The University of Louisville football team isn’t looking in the rearview mirror – instead, it’s turning the page and focused on the upcoming week.
The Cardinals will get an opportunity to put a disappointing 47-21 loss to No. 3 Clemson behind them on Saturday with a nonconference home game against Kent State at noon.
“We have a 24-hour rule, you celebrate for 24 hours if you win or put it behind you if you lose,” defensive tackle G.G. Robinson said. “After 24 hours, it’s gone away, focus on this week and the task at hand this week.”
Ranked No. 19 in the recent Associated Press Poll, and a long, nine-game season remaining, UofL head coach Bobby Petrino is confident his team will rebound, starting this week against the Golden Flashes.
“We’re not where I thought we were as a football team,” Petrino said. “But it’s a long season ahead of us, a lot of games ahead of us, and we have a lot of work to do. The most important thing is for us to get better from here on.”
That will start on the practice fields this week, which may not be the happiest place to be.
“It may take a while to lift them back up because the first thing we’re going to do is work really hard and go back to work – find out where we’re at,” Petrino said. “The thing that you need to do is earn the right to win on the practice field and that’s what we got to do.”
Losing is never easy, and can destroy a team’s confidence. However, the Cardinals are still a confident bunch, and expect to play at a high level.
“My confidence is always high, I believe in myself,” tight end Charles Standberry said. “I never have had a confidence issue. My confidence is high always. I think we just had a bad game. Confidence is never an issue with Louisville Football. We walked in expecting to win the game and we never expect to lose. It’s football, it happens.”
The Cardinals never got in sync on either side of the football in the team’s first conference loss of the year.
On defense, the Cardinals couldn’t get off the field, allowing 613 yards of total offense, which included 297 yards on the ground. Most of that production was the result of the Tigers holding on to the ball for 35:28.
“We’ve got a lot of things to work on,” Petrino said. “We’ve got technique to work on. We’ve got a lot of coverage to tighten up. We didn’t play with a lot of confidence in the secondary the other night. We gave them free access and let them come off the ball and gave them some easy completions. So, we’ve got to tighten up the coverage and challenge them. Make them work harder.”
Offensively, the Cardinals were held to 433 yards of offense and punted a season-high eight times, which included six 3-and-outs.
“We did not execute the way we are used to executing, particularly in the first half and to start out the game,” Petrino noted. “We had a few things there that normally we would make the play, but our timing wasn’t right, our decisions just weren’t the same thing we had been doing all year long.”
Despite those shortcomings, Petrino is confident in the ability of his football team.
“I like this team. I think we’ve got good guys,” Petrino said. “I think we’ve got good talent. We’ve got to go out and get back on the field and win and play. You look back at last season, that same week, we beat Florida State. Florida State comes back and finishes the year strong and plays in the Orange Bowl. We’ve got to concentrate on one day of practice and one game.”
by Rocco Gasparro