Musings Before Thursday’s Kickoff

cardfootballKilling time until game time.

Given the off the field administrative and athletic turmoil that’s a constant undercurrent when considering U of L these days — NCAA probe, Two competing Boards of Trustees — I daresay we’ve hardly been wondering what is the worst feeling Bobby Petrino has?

We now know.

Observing that last season the U of L coach defied his own strategy, and thus adhered to the norm of most coaches, by deferring to the second half after winning the pregame toss of the coin, I inquired at his presser Monday afternoon what his inclination would be this season?

“You guys just don’t know,” he started his answer laughing.

“It was the worst feeling I ever had, winning the toss and deferring.”

One must assume that henceforth U of L will take the field on offense at a game’s commencement, if it’s the Cards’ choice.

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Petrino was especially ebullient and relaxed when fielding the softball queries from media, at his first regular Monday Q & A.

Much of the joy obviously was present because the season is just days away.

Given the nature of several questions from the scribes, it seemed as if the coach is really pleased with his team and optimistic about their prospects. Which, to be fair, seems to be a legit conclusion.

Tobijah Hughley and DeAngelo Brown were both asked if their coach seemed more joyful during preseason practice. They both laughed nervously, and essentially answered similarly.

Something to the effect of “Coach P is a great guy, but, uh, he’s really intense.”

I’d offer that the calm has as much to do with Petrino’s general comfort in his situation. It appears obvious — to me anyway — that he is totally at ease being the football coach at the University of Louisville, that he’s really grateful for the second chance he’s been afforded. I do not detect the wary, wandering eye he wore during his first stay.

And, yeah, he also seems cognizant that he’s sitting on a potential dynamo. 17 returning starters, including game breakers on both sides of the ball, will do that.

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Whatever his mysterious ailment might have been, LB Stacy Thomas is back at full speed, and is listed as a starter.

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Asked what he’s looking forward to in the opener against Charlotte, his team a 40 point favorite, Petrino said “to see us execute,” and “play with great effort.”

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Brown expressed what is apparently the feeling of all his teammates, when asked about playing opposite former roommate Hughley every day in practice.

“I can’t wait to hit somebody else.”

— Seedy K