September 22, 2012
Game Day: FIU
Louisville vs. FIU
Saturday, Sept. 22
Radio: WHAS 840 AM
Saturday's game represents the second all-time meeting between the Cardinals and Golden Panthers. FIU won the only meeting in the series 24-17 last season at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
Will Stein threw for a career-high 349 yards and two touchdowns, the last a 26-yarder to DeVante Parker with 1:49 left to cap an 80-yard drive to try to rally the Cardinals. Stein was 30-of-43 in the game and did throw an interception.
Louisville registered a season-best 446 yards of total offense, but did turn the football over a pair of times in the loss.
The Cardinals were victimized by a 71-yard interception return and an 83 and 74-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton. The Cardinals only gave up 293 yards of total offense, but big plays hurt them all game.
After going 3-0 at home to start the season, the Cardinals will hit the road for the first time this season. Louisville has played well on the road under Charlie Strong in the first three seasons, recording a mark of 8-5, including a pair of neutral site bowl games.
The Cardinals are 34-25 all-time against teams from the Sun Belt Conference.
Cardinals 3-0 For First Time Since '06
With the win over North Carolina on Saturday, the Cardinals are 3-0 for the first time since the 2006 season, when Louisville opened the year at 8-0 before falling to Rutgers. The Cardinals went on to finish 12-1, which included a 24-13 win over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl.
The Cardinals won three home games in a row for the first time under head coach Charlie Strong. The three-game home winning streak is the first since 2009 when Louisville defeated Southern Mississippi (25-23), Arkansas State (21-13) and Syracuse (10-9).
Louisville / FIU Connections
Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt and FIU head coach Mario Cristobal were on Miami's staff in 2004 and 2006. In addition, Cristobal was a graduate assistant at Miami while Hurtt was a defensive lineman for the Hurricanes.
Hurtt and FIU tight ends coach Dennis Smith were on the Hurricanes' staff from 2003-04.
Hurtt and FIU outside linebackers coach Juan Navarro, Jr. were both on Miami's staff in 2006.
Hurtt and FIU special teams coordinator and secondary coach Jeff Popovich were both on Miami'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 FIU's Kenneth Dillard, E.J. Hilliard, Dominique Rhymes, Billy Rolle, Donald Senat, Clinton Taylor and Wayne Times.
The Cardinals' Gerod Holliman and Andrew Johnson attended Miami Southridge High School as did the Panthers' Jeremiah McKinnon.
Louisville's Lamar Atkins and Keith Brown attended Miami Norland as did FIU's Tourek Williams
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 Sept. 15, 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.
Small Senior Class
Head coach Charlie Strong speaks all the time about the importance of having a strong senior class. This year, his resolve will be tested because Strong has one of the smallest senior classes in the country with just 10 on scholarship. Texas-San Antonio have the smallest senior class in the country with seven seniors, while there are six schools with eight.
Out in Front
Louisville has made a habit of getting out early and playing with the lead.
The Cardinals have not trailed after the first quarter in its last three games, starting with the 32-14 win over Kentucky. During those three games, or 180 minutes of game action, Louisville hasn't trailed all season.
The Cardinals jumped out to an 8-0 lead versus Kentucky in the first quarter and haven't trailed at any point. Louisville last trailed in the Belk Bowl in a 31-24 loss to NC State.
The Cardinals are 3-0 for the first time since 2006 when Louisville opened the season at 8-0 before ending the year at 12-1. Louisville's last 4-0 start came also in 2006. Prior to that, the Cardinals opened the 2004 season with four straight victories.
Louisville vs. The Sun Belt Conference
Louisville is 34-25-all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference.
Louisville dropped a 24-17 decision to FIU in its last meeting against a team from the Sun Belt Conference - its first loss to a Sun Belt team since dropping a 40-7 decision to Louisiana at Monroe in 1981.
The Cardinals are 17-1 against Sun Belt teams since 1981.
Perry Pushes Forward
Junior Senorise Perry bounced around between offense and defense in his first two seasons, but looks like he has found a home at running back. Perry, who entered the 2012 season with 27 career yards on the ground, is the team's leader rusher and ranks 43rd in the nation, averaging 88.67 yard per game. He has rushed for 266 yards and three scores and is averaging a team-best 5.2 yards per carry.
After tallying his first 100-yard game in the win over Kentucky on Sept. 2, Perry carried a career-best 19 times for 72 yards in the 35-7 win over Missouri State and had 86 yards versus North Carolina on Saturday.
Perry has also been productive catching balls out of the backfield, recording seven receptions for 85 yards.
A Louisville Win Would...
Give Louisville its first 4-0 start since 2006 and only its fourth since the 1993 season. Louisville opened 2006 with eight straight wins before falling at Rutgers.
Represent head coach Charlie Strong's first four-game winning streak of his career.
Would give the Cardinals four-straight victories over non-conference opponents.
Improve the Cardinals to 8-4 (not counting bowls) on the road under Charlie Strong in his first three seasons.
Extend Louisville's road winning streak to four games. The Cardinals last road loss was a 25-16 decision at Cincinnati last season.
The Cardinals wore red jerseys and red pants for the 32-14 win over Kentucky last Sunday. It marked the first time in the Charlie Strong era that wore the red tops and red bottoms. The Cardinals deviated from their typical red jerseys and white pants one other time when they wore black uniforms versus West Virginia in 2010.
Keep Spreading the Ball
Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater continues to spread the football around in his first three games. The product of Miami, Fla. connected with nine different receivers in the season-opening victory over Kentucky.
Last week versus Missouri State, Bridgewater found seven 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. In the win over North Carolina, Bridgewater found 10 different receivers for the second-straight contest.
Red-shirt freshman Charles Gaines has bounced around between wide receiver and cornerback before settling at the wide receiver position.
After missing the win over Kentucky, Gaines' first play was a big one, racing down the field and catching a 55-yard pass from Teddy Bridgewater. It was the first play of his collegiate career. Gaines finished with three receptions for 73 yards, an average of 24.3 yards a reception.
Last week versus North Carolina, Gaines caught a team-high five receptions for 78 yards and a 32-yard touchdown reception. The product of Miami, Fla., has caught eight passes for 151 yards and is averaging 18.9 yards a reception
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