The University of Louisville’s on-site work has begun in preparation for next Saturday’s Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl game against LSU at Camping World Stadium.
The entire squad arrived in Orlando on Sunday, met at team headquarters and then had a brief practice on Monday evening at Freedom High School.
The Cards spent their first full day at Universal Studios on Monday morning riding all the rides and enjoying everything the park has to offer. The Cards were able to spend five hours there before having a brief workout.
Sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner, said he never went on rides before until yesterday, and the native of Pompano Beach, Fla., enjoyed his experience thoroughly.
“I had a great time,” Jackson said. “It was a lot of fun riding all the new rides and I got to spend a lot of time with my teammates.”
After a day of fun, it was back to the grinds as the Cardinals had their first full workout on Tuesday morning in preparation for the No. 20 Tigers, who ended the season with a big win over Texas A&M.
“We were excited to get back on the practice field this morning,” Jackson said. “I see they have a great defensive line and secondary, we just have to get ready. Their defensive line has great speed. We just need to go out and get a win. We are still mad about our last two games.”
The Cardinals worked out for a little over two hours under a blistering sun at Freedom High in shorts, shoulder pads and helmets.
With the entire team in attendance, UofL was excited to begin to prepare for a huge challenge this weekend. LSU enters the game at 7-4 and 5-3 in the tough Southeastern Conference.
“We feel in the last two games that we didn’t play that well,” senior offensive guard Khalil Hunter said. “We weren’t having fun out there like we normally did during the first part of the season. We have to get back to playing the way we did to start the season.”
That won’t be so easy as the Tigers bring one of the nation’s toughest defenses into the Cardinals’ seventh-straight bowl appearance, but first in the Citrus Bowl.
Sophomore wide receiver Jaylen Smith, who leads the team with a 22.1 yards per catch average, knows the offense will be facing a major challenge against a physical Tiger secondary.
“We look at it as the first game of the 2017 season.” Smith said. “LSU is very aggressive. They play lot of man coverage and they are fast. They are a typical SEC secondary. It will be fun to go against them and they will be a very tough opponent.”
Louisville will have its second practice at Freedom High School at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.
by Rocco Gasparro