No. 23 Louisville to a 69-14 victory. Defensive end Elvis Dumervil had three sacks, two forced fumbles and his first career interception, and Michael Bush added three touchdowns for the Cardinals, who scored on their first eight possessions and topped 60 points for the fourth straight home game.
The Cardinals are 18-37-1 against current schools from the ACC. The last time the Cardinals faced an ACC foe was a 31-24 loss to NC State in the Belk Bowl last season.
Last Time Against UNC
Last Meeting: North Carolina 14, Louisville 7; at Chapel Hill, 2011
Tailback Giovani Bernard and receiver Dwight Jones each scored touchdowns, as North Carolina overcame a slow start to win 14-7 against Louisville. The Tar Heels earned their eighth straight victory over a nonconference opponent.
Bernard gained 109 yards on 25 carries to become the first Tar Heel to rush for at least 100 yards in four straight games since Ethan Horton did it in five straight games in 1984.
Louisville sacked Bryn Renner four times and held North Carolina to 62 yards of offense in the first half to keep the contest close. Cardinals kicker Chris Philpott missed field goals of 40 and 36 yards in the first half.
Louisville / North Carolina Connections
Louisville head coach Charlie Strong and North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora were both a part of Florida's 2003-04 staff. Strong served as the defensive coordinator, while Fedora was the Gators' offensive coordinator.
Strong and North Carolina's defensive coordinator Dan Disch were both on Florida's 2004 staff.
Strong and North Carolina's head strength and conditioning coach Lou Hernandez served together at Florida from 2003-04.
Strong and North Carolina wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer have ties back to 1990 when both were a part of Mississippi's staff.
Fedora is 0-2 all-time against Louisville with both losses coming as head coach at Southern Mississippi. Strong defeated the Golden Eagles 31-28 in the 2010 Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl.
North Carolina offenisve line coach Chris Kapilovic and outside linebackers coach/special teams coordinator David Duggan were on Fedora's staff during the Cardinals' 2009 and 2010 wins over the Golden Eagles while offensive coordinator Blake Anderson and tight ends coach Walt Bell joined Fedora's staff in 2010 when Louisville defeated Southern Mississippi in the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.
Louisville defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and Fedora were on Oklahoma State's staff in 2007.
Bedford and Brewer were both on Oklahoma State's coaching staff in 2007.
The Cardinals' offensive coordinator Shawn Watson and the Tar Heels' running backs coach Randy Jordan both were a member of Nebraska's staff in 2006.
Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Michaelee Harris, Corvin Lamb, Jermaine Reve and Eli Rogers all attended Northwestern High School in Miami with North Carolina wide receiver Cameron Campbell.
The Cardinals' Nick Dawson attended the Phillip O'Berry Academy of Technology as did the Tar Heels' Kedrick Davis.
Cardinals Going for First 3-0 Start Since 2006
The Cardinals host North Carolina on Saturday, going for their first 3-0 start since the 2006 season when Louisville opened at 8-0 and finished at 12-1 with a win over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl.
Louisville ran its record to 2-0 with a win over Missouri State on Saturday - the first 2-0 start since the 2007 campaign. However, the Cardinals would drop the next two games and finish that season at 6-6.
Three Straight at Home; Three Straight on the Road
The Cardinals opened the 2012 season with three consecutive home contests for the first time since the 2008 campaign. After the Cardinals host North Carolina on Saturday, Louisville will be gone for over a month with road games at FIU (Sept. 22), Southern Mississippi (Sept. 29) and to open the BIG EAST schedule on Oct. 13 at Pitt.
More than half of the Louisville Cardinals' 2012 roster are freshmen and sophomores. All-told, Louisville's roster includes 41 freshmen - 25 true freshmen and 16 redshirt freshmen - and 31 sophomores. The Cardinals also have 28 players in the junior class and just 12 seniors.
Besides the four true freshmen who saw action in the win over Kentucky, the Cardinals had six other players see action for the first time at Louisville.
Tight end Ryan Hubbell made the start on offense, while safety Jermaine Reve recorded three tackles in his first action. Linebacker Jalen Harrington appeared on special teams, while kicker John Wallace booted a 22-yard field field goal and hit four extra points. Punter Ryan Johnson (punter) and Ryan Mack (offensive lineman) also saw playing time.
Louisville has sold a record 43,432 football season tickets this year, shattering the previous mark of 43,300 set last year.
Louisville had two sellouts in 2010 and one last season for a total of three sellouts in its last 13 home dates.
The Cardinals set a single-season attendance records for the last two years, averaging 50,648. in 2010 and 48,538 last season.
Thirteen of the top-15 attendances in Louisville's history came in the last two seasons. A record 55,386 fans packed Papa John's Cardinal Stadium for the 2012 opener against Kentucky.
Approximately 15,000 Louisville fans traveled to Charlotte, N.C., for the 2011 Belk Bowl.
Bridgewater Off to Fast Start
Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is off to a record start to the 2012 campaign. In his first two starts, Bridgewater has thrown for 576 yards and two touchdowns, while completing a remarkable 81.7 percent of his throws.
In his last start, he surpassed the 300-yard passing mark for the first time in his career in the third quarter and finished the game with 344 yards on 30-of-39 passing and two touchdowns through the air. On the ground, he rushed seven times for 15 yards.
This marked the first time the Cardinals have had a quarterback throw for more than 300 yards since Will Stein accomplished the feat last year against Florida International, when he went for 349. Bridgewater found Charles Gaines on a 55-yard completion on the second drive of the game. That was Bridgewater's second-longest completion of his career. He connected with Eli Rogers for 58 yards against Cincinnati in the second quarter last season.
The product of Miami, Fla. connected with eight different receivers in the first quarter: Nate Nord, DeVante Parker (three times), Charles Gaines, Eli Rogers, Damian Copeland, Jeremy Wright and Andrell Smith. Bridgewater finished the game by connecting with a total of 10 receivers.
Bridgewater has remained calm on third downs, as he is 11-for-13 this season for 160 yards and one touchdown on that down.
Nord Going Out on a High Note
Senior tight end Nate Nord had to be talked out of quitting football by head coach Charlie Strong. It's a good thing Strong is so persuasive. Nord has been a pleasant surprise in the passing game this year. He is tied for third on the team with seven caches for 78 yards and also has a touchdowns.
He already has more receptions and yards through two games than he has had in any full season in his Louisville career. He caught a career-high four passes for 59 yards and a 14-yard touchdown reception in the win over Missouri State.
Offensive coordinator Shawn Watson works a lot in the red zone with his offense, and the hard work has paid off after the first two weeks.
The Cardinals are tied for first in the country with a perfect red zone percentage. Louisville is 9-for-9 in the red one and are also 7-of-9 in scoring touchdowns. In the 35-7 win over Missouri State on Saturday, Louisville was 5-for-5 in scoring chances.
Bridgewater and North Carolina
Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater made his second career start last season in a 14-7 loss at North Carolina last season in Chapel Hill.
The Cardinals sputtered all day on offense, gaining 273 yards of total offense, including 100 yards on the ground. Bridgewater showed signs of being the quarterback he his today by going 19-for-30 for 173 yards and one touchdown - an 18-yard pass to Dominique Brown in the fourth quarter.
The Man of Steel
Junior safety Hakeem Smith made plays all over the field for the Cardinals the last two seasons, and he started the 2012 campaign in the same fashion. Smith, a two-time All-BIG EAST performer, anchored a defense that limited Kentucky to just 14 points and 373 total yards and Missouri
State to a touchdown and 249 yards of offense.
Smith led the Cardinals with 10 tackles and also forced a fumble - the fifth of his career in the win over UK. He is second on the team with 16 tackles and one forced fumble after the first two contests. Last season, Smith was a first team All-BIG EAST honoree with 84 stops, which were second on the team.
Smith has recorded double-digit tackle totals in four of the last six games and has seven games of 10 or more tackles in his career.
Good Start on Turnovers
The defensive staff has stressed the importance of causing turnovers this year, and the defensive players paid attention. The Cardinals caused a pair of fumbles in the 32-14 win over Kentucky - both of which occurred inside the Cardinals' 30-yard line.
Louisville stopped a potential score by forcing a fumble at the 22-yard line and another one at the three-yard line. In the 35-7 win over Missouri State, the Cardinals forced two more miscues - a fumble and an interception.
The Cardinals rank 32nd nationally with four turnovers gained.
The Cardinals have been solid in the return game the last couple of seasons, but need to get their special teams going this week versus North Carolina.
After two games, the Cardinals ranks 112th in kickoff returns with an average of 13.5 yards a return, while Louisville is a little worse in punt return average, ranking 115th in the country. Senorise Perry averages 13.5 yards a kick return thus far this season.
Rookie Punter and Kicker
The Cardinals may look to a true freshman to handle the punting and kickoff duties for the Cardinals this season. Appleby has been the front runner all camp to be the punter, but should also be the guy to handle the kickoffs.
Appleby will be the first freshmen to handle the punting since Cory Goettsche took over the duties in 2006. Appleby was an All-State punter and booted 71 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone.
Cardinals Move Up in Both Polls
With its 35-7 win over Missouri State last Sunday, Louisville moved up in both the USA Today Coaches and Associated Press polls this week. The Cardinals moved up four spots to 19th in the Associated Press poll and also jumped four places in the USA Today poll this week to No. 20.
The Cardinals cracked any poll for the first time since being ranked 18th on Sept. 17, 2007. The Cardinals fell out the following week after a 38-35 home loss to Syracuse.
It also marks the first time the Cardinals were ranked in the preseason since they opened the 2007 season ranked 10th in the AP and 11th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
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