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September 8, 2012
Saturday, Sept. 8
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
Radio: WHAS 840 AM
Louisville / Missouri State Connections
Missouri State's First and Ten
Strong Looks for Third Straight Winning Campaign
Entering its 94th season of football, the University of Louisville has had only three coaches start their coaching careers at Louisville with three straight winning seasons.
Bobby Petrino (2003-06) and John L. Smith (1998-2002) were the last two head coaches to post three straight winning seasons in their first three years on the job.
Lee Corso (1969-72) was the other coach to post three consecutive winning seasons to start their careers.
Corso, Smith and head coach Charlie Strong also won league titles during their first three seasons. Strong looks to become the fourth to accomplish after guiding his team to back-to-back 7-6 campaigns.
Century Mark for Buford
MSU junior receiver Dorian Buford (Jr., WR, Florissant, Mo.) had game highs of seven catches for 114 yards at Kansas State, both career bests. In his fourth career start with the Bears, Burod pulled in a 56-yard pass fromKierra Harris in the second quarter and became only the fourth different MSU player since 2007 to reach the century mark in receiving yards (since 2007 - Clay Harbor 5, Jermaine Saffold 9, Cadarrius Dotson 1). It was also the most receiving yards by a Bear against an FBS opponent since 1997.
Snap to 1,000
Cadarrius Dotson (Sr., Memphis, Tenn.) eclipsed 1,000 career receiving yards in the season opener at K-State. His six receptions for 82 yards against the No. 22 Wildcats made him the 17th Bear to reach the yardage milestone. His efforts also put him just six catches away from 100 for his career, which would make him the 10th MSU player to reach the century mark in pass receptions. He now has 94 career snags for 1,035 yards, including receptions in 30 of his 34 career ball games.
Bridgewater Named MVP
Sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was named the Howard Schnellenberger most Valuable Player for his performance against Kentucky on Sunday. Bridgewater completed 19-of-21 passes for 232 yards in the 32-14 over the Wildcats. He becomes the second U of L player to earn this award, which is given to the top player in the U of L-UK game. Dexter Heyman won the award for the Cardinals last season in Louisville's 24-17 win at Commonwealth Stadium.
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.
The Valley Against FBS Teams
Since 1985, members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference have defeated 30 Division I FBS programs in football, including a 31-24 win at UNLV by the 1990 Bears under head coach Jesse Branch.
Since 2000, the MVFC has notched 10 victories, including wins over BCS league members Iowa State (UNI), Kansas (NDSU), Minnesota (NDSU) and Indiana (SIU). Last year, North Dakota State defeated Minnesota (37-24) before ultimately claiming the FCS national title, and Indiana State knocked off former league foe Western Kentucky by a decisive 44-16 score in Bowling Green. MVFC schools have won games against FBS opponents in back-to-back seasons on seven different occasions, including each of the last two years.
Missouri State is 1-26 all-time against FBS programs, coming up winless in each of its last 25 such contests. This year marks the second straight year in which MSU will play more than one FBS team in the same season. The Bears dropped games against nationally-ranked Arkansas and Oregon squads last fall, and split contests at Tulsa and UNLV in 1990.
The Cardinals went 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.
Cardinals Open With Three at Home
The Cardinals opened the 2012 season with the first of three home games - a 32-14 win over Kentucky. It's the first of three straight games at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium to open the year. The last time Louisville opened the season with at least three straight at home was 2008 when the Cardinals had four consecutive home contests to start the year.
One of the reasons the Cardinals were so efficient on Sunday was their play on third down. In the win over Kentucky, the Cardinals were a solid 6-of-12 on third down conversions, including a big play on the game's first drive when Teddy Bridgewater connected with Damian Copeland on a 23-yard reception on third and nine. Bridgewater was 4-for-4 for 77 yards on third down last Sunday.
Finally Some Home Cooking
The Cardinals have struggled at home under head coach Charlie Strong. With the win over Kentucky on Sunday, Strong evened his home record at 7-7 with the 32-14 win. The 32 points were the second-most points during the Strong era at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium - having scored 56 in a win over Memphis in 2010. Sunday's 32 points marked just the second time in 14 games that Louisville tallied 30 or more points in a game.