March 20, 2013
Spring Practice Primer
It seems like just yesterday that coach Charlie Strong and the Louisville football team wrapped an 11-2 season, won a second-straight Big East title and upset third-ranked Florida in the Sugar Bowl. On Wednesday, the Cards will officially put last season behind them and begin preparing for the 2013 season. But before they hit the practice field, CardinalSports.com takes one last look at last year.Andrew Johnson's last-second pass breakup against North Carolina to seal the win.
Teddy Bridgewater - Was there any other choice? The star quarterback was the team's unquestioned leader, throwing for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns. Teddy B. also completed 68.5 percent of his throws and tossed just eight interceptions. He finished the year as the Sugar Bowl MVP and a legitimate candidate for the 2013 Heisman Trophy.
Preston Brown - The sophomore linebacker made big strides emerging as a leader on and off the field in 2012. Brown started every game and led the team with 109 tackles and contributed four pass breakups and an interception.
Newcomer of the Year
Damian Copeland - You wouldn't think a redshirt junior would be the offensive newcomer of the year, but that was the case with receiver Damian Copeland. After a quiet few years in the program, Copeland surfaced in a big way in 2012. He started all 13 games and led the team's deep receiving corps with 50 receptions for 628 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Copeland caught a pass in all 13 games, including a pair of receptions for 31 yards and a score against Florida in the Sugar Bowl.
Play of the Year
You can fill a highlight reel with all the memorable plays from Louisville's 2012 season. None was bigger than Terrell Floyd's pick six interception / touchdown of Florida's Jeff Driskel on the first play from scrimmage in the Sugar Bowl. It's a play that not only changed the game, but will be talked about in Cardinal football lore for years to come.
Honorable Mentions for Play of the Year
Teddy Bridgewater's come from behind touchdown pass at Rutgers to clinch the Big East title.
Coach Charlie Strong turning down Tennessee to remain coach at Louisville.
Knocking off No. 3 Florida in the Sugar Bowl is not only the high point for the 2012 season, but is a watershed moment for the history of the program. The Cards were a two touchdown underdog against the mighty Gators and used the spread as motivation to capture the largest upset in BCS history.
Losing to UConn 23-20 on Senior Day at Papa John's Cardinal Season. The loss was the team's second in a row and looked to severely damage the team's BCS vision. It also marked the third straight loss under Coach Strong on Senior Day. And to make matters worse, Teddy Bridgewater injured both his wrist and his ankle making things looking very murky for the upcoming contest at Rutgers.
2013 Cards to Watch
Brandon Radcliff - Jeremy Wright is gone. Senorise Perry and Dominique Brown are both coming off serious knee injuries. Redshirt freshman running back Brandon Radcliff could play a significant role in the ground game this season.
Jermaine Reve - Redshirt sophomore safety played in all 13 games last season and proved one thing - he's not afraid of contact. Reve is one of the hardest hitters on the team and he's in line for more playing time this season as the Cards must replace some key members of its secondary.
Last season's 9-0 start wasn't surprising, but it also wasn't expected. Expectations have changed for this group that returns the nucleus of a team that finished in the top 25 for the third straight year. Louisville returns 12 starters on defense and only loses three starters on offense. With Heisman candidate and Big East Offensive Player of the Year, Teddy Bridgewater, back to lead the Cards, coach Charlie Strong could be in for his best season yet. The schedule is softer and the team is a year older. This squad has BCS aspirations.
Spring Game on April 13th
The 2013 University of Louisville Wendy's Wonderful Kids Spring Game, is scheduled for Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m. in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Pre-game festivities will be in Streetfest where there will be music, entertainment, food and drink specials; including $1 beer. The $1 beer offer will extend into the stadium, throughout the game. There will also be inflatables for kids as well as Spring Game posters available to the fans for a $1.00 donation to Wendy's Wonderful kids. Admission is free to the public.
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