Dec. 31, 2006
MIAMI - The University of Louisville football team practiced for the final time on Sunday morning at Barry University in preparation for Tuesday's 2007 FedEx Orange Bowl at Dolphin Stadium.
The Cards practiced in pads and shorts on Sunday in their fifth practice session since arriving in Miami on Dec. 26. Prior to practice, UofL offensive coordinator Paul Petrino and several Cardinal offensive players met with members of the media at a press conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The BIG EAST champion and No. 5 ranked Cardinals will face ACC champion and No. 15 Wake Forest on Tuesday at 8:23 p.m. ET at Dolphin Stadium and UofL's first Bowl Championship Series game will be televised nationally on FOX-TV.
UofL head coach Bobby Petrino and Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe will meet with reporters on Monday morning in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the final press conference prior to Tuesday night's game.
UofL Offense Press Conference Quotes
Sophomore OL George Bussey
(To walk away a winner) "We just have to protect and get some big run plays."
"Wake Forest is a very disciplined defense so we have to go in there and try and protect Brian [Brohm], and we know if we protect him, he'll find men open in coverage. If anyone can get the run started, we can get the pass off the run."
"Wake Forest does a lot of shifting at the line of scrimmage as far as their `d-line' right into the snap count so we have to be really disciplined on the offensive line to block them."
(On adjusting to the heat) "It took me about a day or two, but I'm fine now. I like the wind though, so I've got to get back to Louisville."
Junior QB Brian Brohm
(On opposing defenses) "If we're in a good tempo, they're hurrying to get to their spots, but if we're not in a good tempo, they're already waiting for us and its good to have them break the huddle after us trying to rush to their spots so maybe they'll get confused. There's been bits and pieces of a few games where we haven't been in a good tempo where we've been getting up to the line slow, but we normally correct that. Its hard to tell what slows us down, but if we get a good play, good play, good play, that tempo's going to be going. If we start getting stopped and going backward, that tempo usually seems to slow down."
"We need to get the ball and tuck it right away so they can't rip it from us or take it away from us, so we'll have to quick tucks as soon as we catch the ball."
(On whether he changes for different defenses) "It's the same for me, I don't change what I'm doing."
(On being the youngest in the family) "It's definitely prepared me well. I think having them come before me and playing here and being able to instruct me, the expectations have always been here, but I think I've been able to handle them pretty well at such an early age. They've always been the kind when I get back from a game, they're there to instruct me, whether I do great or whether I do poorly, there's always something to work on and not take the big hits. They've been there to keep me grinding and keep me working hard."
(On the past week in Miami) "We're having a great time. We get to go to the beach everyday. We're staying in a nice hotel, relaxing out by the pool or on the beach. I went to a nice steakhouse, we went an amusement park."
(On whether or not any one experience stands out) "The whole city is amazing. (We are practicing) in warm weather. It's below freezing back home, but we're down here in warm weather. We can come down here and are relaxing, and we do not have to worry about it being so cold and bundling up when you go out. Miami would be distracting but Coach Petrino is putting the reigns on us. He's making sure we are getting in before curfew and not getting distracted by Miami life. It's more of a have fun but still have a business trip. Don't treat it as a total vacation."
(On spending the week practicing in Miami) "Having the week here helps you get used to the heat. We did that the first few days. The guys were sweating a lot and getting used to the weather and being able to hydrate yourself well enough to go out there and perform."
Junior WR Harry Douglas
"We have to have a little fun but as it gets closer to game time, it's time to get your mind right and focused on winning the game."
"I think one thing that probably sticks out is that they get turnovers. That's one thing we can't have is turning the ball over. We got to protect the football and then we'll be all right."
Sophomore WR Mario Urrutia
"I believe we're just going to have meetings two times a day, regular routine practice and short practices today. We gotta get focused and get our minds right."
"I believe [Quarterback Brian Brohm] is getting sharper; I think he's getting his swag back. He's just getting in sync with everybody and I think it's showing."
"I think [winning the Orange Bowl] would boost us tremendously; every kid in the city of Louisville and everybody have been waiting on it. I'm just ready to go out and do it for the fans."
Sophomore OL Eric Wood
"They do a lot of different stuff, which makes you prepare and I guess that's a good thing that we had a month or so to prepare- they do a lot of stunts up front, there's a bunch of good players and you definitely have to prepare for them. You can't give them the game, because they'll take it. They lead the league in interceptions and are a very opportunistic defense, so you definitely have to hold on to the ball and sustain drives against them."
"Toward the beginning of the year we struggled [in the red zone] as far as putting the ball in the end zone, but you can credit some of that to our Groza Award winning kicker. Any time you have the Lou Groza Award winning kicker, you can look at it two ways- Art's a great kicker, he does a heck of a job, `Artamatic' as we say, but definitely when we play Wake Forest, we have to score when we get down there because they have the ability to put up a lot of points."
"I've seen Art kick 55 yarders pretty consistent in practice, and kicking off, he can put the ball in the end zone. He's got to be a top NFL prospect, as far as kickers go. He's the best I've seen."
Senior RB Kolby Smith
(On Coach Petrino's philosophy) "He wants to establish discipline. It's going to take hard work to be apart of this team and that you don't have to be a senior, anybody can come in and play. (He is also about) perception - how you are perceived is how you are going to be looked at. It's not hard to work with because he lets you know up front what he expects from you."
(On how Coach Petrino establishes discipline) "If you break the rules, he has discipline ways for you. Either you're up six in the morning running stairs or in the weight room. I don't really know because I haven't broken the rules. I try to stay out of that path. If you're late to weight lifting you have to push a 45-lb plate around, as many times as you want. Some guys have pushed 3-4 times around the weight room. I've seen guys, while we're warming up, pushing the plate around. It's not fun - it burns our legs." "I don't anyone who has missed curfew."
(On the work ethic of the coaching staff) "The coaching staff is up all times of night. They get up early in the morning trying to find the best ways to beat the defense. They create scenarios and go off their tendencies. They are breaking down the team all day trying to find the best match ups."
(On playing hard for the coaching staff) "All they want us to do is go out there and play the best that we can. You have coaches staying up all night trying to put us in the best position to win so you have to go out and work hard for them."
UofL junior QB Brian Brohm during Sunday's press conference.