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October 15, 2003This weekend, we collected questions from University of Louisville fans via CardinalSports.com, email, and telephone, and visited Coach Bobby Petrino in search of answers.
How do you use ESPN games to help recruiting? Do you let the players know you'll be on television? How much do you think it helps? David C. in St. Matthews, KY
Coach Petrino: "Well, we definitely let the players we are recruiting know when we are on television, especially ESPN. I think it helps a lot. I'm not sure it helps as much on Friday nights, depending on when the high schools are playing, but I know for sure that it helps in the mid-week games with as many of the recruits that watch them. I know for the past three years with as many times as Louisville has been on, that everyone throughout the country knows about the University of Louisville. I think it definitely helps."
Do you prepare for a team like Army any differently? Is there an added respect knowing that these guys will someday be defending the country? Jason C. from Louisville
Coach Petrino: "We didn't prepare any differently, but we really worked hard on us. We worked on getting ready for the game after coming of that loss against South Florida, the issue was more us than who we were playing. We definitely have a tremendous amount of respect for the players on the Army team, and we do understand that they are the ones that protect our country. What I told the team after the game was we get to do what we do, because of men like them."
Tulane is the only team in the conference who's scored more points than we have, what are some of the things we need to do in the upcoming game to be able to contain them? Aruba from CardinalSports.com
Coach Petrino: "Tulane can definitely score points, and they've got an outstanding quarterback. They also have four receivers that have caught over 20 passes, so it will be a big challenge for our defense. We're going to have to do a real good job of slowing them down, and offensively we need to do a good job of keeping the ball. The best way that we can stop them from scoring is to have the ball a lot longer than they do. That'll be a big challenge for us on both sides of the ball. This should be a very exciting game. They are strong on offense, and this probably will be the best quarterback play against. He definitely has NFL ability, and it will be a great challenge for us."
What qualities do you look for when deciding whether a lineman will be on the offensive or defensive side of the ball? In other words, what qualities does and offensive lineman need to be great, and how does that differ from the qualities that defensive linemen needs to be great? I am thinking of Cardinals like, Bruce Armstrong (TE to OT), Travis Leffew, and Renardo Foster. BigBadBird from Louisville
Coach Petrino: "Well, offensively and defensively I think how they run would be the number one thing you look for. Defensive linemen are very, very hard to find. So usually with a real good athlete who runs well you try him on defense first. We're fortunate enough on our offensive line right now to have two players who could probably play on our defensive line. Renardo Foster and Travis Leffew could both be defensive lineman. We moved Renardo over to offense in the spring because of need. I felt like we needed to have a good young offensive tackle to make us a better football team. Not so much that he wouldn't have played there, because he would, but I think that's when you find your great offensive linemen when you have guys that are athletic enough that they could play on the defensive front as well."
After playing South Florida, would you like to see them included in the new Big East? stuckinlex from Lexington, KY
Coach Petrino: "No, I really don't care either way if they are in the BigEast or not; I definitely want to play them again though."
Will the team be at full strength for Friday? Will Broderick be back by then? L_YES_CARDS from CardinalSports.com
Coach Petrino: "I would anticipate us to be at full strength. Broderick is recovering well, and is supposed to practice full speed all week. So, I think we'll be ready to go. There are a few guys who are a little banged up in the day after the game, but that always happens. It is a short week, so we have to heal right. We'll probably cut down some reps in practice so that we'll be full speed during the game."
We only need one more win to be bowl eligible. Will that take some of the pressure off to get 6 wins just halfway through the season? Chris R. from Louisville
Coach Petrino: "As far as the sixth win and getting bowl eligible, it really doesn't make a big difference for us to be bowl eligible midway through the year. What we're tyring to do is play one game at a time. We want to win every game that we play, but just concentrate on one at a time. I think that as long as our coaching staff and our players do that, that when we get to the end of the season there will be a bowl for us to go to."