October 5, 2013
Cards open conference play at Temple
Cardinals Open Up Conference Play The seventh-ranked University of Louisville football team will open up American Athletic Conference action for the first time when it travels to face Temple on Oct. 5 for a noon kickoff.
The game will be broadcast as the American Athletic Conference Game of the Week and be televised on ESPN Regional. Locally, the game will be shown on WHAS TV.
Saturday's meeting will be the seventh all-time with the series tied at 3-3, but the Cardinals have won the last three encounters, including a 45-17 victory last season at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Louisville defeated the Owls 62-0 in 2006 in its last visit to Lincoln Financial Field.
This will be the seventh meeting in the series that began in 1980, with a 17-12 Temple win at Cardinal Stadium. The Cardinals have won the last three meetings in the series, including a 45-17 victory last year at Papa John John's Cardinal Stadium.
Junior Teddy Bridgewater tied a career-high with five touchdown passes last season in a 45-17 home win over Temple last
In their last trip to Temple, the Cardinals defeated the Owls 62-0 at Lincoln Financial Field
Key Notes to Consider
UofL raised its record to 4-0 for the second-straight year with a 72-0 win over FIU on Sept. 21 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Louisville's defense dominated in the win, holding the Panthers to 27 yards of total offense, zero rushing yards and two first downs.
The Cardinals are 4-0 for the second time under the direction of head coach Charlie Strong. The Cardinals have won 10-straight games during the month of September.
Louisville held FIU to 4-of-9 passing for 27 yards and sacked quarterback E.J. Hilliard four times. Senior defensive end Marcus Smith tallied a pair of sacks, while junior defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin and sophomore Sheldon Rankins also registered sacks. Louisville ranks 24th nationally in sacks this season.
The Cardinals registered their third shutout of the Charlie Strong era and the first since a 26-0 win over Connecticut on Oct. 23, 2010. That same season, the Cardinals also shut out Memphis 56-0 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. After four games, the Cardinals lead the nation in scoring defense, yielding just 6.8 points per game and have allowed just three points in the first half.
The Cardinals scored on 11 of 13 possessions in the win over FIU, which includes 10 touchdowns. Junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater tossed four touchdown passes to give him 14 on the season and at least one touchdown pass in 16-straight games. He completed 17-of-22 passes for 212 yards in the win over the Panthers.
Junior wide receiver DeVante Parker caught a touchdown pass for the nation's best 10th-straight game and ended the game with six receptions for 74 yards and a pair of scores. He has caught 19 passes for 331 yards and six touchdowns, while averaging 17.3 yards per reception.
The Cardinals recorded 464 yards of total offense and rushed for 210 yards, the second-straight 200-yard performance for the Cardinals. Louisville is averaging 226.0 yards on the ground over the last two contests.
Junior running back Dominique Brown led the Cardinals in rushing with 78 yards on three carries, including a career-long 77-yard run - the longest by a Cardinal running back since Bilal Powell scampered 85 yards for a touchdown against Cincinnati in 2010 in a 35-27 loss to the Bearcats.
Temple dropped to 0-4 under first-year head coach Matt Rhule with a 26-24 loss to Idaho last
Tyler Matakevich was clearly the star of the game for the Owls. He recorded a school-record 24
tackles (13 solo) to break the mark held by Loranzo Square (23 vs. East Carolina 1988) and Taylor Suman (23 vs. Syracuse 1999).
He leads the leads the American Athletic Conference with an average of 15.0 tackles per game.
Running back Kenny Harper has recorded six rushing touchdowns to pace the Owls' offense. He is averaging 55.5 yards rushing per game and 4.7 yards per carry.
Connor Reilly has taken over as the starting quarterback this season, throwing for 746 yards and a pair of scores. He completed 23-of-47 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown in the loss to the Vandals.
Ryan Alderman, the team's leading receiver, caught five passes for 88 yards and one touchdown against Idaho. He brought the Owls to within six points in the fourth quarter when he scored on a 51-yard pass from Reilly.
The Owls allowed 478 yards of total offense in the loss to Idaho, including 168 yards on the ground.
Punter Paul Layton ranks third in the American Athletic Conference, averaging 43.6 yards a punt.
Five Play With degrees
Five players on the current roster will be playing the 2013 season with degrees in their pockets after four graduated last May.
Damian Copeland(Sports Administration), Champ Lee (Justice Administration), Roy Philon (Justice Administration), Hakeem Smith (Sports Administration) and Kamran Joyer (Justice Administration)each earned their degrees.
Head coach Charlie Strong has had 88 players exhaust their eligibility during his first four seasons at Louisville, and 82 have received their degrees. Bilal Powell, Josh Bellamy and Cameron Graham, who are in the NFL, are three who have yet to earn their degrees.
Five Notes on Offense
The Cardinals are ranked seventh in the country in scoring average at 48.0 points per game after scoring 72 points in the win over FIU - the most points by a UofL team since tallying 73 in a win over Murray State in the 2007 season opener.
Over the last couple of seasons, the Cardinals have struggled at times in the running game, but they might have found their niche in the last two games, averaging 226.0 yards on the ground. Louisville ran for 242 in a win at Kentucky on Sept. 14 and 210 versus FIU on Sept. 21.
The Cardinals have scored 192 points in the first four games of the season, scoring more than 24 points in each of the four contests. The 192 points is the most since the 2007 squad opened with 200 points in its first four games.
Junior wide receiver DeVante Parker has caught a touchdown pass in 10-straight games dating back to last season and has caught 22 in his career. The Ballard High product leads the Cardinals with 19 receptions for 331yards and four touchdowns. He is tied for second nationally with six touchdown receptions.
Junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater tossed four touchdown passes for the third time this season. He passed for five in the opener versus Ohio and four more in wins over Eastern Kentucky and FIU. He has thrown two or more touchdown passes in a game in 10 of the last 11 games, after being held to
just one in a 27-13 victory over Kentucky on Sept. 14.
Five Notes on Defense
The Cardinals have allowed 27 points this season, which includes just three total points in the first half - a first quarter field goal by Kentucky. UofL has yielded a third-quarter touchdown and 17 points in the final stanza.
Louisville had a streak of 21-consecutive stops on third down conversions until FIU converted its first third down in the third quarter. The Cardinals are holding the opposition to a 20 percent conversion rate (11-of-54) this season. In the last two games, the opposition have converted 2-of-26 attempts on third
After allowing six 100-yard rushers last season, the Cardinals haven't allowed one through the first four games. Louisville is allowing 88.2 yards on the ground after holding FIU to zero yards in the 72-0 win on Sept. 21.
Junior defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin has emerged as a force from his defensive end position, leading the Cardinals with 3.5 sacks and has forced a pair of fumbles.
n The Cardinals allowed a pair of first downs in the win over FIU, which was the lowest since allowing just three in a win over Western Kentucky in 1990. Louisville gave up 27 yards of total offense, which was the fewest total since allowing 58 versus Murray State in 1990.
Looking for 5-0
Louisville hits the road at Temple on Saturday, looking to go 5-0 for the second-straight season and just the second time in Charlie Strong's first four seasons. Louisville lost its 2010 opener to Kentucky 23-16. Opening the 2011 season with a 21-9 win over Murray State, the Cardinals dropped a 24-17 decision to FIU at home.
Louisville is looking to go 5-0 for the third time in the last 11 seasons and just the sixth time since 1946.
In starting 4-0, the Cardinals have an average margin of victory of 41.3 points.
After playing three of the first four games at home, the Cardinals will hit the road for the second time this season when they face Temple at Lincoln Financial Field. Louisville is 12-10 all-time when playing in active NFL Stadiums.
Since taking over the program for the 2010 season, the Cardinals have been solid on the road, going 12-5 under head coach Charlie Strong. Louisville went 4-1 away from home last season and are 7-3 in conference play on the road under Strong.
the road ahead
The Cardinals' depth will be tested over the next couple of weeks, as Louisville will play three games in a 14-day span. Louisville will face Temple on Oct. 5, but will have to turn around and host Rutgers on Oct. 10 and UCF on Oct. 18.
The Cardinals are coming off the first of one of their three bye weeks. Louisville will be open on Nov. 2 and Nov. 30. Louisville is 44-40-1 after a bye week in its history.
Not including bowl games, the Cardinals are 2-2 under head coach Charlie Strong coming out of bye weeks. Louisville had two open weeks last year, defeating Pittsburgh 45-35 after a week off and falling to Connecticut 23-20 in triple overtime when it took a week off after a 45-26 loss at Syracuse.
On Special teams
The Cardinals return one of the best placekickers in the game not to win all-conference honors in sophomore John Wallace. The product of Elizabethtown, Ky., booted a career high three field goals in the win over Eastern Kentucky on Sept. 7. For his career, Wallace is a solid 22-of-28 on field goal attempts, which places him in a tie for seventh in school history in career field goals. The 16 field goals made last season were the second-most in the history of the school.
Wallace is 20-of-21 from within 40 yards, going 11-for-11 from 30-39 yards and 9-of-10 between 20-29 yards after he had a 27-yard field goal blocked on Sept. 14 against Kentucky. His career-long was a 45-yard field goal against Missouri State. He booted at least two field goals in six games last season.
Junior punter Ryan Johnson took over the punting detail last season and performed well in his first season, and that has continued in 2013. After averaging a solid 39.54 yards per punt last season, Johnson is averaging 46.1 yards a punt, including a 54-yard punt. He is tied atop the American Athletic Conference in punting average and would rank in a tie for eighth nationally, but he currently doesn't meet the minimum requirements to rank in the NCAA statistics.
Thanks to Charles Gaines' 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against FIU on Sept. 21, the Cardinals are 13th in the nation with a return average of 26.5 yards, but are 84th in the country in punt returns at 5.8 yards a return. Louisville is 15th in punt return defense allowing 2.5 yards a return, but still have to t better on kickoffs, standing 108th nationally, giving up 25.3 yards a return
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