CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The excitement of the upcoming football season was surely felt on Thursday at The Westin Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C.
The 2017 ACC Football Kickoff is in full gear as the 14 head coaches and 28 football student athletes chosen by the ACC’s 14 league schools, and the media are diving into the expectations and predictions of the 2017 college football season.
The Atlantic Division interviews were held on Thursday.
Since Clemson secured its national championship against Alabama in January, the Tigers and the ACC have continuously been in the forefront of college football discussion. Another team that has been intriguing to the college football conversation is Louisville, who fell just shy of defeating Clemson in 2016.
Cardinals’ head coach Bobby Petrino and quarterback Lamar Jackson spoke to the media about their unfinished business with the Tigers.
Here is what we heard:
Last fall, Clemson and Louisville battled until the very last second of a close game. In the end, the Tigers were able to defend their home turf and survive 42-36, leaving the Cardinals with a chip on their shoulder.
Quarterback and 2016 Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson is eager for the rematch against Clemson, especially because the game will take place in Louisville’s Papa Johns Stadium.
“I’m very excited,” Jackson said. “We played there and the fans were all into the game, and it’s our turn now.”
Previewing the rematch, Jackson believes there is a key to his team’s success.
“Finish the game,” Jackson said. “We performed very well last year against a great quarterback and we just have to finish.”
As of recently, the talk of Clemson and Florida State running the division has been circling the media. Head coach Bobby Petrino feels like his team deserves the same attention.
“We feel like we play right with them,” Petrino said. “We have to go out and earn it and beat them both in the same year and prove it. It is our job to prove it.”
Entering the 2017-2018 football season, the Louisville Cardinals have all eyes on the prize. They want to prove that they belong at the top of the league.
But, many have wondered whether or not the media attention from winning the 2016 Heisman Trophy will distract Jackson from doing his job as the glue of Louisville’s offense. Petrino was quick to set the record straight.
“I think Lamar just wanted to play football with his teammates,” Petrino said. “He’s a great competitor. We’re not happy with the way the season finished. He’s certainly not happy with the way the season finished. So I think he’ll come out motivated more than ever and spend the time you need to prepare so he can go out and excel.”