Coach Bobby Petrino continues his exclusive weekly feature with the Louisville SportsReport and Cardinalsports.com. Fans can e-mail post-game questions to Lousportsreport@aol.com or fax them to (502) 636-9265.
Q: What is the general health of the team at the midpoint of the season? Has Kolby Smith's absence effected your game plan?
Coach Petrino: "We're relatively healthy. We did miss Kolby Smith and Gavin Smart. Brandon Sharp also missed last week's game because of an injury. I expect to have Kolby and Brandon Sharp back for Memphis. We honestly didn't alter a lot of things with Kolby out, but he’s a player I depend on to do a lot of things out there on the football field. Between blocking, carrying the ball and running routes, we definitely miss him. He has also been our leading tackler on all of our special teams, so we miss him there, too."
Q: Coach, how difficult is it to prepare for teams on the odd intervals between games your team is having right now? - longtimer
Coach Petrino: "Actually it gives you a longer time to prepare for them, and that can be good. You've just got to be careful that you don't try to do too much. The danger with having so much time in between games is trying to change your game plan as it gets closer to game day. That's why during the first part of the practices we try to focus on our individual fundamentals and techniques in drills. Later on, we try to get into a normal game week routine. Our normal game week preparation for Memphis will start next Sunday.”
Q: How much time will the coaching staff and players spend looking at last year’s Memphis game tape, if any? - The Red Tail
Coach Petrino: "Oh, we've already spent a lot of time looking at it. We went over it this summer. We looked at their schemes. We looked at how they lined up and how we didn't handle some of things they did. I’m sure they'll try to go back to some of the things they did - the things they had success with last year."
Q: What a fabulous job you have done this year. My question has to do with next year. As you see it, what position concerns you the most? Also, will you go the JUCO route, if necessary? -villefanatic
Coach Petrino: "I think we've got a lot of depth coming back right now. We’re looking at a couple of junior college positions - maybe an offensive lineman, a defensive end and maybe a real fast receiver. But primarily, we’re going to concentrate on recruiting high school players."
Q: You mentioned after the Miami game you wanted to get more players rotating in on the defensive side of the ball. What rotation would you consider to be ideal in terms of time on the field, number of plays and how many different players? -aruba
Coach Petrino: "I'm not sure on the actual number of plays. I don't know if there is an exact number of plays, but we'd like to play as many as we can as long as they’re fresh and at full-speed. That’s our ideal situation. We did rotate Brandon Cox and Shane Bailey in there this past game, and both of them showed that they can play. They did a pretty good job. They did a couple of really good things. I think they still showed they are young at times, but we like what they did against South Florida.”
Q: Does the surprising Memphis loss to Cincinnati (49-10) help or hurt your team in getting ready for the Tigers? - jvolk
Coach Petrino: "Probably neither. It really doesn't effect us a whole lot. We've just got to work on what we can do. That's all we can do."