Cards-Tigers renew football rivalry

By on October 6, 2008

By Brandon Davis

If  University of Louisville or Memphis fans were asked what it means to rekindle their highly competitive rivalry, most would undoubtedly remember the many battles that took place on the hardwood.
But for the die-hard fans, some of the greatest match ups went down on the gridiron.
The last time U of L and Memphis played in 2004, the teams scored a combined 105 points and racked up over 1,200 yards in a game the Cards won 56-49.
U of L (2-2, 0-1) is looking to rebound from a tough home loss in their Big East opener to Connecticut last Friday, in which the Cards’ offense amassed more than 500 yards of total offense and held the Huskies under 300 total yards.
“It was a tough loss; we took it pretty hard as a team because we felt like we should have won,” said sophomore wide receiver Doug Beaumont. “But we’ve got to get over it and use it to build for the future.”
Memphis will enter the game with an offense that ranks among the best in the nation. The Tigers rank in the top 20 in the nation in passing yards and total offense.
“We know they’re a good football team,” Earl Heyman, senior defensive tackle, said. “They run the ball well, they can pass and they’ve got a couple of dual threat quarterbacks that can run and pass, so we’ll have to be ready for that.”
The Cards secondary will be in for a difficult task when matching up with the Tiger’s physically intimidating crop of veteran receivers, which have an average height of six-foot six-inches. They are led by junior Carlos Singleton, who is listed at six-foot-eight.   Singleton is joined by senior Maurice Jones and junior Duke Calhoun at the wideout position.
“We’ve got to get to the quarterback,” Heyman said. “We can’t leave our guys out to dry for five or six seconds because they’ve got guys that can make plays.”
While the Tigers have been most effective in the passing game, they have maintained a balanced threat on offense with a running attack that is averaging 190 yards per game. Curtis Steele leads the team in rushing and is coming off his best performance of the season running for 203 yards and a touchdown against Arkansas State.
Though Memphis may be lighting things up on offense, they have not fared as well on the defensive side of the ball. 
The Tigers defense has allowed more than 25 points a game against a relatively weak schedule. Though the Tigers defense showed some improvement in shutting out Arkansas State in the second half in a 31-6 win, the Cards should look to take advantage of the Tigers mediocre rushing defense that is giving up 160 yards a game to their opponents.
“It’s a big game for sure,” Beaumont said. “As the week goes on, we’re all going to be excited to play.”

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