LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- When Bobby Petrino and Kevin Sumlin match wits in Wednesday's Music City Bowl, it will be their first meeting as head coaches, but far from their first meeting.
The current coach of the Cardinals first met Sumlin early in their coaching careers out west.
"This is a fun game for me, because I met Kevin a long time ago," said Petrino. "He was coaching at Washington State and I was coaching at Idaho. We would hang out a little bit together and have some fun. Ever since that time, I followed his career and get his film from every season, see what I can steal from him. So it's fun to be able to coach against each other."
"We recognize what Coach Petrino has done, not just this year, but over the course of his career and this is another fine football team that as you watch the video," said Sumlin. "They have gotten better every week and have come through and played some really, really quality opponents right down the wire and won seven out of their last nine."
Texas A&M has won all three games in the series history with the last game coming in 1994. Petrino has won all three games he's coached against the Aggies, all during his time at Arkansas. Both teams enter this year's game with very similar numbers. A&M (8-4) averages 17 more yards per game than Louisville (7-5) but give up 44 more yards per game.
Sumlin was asked whether the transfer of his top two quarterbacks (Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray) since the end of the season has been a distraction to the team.
"At no time, did we recruit guys that we want to leave the program," said the 4th-year head coach. "Yeah, we'll evaluate where that is. We've already looked at that and we'll see where we're going from him. I think when you're inside the situation, I don't think our guys see any turmoil. I think what they see is we've had Bowl practices. We've concentrated on the guys that are here, and there really has not been a distraction inside the program because those guys are practicing and we have been traveling. There's really been nobody on campus but us."
Junior-College transfer Jake Hubenak will get his first start for the Aggies. Sumlin feels like Hubenak's experience has helped him in these unusual circumstances.
"He is a guy that came to Texas A&M, late after we had some highly-recruited guys. He understood where he was. He understood the challenges ahead of him, and I think because of his even keel, his level-headedness, he's gone through some things a little different than some of the other players, and now with his time and his turn, because of how he's handled things before that, I think he's been able to handle things a little bit better."
It's a 7:00 pm (eastern) kickoff from Nissan Stadium in Nashville.