The Louisville football team is eager to follow the lead of the U of L national championship basketball team.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino credited the Cardinals' football team for their inspiring Sugar Bowl upset against Florida during the public celebration of his team's NCAA championship on Wednesday.
"I watched (U of L's win over Michigan) with two other guys," Louisville defensive lineman Roy Philon said. "It was magnificent. It was great. I think it helps us and our program overall. It brings attention to us. It's a beautiful thing. I'm glad they won it.
"When I saw that, I was like, ‘There's no reason why we can't do it.' If they can do it, all we've got to do is go out there and put forth the effort and put forth the hard work."
The Cardinals' spring game will kick off Saturday at 1 p.m. in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Admission is free. With 19 returning starters as well as a favorable schedule, Louisville is expected to start the 2013 season ranked in the Top 10. U of L finished 11-2 last season, ranked 13th in the final Associated Press writers and USA Today coaches' polls.
The players are aware of the raging expectations. That is something the basketball program lives with every season. The football players seem ready to accept the same scrutiny.
"We all keep in mind if we want to be a powerhouse program, that's something we have to do every year," said Abraham Garcia, who is expected to move into the starting left tackle spot on the offensive line. "So that's what brings us back down (from the high of the Florida victory).
"We want to be known as a BCS school that constantly goes to a BCS bowl every year. Going to the Sugar Bowl actually motivated us even more to become an even bigger program and dominate our opponents."