LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Seniors Chucky Williams and Stacy Thomas know their careers with the University of Louisville football program are coming to a close.
The duo, part of Louisville’s senior class, play their final game in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Saturday against Syracuse at 3:30 p.m. The group has combined for a 32-17 record and became bowl-eligible for the fourth-consecutive season.
Thomas, over the last two seasons, has been a pivotal piece to that success. The Miami, Fla., native has gradually excelled into one of the defense’s crucial components. He totaled 85 tackles a year ago and boasts 43 stops through seven games this year. He missed a string of two key games – Boston College and Florida State – with an injury, but has totaled 16 tackles, 3.5 for loss since his return.
Not only has Thomas’ production on the field been an incredible lift for the defense, but his work ethic has been a spark for the unit as well.
“He’s a very intelligent football player and recognizes routes,” Petrino said. “It was great to see him back at practice at full speed because I think that everybody else recognized that and gave us a lot of energy.” Read the rest of this entry
Football Seniors Ready for Farewell at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
The Cardinals’ 14-member senior class will be honored before Saturday’s kickoff.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – In what is sure to be an emotional time, the University of Louisville football team will honor its senior class before prior to the 3:30 p.m. kickoff against Syracuse at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
A total of 14 seniors will walk on to their home field for the final time in their careers, which has been filled with many fine moments and accomplishments.
“It’s kind of overwhelming,” senior tight end Charles Standberry said following Tuesday’s practice. “These four years really flew past and I didn’t expect it to go this fast, but I’m very excited. I want to go out there and leave it all on the field.”
For senior running back Reggie Bonnafon, a Louisville, Ky., native, the emotions will be wide-ranging. He played at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium growing up, playing little league football and for local powerhouse Trinity High, so his feelings are a little different than the other seniors on the team.
Cort Dennison, Drew Bailey and Stacy Thomas spoke with the media following today’s practice.
Louisville Football’s Defense Paying Extra Attention to Formations, Personnel Groups
The Cardinals hold a 3-2 series lead over the Cavaliers.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The answers from inside linebackers coach Cort Dennison and linebacker Stacy Thomas make one item clear about Saturday’s game against Virginia: pay attention to detail.
The Louisville football team has played plenty of teams this year that featured one or multiple elite athletes that could change the dynamic of a game.
When the Cardinals take on the Cavaliers in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville’s defensive unit knows it has a bit of a different task at-hand.
“Mainly, it will be the formations,” Thomas said. “They’ll run 20 different formations. With that, you have to be dialed in on your keys and know what’s coming.”
Kolby Smith, Jaylen Smith and Malik Williams spoke with the media after today’s practice.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The open week was a good opportunity for the University of Louisville football team to get back to the fundamentals and prepare for the final three game of the 2017 season – the first coming Saturday against Atlantic Coast Conference foe Virginia at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
“You never get a chance to relax,” running backs coach Kolby Smith said following Tuesday’s practice. “However, it was a good chance for us to take a step back and become a better football team. We focused a lot on ourselves and just tried to get better as we close out the year.”
Coming off a disappointing loss to Wake Forest, the Cardinals are one victory shy of securing eight-consecutive seasons of being bowl eligible. At 5-4, one might think that the team’s attitude is down, but wide receiver Jaylen Smith said it’s quite the opposite. Read the rest of this entry
Bobby Petrino and Geron Christian spoke with the media following today’s practice.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The first open week of the season came at an opportune time for the University of Louisville football team.
Since the start of fall camp in July, the Cardinals have been going full-bore, and the bye week was needed after a 42-32 loss to Wake Forest on Oct. 28.
“The bye week was a good time to give the team a break,” head coach Bobby Petrino said Monday after practice. “We were able to work hard in the weight room and it allowed the team to get healthier heading into this week’s game.”
The Cardinals practiced Tuesday through Thursday last week before taking the weekend off and returning to the practice on Monday afternoon.
“We came out this evening and had a good practice,” Petrino said. “I thought the guys came out today with a lot of energy and had some guys with their legs back.”
Petrino singled out senior linebacker Stacy Thomas, who benefitted from the time off. He hurt his knee in a loss at NC State and missed two games before returning to the lineup versus Wake Forest. The time away was crucial to allow him to return to full strength.
“He’s been the leader of the defense,” Petrino said. “He made all the calls and ran the defense. It’s kind of like losing your quarterback back there. He’s back full speed and running the show, and he’s also a real good player. He has really good instincts to be able to bounce out and make the tackle.” Read the rest of this entry
DC, Peter Sirmon,Trumaine Washington and Isaac Stewart met with the media after practice today.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Louisville’s matchup against traditional power Florida State came at an opportune time – a chance to dispel one path of momentum and travel in the opposite direction.
The Cardinals, behind the foot of Blanton Creque, knocked off the Seminoles 31-28 last week for Louisville’s first win in Tallahassee since 1952. The victory, while significant in historical terms, provided a boost to the Cardinals’ confidence after suffering consecutive setbacks.
While quarterback Lamar Jackson said after the game it was a ‘needed’ victory, Louisville’s defense likely felt a bigger sense of relief.
After allowing an uncharacteristic number of yards to Boston College, Louisville’s defense limited Florida State to 155 yards on the ground and forced three turnovers. Chucky Williams forced a Seminoles’ fumble to start the fourth quarter, and the Cardinals’ defense recovered another loose ball that led to Creque’s game-winning kick. Read the rest of this entry
Coach Nick Petrino, Reggie Bonnafon and Robbie Bell spoke with the media after practice today.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Outside of a 34-point fourth quarter in last season’s football matchup, Louisville and Wake Forest have played a couple of games down to the wire.
The Demon Deacons led the Cardinals last year 12-3 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium before Louisville exploded for a 44-12 win. In 2015, Lamar Jackson threw two touchdown passes and Louisville forced five turnovers in the second half in a 20-19 victory over Wake Forest in its first trip to Winston-Salem.
In their first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Cardinals battled to a 20-10 win at home in 2014.
“Wake Forest is a tough team,” quarterbacks coach Nick Petrino said. “It seems like it’s the same guys we’ve been playing for the last couple of years. They have the same guys on the defensive line and the same guys in the secondary. They are a well-coached team, and their two defensive ends are two of the best in the ACC.” Read the rest of this entry
James Hearns and Trevon Young spoke with the media after practice today.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Dominant is a subtle way to describe the University of Louisville football team’s performance in last year’s victory over Florida State.
The Cardinals’ offense registered 530 yards and tallied 21 second-quarter points, while the defense accumulated five sacks, one interception, limited the Seminoles to 2 of 13 on third-down conversions, and stifled Florida State to 284 yards of offense.
Louisville heads into Saturday’s afternoon matchup with a 4-3 mark following rare consecutive losses, including a heart-breaking 45-42 decision against NC State, aiming to repeat that performance.
Coach Mike Summers, Reggie Bonnafon and Geron Christian spoke with the media following practice today.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville senior running back Reggie Bonnafon has played many positions and accomplished quite a bit on the football field as one of the hometown heroes.
The Louisville, Ky., native has thrown, rushed, and caught touchdowns during his career, but the 6-foot-3 senior added something to his resume last weekend versus Boston College – a 100-yard rushing game. Bonnafon carried 12 times for a career-best 107 yards, including a 64-yard run for a touchdown in the second quarter that put the Cardinals ahead 21-7.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Every football program needs a ray or two of sunshine now and again. For the Louisville football team, it’s coming in the form preseason All-American Jaire Alexander and one unusual element: rain.
The Cardinals are coming off a tough loss at NC State, with a stout defensive team in Boston College in waiting. Louisville has spent plenty of time since the Thursday night contest watching film and working in practice to correct those mistakes.
Practice wasn’t going to be easy, especially given the forecast, but that didn’t stop the Cardinals from picking up momentum heading into another league contest.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A steady rain didn’t damper the progress the University of Louisville football team was trying to make as it returned to full pads on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday’s Homecoming game versus Boston College at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
The Cardinals are coming off a 39-25 loss at NC State on Thursday and, at the direction of head coach Bobby Petrino, spent each day since then focusing on making adjustments.
“We’ve got to get better, and we’ve got to get better now so we can go win this game on Saturday,” Petrino said. “We’ve got to break them down, teach them and work them in individual drills, take them over to group drills, and then take them to the team periods. One of the things you have to do is keep going and keep working at it.” Read the rest of this entry
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Coming off a pair of lopsided wins, the University of Louisville football team steps back into Atlantic Coast Conference play with a top-25 matchup Thursday night matchup against No. 24 NC State at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C.
Improving to 4-1 overall with home victories over Kent State and Murray State, the competition will get stiffer against one of the nation’s top defensive lines.
Led by All-America candidate Bradley Chubb, who ranks second nationally in tackles for loss and ninth in sacks, the Wolfpack – winners of four straight – boast the eighth-ranked rushing defense heading into the nationally televised contest. Read the rest of this entry
Coach Peter Sirmon and Henry Famurewa spoke with the media after practice on Wednesday.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Henry Famurewa has been waiting patiently to be an asset to the University of Louisville football team.
The Powder Springs, Ga., native arrived on campus in 2014 and appeared in one game – a rout of Murray State. He earned a redshirt the following year, but kept working to attract enough attention from the coaching staff to warrant playing time.
That time came this year and the results are quite evident over the Cardinals’ last two games. Famurewa has totaled eight tackles in that span, including his first career sack in the victory at North Carolina.
“For everything I have been through since I was on campus in 2014, it’s kind of built me and molded me into the person I am today,” Famurewa said. “I’m just happy to be out there playing meaningful snaps and being able to give my team the best chance to win.”
The redshirt junior is not only helping Louisville’s defense set the tone in the trenches, but Famurewa has become an example when the stadium spotlights are off and the cameras are absent.
“He’s demonstrating the ability on the practice field, which is what practice is for – you need to put your player face on and demonstrate ability,” defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon said. “He’s shown that he’s starting to make those plays. He’s being more physical. He’s playing with more effort the last several weeks, and when you do that, you’re going to get more play time.”
After a rocky defensive performance against Clemson, albeit the unit was on the field for more than 35 minutes, Sirmon is getting his group to refocus. Before facing the reigning national champion, the Cardinals’ were one of the top run defenses in the country.
Much of that success is attributed to the defense’s effort.
“Every time they go on the field – effort is mandatory,” Sirmon said. “Effort has to be mandatory, and execution – you see the good teams execute over and over again.”
Fortunately, the Cardinals have obeyed the 24-hour rule and have showed the willingness to move forward. Practices, as head coach Bobby Petrino alluded to on Monday, were not going to be easy heading into Saturday’s matchup against Kent State.
“It’s been a positive attitude,” Famurewa said regarding the spirit of practice. “We continue to focus on getting better on every little thing – technique, running to the ball, communicating – and just getting ready for the next game.”
For Louisville to continue to develop – and excel – on defense, it’s going to come back to giving maximum effort. Defense isn’t always the most glamorous side of football, but the Cardinals’ have a group that is devoted to improving and making each play count.
“Coach Sirmon preaches on effort,” Famurewa said, “so each chance I get in the game – whether it’s one, two, or 10 – I try to give maximum effort and make as many plays as I can.”
Louisville coach Nick Petrino, Malik Williams and Geron Christian spoke with the media following today’s practice.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Something will have to give when No. 14 Louisville hosts No. 3 Louisville on Saturday night at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in front of a nationally televised audience on ABC.
The Cardinals, with the No. 5 offense in the country, face the Tigers, which possesses the No. 2 total defense. The Tigers are coming off an impressive performance last weekend, sacking Auburn quarterbacks 11 times in a 14-6 win at Death Valley.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville football team is becoming less and less a fan of the ‘two is better than one’ mantra.
For the second-consecutive week to begin the season, the Cardinals’ defense is facing a familiar challenge: preparing to see potentially two different quarterbacks in a game. Louisville opens its ACC schedule on Saturday at North Carolina, which trotted out Chazz Surratt and Brandon Harris as its signal callers in a season-opening loss to Cal.
The Tar Heels’ duo combined to go 25 for 44 in the air, with one touchdown, while rushing 21 times for 71 yards and one score.
Fortunately, Louisville understands the importance of film study for this type of situation and it worked to the Cardinals’ advantage last week. Louisville beat Purdue 35-28 to improve to 1-0, with the defense recording four sacks and three interceptions. Not to mention, the Cardinals’ unit tallied seven quarterback hits.
Coach Lonnie Galloway, Seth Dawkins and Dez Fitzpatrick spoke with the media after practice….
Defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon, Trumaine Washington and Dee Smith spoke with the media following today’s practice.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Both Louisville’s and Purdue’s offenses have received plenty of attention ahead of Saturday’s matchup in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Coach Mike Summers, Lukayus McNeil and Jaylen Smith spoke with the media after today’s practice.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville running back Jeremy Smith suffered a foot injury in March, which caused him to be shut down for the final couple weeks of spring practice.
For a football player and a competitor, the hardest thing to do is sit back and watch their teammates every day in practice. But for Smith, it might have been a blessing.
“I don’t really like sitting out because I like to be out there with those guys,” Smith said. “Sometimes sitting out is the best thing for you because it allows your body to heal and rest up. Being out hurt me from a conditioning standpoint, but right now, I feel good out there.” Read the rest of this entry
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – With a number of key veterans on the football team graduating, there were some key position battles at the University of Louisville to watch for during fall camp.
The Cardinals graduated a number of contributors on defense, but still brought back nine starters from a defense that allowed just over 300 yards of offense per game.
One area that didn’t have much mystery was in the secondary. Four starters return, including All-America candidate Jaire Alexander at cornerback.