The Memphis Tigers know all about the Louisville Cardinals. The rivalry started with basketball and carried over to football during the DeAngelo Williams era. Friday night at the Liberty Bowl it will come back to life after a four year hiatus.
"I've heard about it and scene commercials from the final four. It's a rivalry. I hear about from the coaches, players and fans. It's a big game," said Tiger quarterback Arkelon Hall.
Defensive lineman Clifton McDonald echoed those sentiments, "You hear about it often. Memphis-Louisville, Louisville-Memphis. It's a big game for this city."
The last time these two teams met, it was an instant classic with Louisville winning a track meet 56-49. The game was so great, Tommy West says it feel like neither team lost.
"That was one of them where you just kinda felt like if we got the ball back one more time we would have won because whoever had it last would win. It didn't feel like it we lost."
That was 2004, when 52,000 plus turned out at the Liberty Bowl for the nationally televised game on ESPN. Bobby Petrino was the head coach for Louisville and quarterback Stefan Lefors was leading them to a 6th place finish in the country. DeAngelo countered with 200 yards rushing and Danny Wimprine had 361 yards passing for the Tigers.
"Both offenses we really good and there were some tremendous individual players in that game. But I think both of these defense are better than those," West said Monday at his weekly luncheon.
Fans may not get whiplash watching all the touchdowns ike that November night in 2004, but something tells me its not going to be a defensive struggle Friday night at the Liberty Bowl.