Offensive line coach Mike Summers, Kenny Thomas and Robbie Bell spoke with the media after practice.
Football Goes Back to Work for Nonconference Matchup
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – It was back to work for the University of Louisville football team on Tuesday after suffering its first loss of the season on Saturday night at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
With ESPN’s College GameDay in town, a nationally televised audience, and the defending national champion Clemson on the other sideline, there was much anticipation for the game – and so much on the line.
Despite a 47-21 loss, the Cardinals were disappointed in their performance in a key Atlantic Coast Conference contest, with the second-largest home crowd in school history on hand.
Louisville knew it was going to be a four-quarter game, but understands it didn’t play up to the potential that made them one of the nation’s most explosive teams.
“It’s one game and we’re not as good as Clemson in that game, there’s no question about that,” head coach Bobby Petrino said. “They got after us, beat us very handedly. So, what we need to do is come back and regroup and move forward.”
Entering the game with one of the nation’s top offensive teams in scoring and total offense, the Cardinals were stymied for most of the evening – being held to a season-low 21 points and 433 yards of total offense.
“I think there was some time Sunday we took to reflect and recover,” offensive line coach Mike Summers said. “It was painful. I think it tested the character of our team and I was proud of the player’s responses to our meetings. We all wanted to make our team better.”
The team got together on Monday to watch the game film with the coaching staff, which many of the players knew that it wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience, but understood it was necessary to correct the mistakes and make sure this type of performance never happens again.
“We lost, so it wasn’t easy,” redshirt freshman center Robbie Bell said. “We have a 24-hour rule. After 24 hours, we shake it off and we knew we had to get better. We had to fix what happened on Saturday, and I think we all went in with the attitude that we had to fix it.”
Petrino, who hasn’t experienced many losses at Louisville, understands that there might be some lingering effects, but just wants his football team to go back to work.
The Cardinals hit the practice field on Tuesday afternoon in preparation for Saturday’s noon nonconference game versus Kent State.
“It was a grind today,” junior offensive guard Kenny Thomas said after the first practice of the week. “We worked really hard, and it made everyone compete. It was a very physical practice, but I was pleased with how the guys went back to work this afternoon.”
Coming off a loss is never easy, especially for a team with high expectations. Thomas knows that there is still a lot of football left with nine games remaining and some key ACC games still ahead.
“We know there is a lot of football still left to play,” Thomas said. “We are eager to get back on the field. We don’t like to lose, but we are just excited to get back on the field, and get ready for Kent State.”
With just one loss in the books, Petrino is ready to turn the page, and expects his football to team do what they always do – get back to work.