Louisville-UConn pregame ponderables

September, 26, 2008
9/26/08
6:58
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Brian Bennett

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Greetings from Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, site of the first Big East league game of 2008 between Connecticut and Louisville.

Walking into the stadium this evening, I heard a local radio DJ trying to fire up some fans. He yelled, "There won't be a fair catch tonight!" And people cheered. So yeah, that play from last year at UConn is still on Louisville fans' minds. Will it have any effect on the game? I think the Cardinals players want some revenge but won't do anything like hit a UConn punt returner. Should be a funny reaction from the crowd, though, when the first Husky signals for a fair catch.

I'm expecting this to be a really close game. I noticed that, for amusement purposes only, Louisville is a three-point favorite. Three points is usually the benefit given to a home team. So the wise guys think these teams are closely matched as well.

Weather: It's a perfect early fall day here, with temperatures in the high 70s at kickoff. It is windy, though, which could play a role in the kicking game and maybe some deeper passes.

Speaking of special teams, UConn punter Desi Cullen is a Louisville native who was photographed in The Courier-Journal hanging from a Papa John's goal post after the Cardinals beat Florida State in 2002. Cullen calls himself "The Kentucky Hammer" because he likes to deliver hits after he kicks.

Injuries: Louisville will be without safety Richard Raglin (wrist) but should get All-Big East left tackle George Bussey (ankle) back after he missed one game. Receiver Scott Long (foot) looks doubtful, and wideout Troy Pascley (hip) may not play at all. For UConn, defensive tackle Alex Polito (ankle) did not make the trip and will be replaced by Kendall Reyes.

The game is sold out. Louisville is wearing its all black uniforms for the second week in a row.

That's all for now, but I'll have much more throughout the evening ...

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