Average margin of Louisville's last 4 wins over Murray: 41.8
From Associated Press and Staff Reports
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville's defensive players insist their victory over Miami was just a hint of how well they can play.
The Cardinals feel they have much they can improve on even after holding the Hurricanes to 244 yards in Monday night's 31-13 victory, as the Cards dominated the first half.
And they might need to be on their game Saturday night against a Murray State team coming off a 73-26 rout of Union College. The game will kickoff at 7 in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The Cards will have a chance to build on their No. 25 ranking in the latest Associated Press college football poll.
The fact that the Racers thumped an NAIA school matters little to Louisville (1-0). The Cardinals view FCS-level Murray State as a team capable of beating them and say there will be no letdown. The Racers are coached by Chris Hatcher, a former assistant at Kentucky and disciple of former UK head coach Hall Mumme. Offense is Murray's calling card, especially the short passing game.
The Racers passed for six TDs, rushed for two and returned two punts for scores along with a blocked conversion for two points. Four Murray State backs ran for at least 53 yards.
The Cards lead the series between the teams 12-6, winning the last four by an average margin of nearly 42 points per game. Murray has not defeated Louisville since the Racers delivered a 26-23 upset in 1984 in old Cardinal Stadium. That was the final season before Howard Schnellenberger arrived to rebuild the U of L program.
Louisville has a record of 31-17-1 against Ohio Valley Conference teams. The Cards' seven-game winning streak is the third longest in the nation, trailing only Florida State (17) and Michigan State (11).
With the Cards favored by nearly five touchdowns, this should be a night when U of L head coach Bobby Petrino can take an extended look at back-up quarterback Reggie Bonnafon, freshman halfback L.J. Scott and other young players.
Louisville travels to Virginia for its first Atlantic Coast Conference road game next week.
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