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A look at Louisville football’s history in road openers under Bobby Petrino

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Not bad.

NCAA Football: Citrus Bowl-Louisiana State vs Louisville Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

After starting the season with a neutral site win over Purdue in Indianapolis, the Louisville football team hits the road for the first time in 2017 when it heads to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina on Saturday.

The last time the Cardinals played their first road game against a Coastal Division opponent, it didn’t go swimmingly. U of L waltzed into Charlottesville with a 2-0 record and a top 25 ranking, and came home with a 23-21 loss to a Virginia team that would only win three more games that season.

Bobby Petrino’s track record at Louisville shows that road hiccup at UVA was something of an anomaly. In fact, that loss to the Cavaliers is the only road opener that U of L has dropped in his previous seven seasons at the helm of the program.

Here’s a look at Louisville’s history in road debuts under Petrino:

2016: Won 62-28 at Syracuse (Week 2)

2015: Won 20-13 at NC State (Week 5)

2014: Lost 23-21 at Virginia (Week 3)

2006: Won 62-0 at Temple (Week 2)

2005: Won 31-24 at Kentucky (Week 1)

2004: Won 52-21 at Army (Week 2)

2003: Won 40-24 at Kentucky (Week 1)

Combined score: 268-133

If you want to look at the period of time in between the two Petrino eras, Louisville went just 4-3 in road openers from 2007-2013. The Cards dropped their first game away from home under Steve Kragthorpe (the ‘07 game at Kentucky that we still will not speak of), and dropped their road opener against UK once again two years later. Charlie Strong fell to Oregon State in his first road game as Louisville’s head coach, but defeated Kentucky in U of L’s 2011 and 2013 road openers and squeaked by Florida International in 2012.

None of this gives us a clear indication as far as what to expect from U of L at noon on Saturday, but it is comforting to know that Petrino typically has his teams ready for their first experience with a crowd that’s predominantly rooting for them to lose. Unless it’s Virginia. But weird stuff happens against Virginia all the time, so whatever.