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Bobby Petrino had “great experience” at Western Kentucky, now faces Hilltoppers Saturday night

Here’s what Louisville coach Bobby Petrino said Wednesday on the ACC teleconference about facing Western Kentucky Saturday night.

Q. What are your thoughts and emotions going to be like on Saturday playing a team you were a part of (as head coach) for a year back in 2013?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, you know, I had a great, great experience down there in Bowling Green at Western Kentucky. The people were awesome. Administration was awesome. I had a great time. Now we have to try to go out and beat them. We’re just looking forward to the week of preparation and the game, and hopefully we have good weather for it.

Q. You’ve got a lot of guys on your staff who were also a part of the Hilltoppers at one point or another. Do you think they’ll be a little bit more fired up for this one?
BOBBY PETRINO: You know, we all had a great time down there, and like I said, we met a lot of friends, a lot of friends still in Bowling Green, so hopefully we’ll have a great crowd, and obviously we’re going to prepare as hard as we can.

Q. What about the Xs and Os? What are you seeing out of the Hilltoppers on tape?
BOBBY PETRINO: I mean, they’re playing well. They’ve got good players, and they do a good job with their schemes. I think it’s real important for us that we’re able to run the football and throw it down the field, and then be able to cover all their different formations and motions and different things that they try to do formation-wise.

Q. You’ve mentioned the weather impacting you guys last week; is it more difficult to judge the type of progress that you see or you’d like to see when the weather is so bad, or how do you go about looking at the tape and evaluating the things that you hope maybe can be better?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, definitely more difficult to judge. It’s as hard as I’ve ever been in on a downpour and tried to play, and then to have to come off the field three times, I think a couple times we might have lost our focus and concentration. The third time when we came off, we went to the meeting rooms, put the defense in the defensive meeting room, offense in the offensive meeting room and worked and coached, then came out and played much better. There’s a lot of distractions. We need to learn from it and be able to understand that we can focus and concentrate and keep our mental edge, which I felt like we lost a little bit.

But it would have been nice to have great weather and be able to go out and try to improve on your execution, and we weren’t able to do that for the first half anyway. The second half it got a little bit better.

Q. Talk about playing against Western Kentucky, about getting ready for the game. What do you see going into that game against them?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, the main thing we’ve got to do is focus on ourselves and what we try to do each week is get better on the practice field. We do understand what they’re going to do on defense, and they’ve got some defensive ends that can really rush the passer and have a lot of speed, experienced safeties that do a really good job of coming to the run and playing the pass, so we’ve got to be able to deal with that. And then our defense has to be able to line up to all the different formations and motions and shifts that they run and be able to do that and then play fast. I think that’s the key for us defensively is not to get caught up in all the different things they do but play fast.

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