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Friday Evening Cardinal News and Notes

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Still champs. Franklin Foshee is just making sure the folks in Michigan are aware.

I_mediumThe WDRB folks hook it up with the full transcript from today's stadium expansion presser.

I_medium What's the first thing that jumps out at you here?

I_medium Soft-spoken Teddy Bridgewater is blossoming as a leader for the Minnesota Vikings.

''He just has that quiet confidence about him,'' quarterbacks coach Scott Turner said.

Bridgewater, who turns 23 in November, was thrust into the job three games into his rookie season at New Orleans after Matt Cassel got hurt. In as noisy an environment as there is in the league, he never appeared rattled.

''That showed me that this kid's got it, and he's going to be really good,'' tight end Kyle Rudolph said.

Bridgewater hasn't backed away from these high hopes. He's still the son of a single mom with that deep-seated humility and convictions of his Christian faith. But he's also that ''talented guy'' the rest of the Vikings will be looking to for leadership.

''I'll lead with conviction, lead from within,'' Bridgewater said, ''and just be myself.''

I_medium The 18th-ranked U of L men's soccer team kicks off its 2015 season tonight with a home tilt against William & Mary at 7:30. Read Chris Gehring's preview of Ken Lolla's squad right here.

I_medium Illinois has fired its head football coach one week before the team's 2015 season-opener after he was accused of playing players who were not healthy enough to go. The reaction from the Illini players themselves is pretty all over the board.

I_medium The Oakland Raiders staff continues to rave about Michael Dyer.

"Michael did what he has been doing," said Del Rio. "He runs hard and is very determined. He has a little juice to him. He is showing up, making people miss and accelerating through some tackles and doing a pretty good job. He has come an awful long way from when he first came in here in the spring as a late addition. We'll see. We'll just keep working."

While Dyer may be averaging just 3.3 yards per carry, and one more yard than starterLatavius Murray on 10 carries (5.8 ypc), Murray isn't Dyer's competition.

Murray's job is secure. He had the starting job sewn up weeks ago. And Roy Helu Jr still looks to be in line for the number two spot and receiver out of the backfield. Dyer is competing for a roster spot and playing time behind them. And thus far he is making a strong case for himself.

What Dyer does on the field starts off the field. That's where Raiders' offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has come away the most impressed.

"You should see him in the meeting room," Musgrave said of Dyer. "He's very intense, into it, good energy, just a joy to be around. He's had a good camp. He's a young player, so he's going to make a lot of mistakes. He's got a lot of room to improve, but he has the right approach."

I_medium Former U of L baseball player and huge Cardinal supporter Aaron Flaker has been named one of nine national finalists by Ripken Baseball for Youth Baseball Coach of the Year. You can vote for him here.

I_medium The ACC Digital Network takes a look back at the most dramatic plays from the 2014 season.

I_medium The story of the summer for Louisville continues to be the perception that the defense will be the team's strongsuit in 2015.

"I think it's very telling that Petrino has not hesitated to go out and say how strong he thinks their front seven will be given who they lost from last year's team," said Fox Sports senior columnist Stewart Mandel, who picked U of L will win the ACC Atlantic Division. "It would be incredibly understandable if you came out and tried to temper expectations. But on the contrary, he's been very effusive about their defense and their front seven in particular."

In four days of public practices early this month, U of L's D-linemen and linebackers were fast, strong and aggressive, bursting into the backfield time and again to blow up plays.

"I'm still very confident we're going to have the best defense in the country," middle linebacker James Burgess said. "We have playmakers everywhere on the field."

The middle linebackers are the backbone of coordinator Todd Grantham's 3-4 defense.

Junior Keith Kelsey and the senior Burgess, who have nicknamed themselves the Bash Brothers, figure to be one of the best inside duos in the ACC. Kelsey and Burgess, who are U of L's leading returning tacklers, are experienced, athletic and seemingly always in the right spot.

"It's amazing," outside linebacker DeVonte Fields said.

I_medium The expected storylines from the Auburn side are starting to pour in.

I_medium Sports on Earth has Louisville going 8-4 in their preseason ACC preview. Here's their section on the Cards.

14. Yes, bringing Bobby Petrino back appears that it will work out well for Louisville. The Cardinals are in such solid shape right now that they are legitimate ACC contenders despite bringing back only nine starters and having an unsettled quarterback situation. Petrino is an excellent offensive coach, but it's actually the defense that should carry Louisville again. Even in losing seven of their top 10 tacklers, the Cardinals have a lot to like on that side of the ball, led by Sheldon Rankins, Keith Kelsey and James Burgess, plus three transfers in Devonte Fields, Shaq Wiggins and Josh Harvey-Clemons. They boasted a stingy run defense and an effective pass rush, and that is unlikely to change, making turnover in the secondary easier to deal with, even if it's still a concern. We don't really know what to expect on offense. The Cardinals lose star receiver DeVante Parker, their line struggled and they played three quarterbacks, all of whom -- Will Gardner, Reggie Bonnafon, Kyle Bolin -- are vying for the starting job in preseason camp. This has a chance to be one of the two or three best teams in the ACC by the end of the season, but the problem with the current uncertainty is a tough first-half schedule that features Auburn, Houston, Clemson, N.C. State and Florida State in five of the first six games.

I_medium Rick Bozich says today's news is another textbook Tom Jurich move.

I_medium And finally, yesterday' Internet outage delayed the podcast from yesterday's Ramsey & Rutherford, but we will have that at some point. We'll also have the podcast from today's show, featuring an interview with Tom Jurich, up here shortly.