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October 21, 2011

Game Day: Rutgers v. Louisville




Rutgers vs. Louisville
October 21
8 p.m.
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
Louisville. Ky.
TV: ESPN2
Radio: WHAS 840 AM/790 WKRD


This Week
The University of Louisville returns home to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium to face Rutgers on Friday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. in the first home game for the Cardinals since an Oct. 1 loss to Marshall 17-13. The Cardinals are just 1-2 at home this year and are averaging a disappointing 17.0 points per game this season. The Cardinals dropped their third straight game to fall to 2-4 with a tough 25-16 loss at Cincinnati on Saturday. Louisville jumped out to a 16-7 lead at the half only to see Cincinnati score 18 unanswered points to take the Keg of Nails for the fourth straight season.

Home Sweet Home?
The Cardinals have struggled at home under head coach Charlie Strong in his i rst two seasons at the helm of the Cardinals. Strong's teams are 4-6 overall and just 1-2 this season at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Louisville scored 21 points in the season opening-win over Murray State and averaged just 15.0 ppg in a pair of losses to FIU and Marshall. The Cardinals have turned the football over eight times this year at home and are averaging just 17.0 ppg at home. The offense has been limited to 370.7 yards of total offense and just 100.7 yards on the ground.

The Rutgers Game
  • The Cardinals are Scarlet Knights are meeting for the 11th time in school history with the Scarlet Knights owning a 7-3 overall record.
  • The Cardinals clinched a post-season berth last year on the season's final game with a 40-13 win at Rutgers.
  • The Cardinals sacked Chas Dodd nine times and Johnny Patrick
    returned an interception for a touchdown in last season's win.
  • Louisville and Rutgers are meeting on a weekday for the seventh straight season. The Cardinals and Scarlet Knights met on a Friday in 2005, a Thursday in 2006-08 and a Friday in 2009-present.

    Last Time Against Rutgers
    Running back Bilal Powell caught two touchdowns and ran for another and Louisville became bowl eligible in Charlie Strong's first season as coach with a 40-13 victory over Rutgers on Nov. 26. Powell caught touchdown passes of 17 and 11 yards from Justin Burke on the Cardinals' first two series and ran for 11 of his 123 yards to cap the third as Louisville (6-6, 3-4 Big East) become bowl eligible for the first time since 2007, a season they weren't selected for a postseason game. The loss was the fifth straight for Rutgers (4-7, 1-5), ending any chance it had of going to a bowl game for the sixth straight year under Greg Schiano. The losing streak has coincided with a spinal cord injury that backup defensive tackle Eric LeGrand suffered on Oct. 16 against Army, the Scarlet Knights' last win. Will Stein added a 1-yard TD toss to Cameron Graham, running back Jeremy Wright scored on a 64-yard run and Johnny Patrick had a 35-yard interception return for a score late for the Cardinals, who were picked to finish last in the Big East in the preseason poll.

    Louisville / Rutgers History
  • Louisville trails the all-time series 3-7 and is 2-3 all-time at home.
  • The Cardinals are 2-1 all-time against the Scarlet Knights at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
  • Louisville is 3-3 against Rutgers as a member of the BIG EAST Conference.
  • Louisville is 0-1 against Rutgers in October, falling 38-21 on Oct. 20, 1984.
  • Louisville and Rutgers are meeting on a weekday for the seventh-straight season. The Cardinals and Scarlet Knights met on a Friday in 2005, a Thursday in 2006-08 and a Friday in 2009-present.
  • Last season Louisville defeated Rutgers 40-13 in the final game of the regular season to become bowl eligible. The Cardinals dominated from the start scoring 28 unanswered points.
  • Bilal Powell rushed for 123 yards on 23 carries in the 2010 meeting while Justin Burke and Will Stein combined to complete 18 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Last season, the Cardinals limited Mohamed Sanu to one touch for six yards after allowing Sanu to accumulate 151 all-purpose yards on 21 touches in 2009.
  • In Louisville's 56-5 win in 2005, the Cardinals scored 35 second-half points, including 28 in the third quarter.
  • The Louisville defense limited Rutgers to 187 total yards in 2005.
  • The Cardinals recorded five rushing touchdowns and three passing touchdowns against the Scarlet Knights in 2005.

    Philpott Moves into 5th All Place
  • After missing his last three field goal attempts, senior placekicker Chris Philpott responded with one of his better career games, booting three field goals in the 25-16 loss to Cincinnati. It was the most field goals since he booted four field goals in a 26-0 win over Connecticut last season.
  • Philpott moved into fifth-place on the school's all-time field goals made list with 25, surpassing Wilbur Summers, who nailed 24 in his career.
  • Philpott also moved into third-place in school history in field goal percentage, nailing 73.5 percent of his tries, going 25-of-34 for his career

    No Comeback Kids
  • Head coach Charlie Strong needs to find a way to get his team to recover after falling behind. The Cardinals are 1-5 overall when trailing after halftime and 1-7 overall when losing after three quarters when North Carolina scored 14 second-half points on Oct. 8.
  • On the flip side, the Cardinals are 6-2 when leading after one, 7-4 when leading at the half and 8-4 when they have the lead after the third quarter. Louisville led 16-7 at the half versus Cincinnati before the Bearcats scored 18 unanswered points to win 25-16. The Cardinals also led Marshall 13-7 at the half against Marshall and 13-10 after three quarters before falling 17-13 on Oct. 1.

    Big East Home Openers
  • The Cardinals are 2-4 all-time in BIG EAST home openers since joining the league in 2005 and have lost their last four league home openers, including a 35-27 loss to Cincinnati last season.
  • The Cardinals are 12-9 at home all-time in BIG EAST Conference play, but did go just 1-3 under head coach Charlie Strong last season.
  • Louisville defeated Pittsburgh 41-22 in 2005 and beat Cincinnati 23-17 in 2006, giving the Cardinals two straight BIG EAST home opener victories.

    Close Call Cardinals
  • Louisville finished the non-conference portion of the regular season with a 2-3 record. That record could have been easily better as Louisville lost to FIU, Marshall and North Carolina by a combined 18 points and were tied at half or led at the half in every game, but one.
  • Saturday's loss at Cincinnati was just the same as the Cardinals led at the half 16-7 and 16-14 heading into the fourth quarter before falling 25-16.
  • The Cardinals led the Bearcats 16-7 at the half and 16-14 in the fourth before falling 25-16. The Cardinals have lost five conference games under head coach Charlie Strong by a total of 44 points and he has lost 10 games as a head coach by 76 points.

    Need to stop the bleeding
  • The Cardinals are in the midst of a three-game losing streak, their longest streak since they lost three straight during the 2009 campaign.
  • The Cardinals haven't lost four games in a row since 2008 when they dropped their last five games of the season after getting off to a 5-2 start.
  • During this current three-game losing streak the Cardinals are struggling offensively. The Cardinals are averaging just 12.0 ppg over the last three losses and have tallied just 36 total points. Louisville has out-scored the opposition 29-14 in the first half, but have stalled in the second half, being out-scored 42-7.
  • The Cardinals are averaging 76.7 yards on the ground during the three-game losing streak and just 198.3 yards through the air. Louisville is also averaging 275.0 yards of total offense during this losing streak.
  • Defensively, the Cardinals have played well, yielding 18.7 ppg and 127.7 yards on the ground. Louisville is also yielding 188.7 yards through the air and 315.7 yards of total offense during the losing streak.

    Offensive Quick Hits
  • The Cardinals recorded their third-straight game of failing to record more than 300 yards of total offense - all resulting in losses for the Cardinals. Louisville tallied 281 yards versus Marshall; 273 against North Carolina and 271 in the loss on Saturday to Cincinnati. The Cardinals are averaging 275.0 yards of total offense in the last three games.
  • The Cardinals have had four games this season where they have failed to rush for more than 100 yards as a team, which have all translated into defeats - a 24-17 decision to FIU, a 17-13 loss to Marshall, a 14-7 loss at North Carolina and last Saturday's 25-16 decision at Cincinnati. The Cardinals carried 41 times for 83 yards versus FIU and 29 carries for 60 yards in the loss to Marshall. In the loss to UNC, Louisville recorded 100 yards on 38 carries and rushed 33 times for 70 yards in the loss to Cincinnati. The Cardinals have just two rushing touchdowns all season.
  • The Cardinals have scored 74 points in the first half and just 24 in the second half this year. Louisville was blanked in the second half versus Cincinnati and were also blanked in losses to Murray State and Marshall. Louisville has scored three points in the third quarter this year.
  • Louisville was sacked four times in the loss to Cincinnati and have been sacked 22 times in the first six games, which ranks 117th in the country at 3.7 per game.

    Looking for a Go-To Receiver
  • The Cardinals have spread the football around so far through the first four games. The quarterbacks have completed 119 passes to 14 different receivers.
  • The Cardinals have yet to establish a go-to receiver this year, as no one has more than 20 receptions this year. Red-shirt freshman Michaelee Harris leads the way with 20 receptions, senior Josh Chichester and true freshman Eli Rogers have 18 receptions, while Josh Bellamy has 13 receptions. Running back Victor Anderson is fifth on the team with 11 receptions.
  • The Cardinals are averaging 11.2 yards a reception and have already caught nine touchdown passes after recording 22 last season. Louisville is also averaging 221.7 yards receiving this year after averaging 194.0 yards in 2010.

    Defensive Quick Hits
    Louisville defense continues to play well and here is how they are ranked nationally after the first six games.
  • Rushing Defense - 20th (100.7)
  • Passing Efficiency Defense - 73rd (131.7)
  • Total Defense - 17th (303.5)
  • Scoring Defense - 16th (17.7)
  • Pass Defense - 38th (202.8)
  • Sacks - T-15th (3.00)
  • Tackles for Loss - 6th (8.3)

  • The Cardinals rank 16th in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 17.7 points per game. The Cardinals have allowed over 20 points twice this season in a 24-17 loss to FIU and a 25-16 loss at Cincinnati. During the Strong era, the Cardinals have allowed 24 or more points just seven times in 19 games. The Cardinals held North Carolina to just 14 points, which was more than 17 points fewer than their scoring average of 31.4 points per game. Louisville also held Cincinnati to 25 points, which was 19 points below their season scoring average.

  • The Bearcats, who entered the game averaging 440.6 yards per game, were limited to a season-low 330 yards of total offense. Cincinnati, who entered the game averaging 219.2 yards through the air and 221.4 yards on the ground, finished with just 152 yards passing and 178 yards on the ground.


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