Miami vs. Louisville
Monday, September 1st
Papa John's Cardinal Stadium (55,000)
Radio: WKRD (790 AM)
Cardinals Open ACC Play with Labor Day Tilt Versus Miami
Louisville opens its 2014 season - and inaugural campaign in the Atlantic Coast Conference - by hosting Miami on Labor Day night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The two teams closed the previous season when Louisville defeated Miami 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Fla. on Dec. 28.
Miami took a 2-0 lead on a first quarter safety, but the Cardinals responded with 36 unanswered points, highlighted by three touchdown passes and a rushing score by former quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The first-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2014 NFL Draft, Bridgewater threw for a career-high 447 yards and was named the game's Most Valuable Player. Wide receiver DeVante Parker caught nine passes for 142 yards and one touchdown, while the Cardinals held the Hurricanes to 174 yards of total offense.
The Cardinals have won the last two meetings in the series, including last year's bowl game and a 31-7 win over Miami at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in 2006 when Bobby Petrino last roamed the sidelines for the Cardinals.
The Hurricanes lead the overall series 9-2-1 and are 4-1 all-time in Louisville versus the Cardinals.
For the second time in 36 games, Louisville will have a new starting quarterback. Sophomore Will Gardner will be under center for Louisville's historic first ACC contest. Gardner played in five games during the 2013 season and threw for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
The Cardinals' defense, which led the nation in total defense and rushing defense in 2013, will have to replace seven starters on that side of the football. Senior Lorenzo Mauldin was second on the team a year ago with 9.5 sacks and is one of the more experienced veterans on the defense.
The Cardinals were 22-1 at home under head coach Bobby Petrino when he first coached the Cardinals from 2003-06. Louisville won a school record 20 straight games at home at one point during that span, with the only loss coming at the hands of Memphis - 37-7 in 2003. During those 24 home games, the Cardinals scored 40 or more points 16 times, including 70 in a win over Cincinnati in 2004.
The Cardinals own a 23-3 record over the last two seasons after tying a school record with 12 wins a year ago.
Junior cornerback Charles Gaines is one of two starters returning in the secondary after leading the team with five interceptions and scoring three non offensive touchdowns.
The Cardinals return five starters from a year ago on the offensive line. Senior Jake Smith leads the group with 38 career starts, while senior John Miller is next with 34. Senior Jamon Brown has
started 27 contests.
The Cardinals will open play in the ACC when they host Miami on Sept. 1. It will be the fifth different conference that the football program has competed in during its history. The Cardinals were members of the Missouri Valley Conference, Conference USA, the BIG EAST Conference, the
American Athletic Conference and the ACC this season.
Senior Terell Floyd, who has started 26 games at cornerback during his career, will start at safety for the Cardinals versus Miami.
The Cardinals and Hurricanes have met 12 times previously with the 'Canes holding a 9-2-1 advantage. However, the Cardinals have won two-straight meetings, winning last season and in 2006. Louisville handed the Hurricanes a 36-9 decision in the Russell Athletic Bowl last December, and the Cardinals also handed Miami a 31-7 decision during the 2006 season- Petrino's last year with the Cardinals before returning this season.
Miami Coach Al Golden
Al Golden is in his fourth season at the helm of the Hurricanes' program. The 44-year old Golden laid a foundation and process to return the storied program to prominence under his leadership.
Golden led the Hurricanes to a 9-4 record in 2013 and a berth in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando - Miami's first bowl appearance since 2010. The program's 2013 season began with a 7-0 start, including a win over No. 12 Florida as the Hurricanes jumped as high as No. 7 in the BCS rankings.
Cardinals vs. ACC
The Cardinals are playing their first game as members of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Louisville bolsters a 33-48-1 on-field mark against the current 14-team football alignment of the ACC. The Cardinals have played all but two of the ACC's football schools (Georgia Tech & Clemson) and their first ACC opponent was Miami on Nov. 11, 1933, a 33-7 win for the Hurricanes. The Cardinals will play Clemson for the first time in school history on Oct. 11.
Scouting the Canes
On offense, the Hurricanes will welcome back five starters from last year's squad. The unit is strongest in the backfield, led by first-team All-ACC running back Duke Johnson, who last year rushed for 920 yards and six touchdowns despite missing five games due to injury.
Michaelee Harris (WR), Corvin Lamb (RB), Eli Rogers (WR), Jermaine Reve (DB), and Brandon Joseph (DB) all played at Miami Northwestern High School alongside current Hurricanes Artie Burns (DB), Ryan Mayes (DB), and Mike Smith (DE).
UofL's James Burgess (LB) and Pedro Sibiea (OL) played with Miami receiver Herb Waters at Homestead High School in Homestead, Fla.
Keith Brown (LB) and Lamar Atkins (FB)- and two Hurricanes-Duke Johnson (RB) and Ereck Flowers (OL)- played for Daryle Heidelburg at Miami Norland High School.
Louisville's Andrew Johnson (DB) and Gerrod Holliman (DB)played alongside Miami's Jamal Carter (DB) in the secondary at Miami Southridge High School.
Louisville's Brandon Radcliff (RB) and Miami's Deon Bush (DB) played together at Christopher Columbus High School in Miami, each graduating in 2012.
Teddy Bridgewater threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score to help No. 18 Louisville rout Miami 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl. The Cardinals spotted Miami an early 2-0 lead, then dominated the rest of the way, racking up 554 total yards to the Hurricanes' 174. Bridgewater was 35 for 45 for a career-high 447 yards. A big second quarter by the Cardinals, punctuated by Bridgewater's two touchdown passes, helped Louisville take a 22-2 lead. The Cardinals settled for field goals early after struggling to convert on third downs inside the Hurricanes' territory. DeVante Parker immediately caught three passes on a seven-play, 80-yard drive, including a 26-yard touchdown reception. Parker finished with nine catches for 142 yards.
Louisville - Miami Coaching Ties
Louisville wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas played his college football at Miami from 1988-1992. Thomas left Coral Gables with the school's all-time record for receptions (144) and two national championships (1989, 1991). He was inducted into the school's athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.
Louisville's First Season in the ACC
Louisville is entering its first year as a member of the ACC and has been a Division I-A/Bowl Championship Series football playing school in each of its 96 seasons of competition. Louisville joined the Missouri Valley Conference in 1963 before becoming a football independent from 1974-95. The Cardinals became members of Conference USA in 1996 and spent nine seasons in C-USA before joining the BIG EAST Conference in 2005. UofL would spend eight years in the BIG EAST and one season in the American Athletic Conference a year ago.
Cards on Four Game Bowl Streak
Louisville has played in four-straight bowl games for the second time in school history. After missing bowl games in 2007-2009, the Cardinals have appeared in bowl games the last four seasons (2010-13). Louisville had a nine-game postseason streak from 1998-2006. Louisville also appeared in bowl games in 1958, 1970, 1977, 1991 and 1993.
Opening Season with Conference Game
When the Cardinals open ACC play against Miami on Sept. 1, Louisville will open the season against a conference foe for the third time in school history. UofL opened the 1963 season against Missouri Valley opponent North Texas State, winning 26-6, and also fell at Memphis State 28-21 in the 1973 season opener.
Petrino Brings Back the Blackout
In 2006, head coach Bobby Petrino was the first coach to bring out the term "Black Out" when the Cardinals upset No. 3 West Virginia 44-34 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Petrino is bringing back the Black Out to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in the 2014 ACC opener versus Miami. The Cardinals will wear black uniforms and chrome black helmets versus the Hurricanes. This will be the fourth Black Out in school history, with the others coming in 2007 versus Rutgers and 2008 versus West Virginia. The Cardinals are 2-1 in Black Out games.
Gardner Takes Over the Reins
For the first time since 2011, the Cardinals will have a new starting quarterback in sophomore Will Gardner. Taking over for first-round pick Teddy Bridgewater, Gardner will make his first-career start when the Cardinals face Miami in the 2014 home and ACC openers.
Grantham Takes Over the Defense
The Cardinals' defense faces a tough task of trying to replace seven starters on defense, but it is fortunate to have one of the best defensive coordinators in the country taking over the reins. Todd Grantham takes over the defense this season and brings a remarkable resume to the sidelines. Grantham comes to Louisville after four years at Georgia in the SEC and 11 years in the National Football League. In four seasons at Georgia, Grantham had outstanding defenses. He had the fifth-ranked defense nationally, and were 10th against the pass and 11th in rushing defense in 2011, and was eighth in pass defense and fourth in pass efficiency defense in 2012. Grantham's defense was fifth in the country in interceptions and seventh in turnovers gained in 2011.
POWER VS. POWER
For the sixth time in 10 years, Louisville opens against a team from one of the power five conferences. The Cardinals have gone toe-to-toe with members of the Southeastern Conference and the ACC to open 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012 and now 2014. Louisville holds a 3-2 record in its five openers against schools from a power conference.
23-3 Over the Last Two Seasons
The Cardinals enjoyed one of the best two-year stretches in college football. Louisville went 23-3 over that span, going 11-2 in 2012 and 12-1 last season. It marked the first time that the Cardinals won 11 or more games in consecutive seasons and the 12 wins last year tied a school record. The Cardinals won their 23rd game over a two-year period with the victory over Miami on Dec. 28 in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando Fla. The 23 wins over that span, which is tied for the fifth-best total in the nation during that span.
Cards Sell Record Number of Season Tickets
Anticipation is growing at a record pace for the University of Louisville football's inaugural season in the Atlantic Coast Conference. School officials announced that all season tickets have been sold, as a record 46,149 tickets have been purchased for the Cardinals' 2014 home slate. The number of season tickets sold has increased over the last five years, dating back to the stadium's expansion in
2010. Louisville's previous record for season tickets sold was in 2013, when 45,627 were sold.
Brown Poised for 1st 1,000-Yard Season
Senior running back Dominique Brown could be poised for a breakout season in head coach Bobby Petrino's offense. The Cardinals are looking for their first 1,000-yard back since Bilal Powell ran for 1,405 yards during the 2010 season. In 2005 under Petrino, Michael Bush rushed for 1,143 yards and 23 touchdowns, while Eric Shelton just missed a 1,000-yard season by running for 938 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2004. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Brown led the Cardinals with 825 yards and eight touchdowns, also recording his first two 100-yard games in wins over USF and Houston. Appearing in all 13 games, Brown carried a career-high 163 times (an average of 12.5 per game) averaged a career-best 5.1 yards per carry. Out of the backfield, Brown caught 24 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown.