Thanksgiving is not a good day for turkeys. Perhaps Cardinals will fare better.
Both the Louisville Cardinals and Memphis State will close out their 1983 football campaigns Thursday night when the Tigers attempt to secure their first winning season since 1977.
Louisville, 3-7, will attempt to snap a six-game losing skid. The Cardinals fell 24-7 at Temple last time out on Nov. 12. Memphis State, 5-4-1, battled to a 14-14 tie against Arkansas State last Saturday.
'Memphis State has shown a vast improvement over a year ago,' said Louisville coach Bob Weber. 'They settled on Danny Sparkman at quarterback and he has had a lot of success.
'They were a really young team last year and they've learned from experience. Beating a couple of good SEC teams recently (Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Cincinnati) is proof that they are a much improved team.'
Sparkman has completed 103 of 210 passes for 1,374 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Freshman quarterback Ed Rubbert, a 6-foot-5, 210-pounder from New City, N.Y., will start for the Cardinals.
'Ed keeps looking better and better in practice each week. He threw the ball well against Temple and really picked us up in the second half,' Weber said. 'He has a good quality in throwing the ball before the receiver makes his cut.'
Memphis State holds a 14-7 advantage over the Cardinals in the series that dates back to 1948. The two teams have played each year since 1968 with Louisville winning the last three contests.
In the only other game on Thursday's schedule, Louisiana Sate faces state rival Tulane.
Coach Jerry Stovall leads LSU into action against state rival Tulane Thursday night in what could be his last game as coach of the Tigers.
Picked to challenge for the Southeastern Conference title at the beginning of the season, the Tigers have struggled to a 3-7 overall record and are 0-6 in the SEC.
That doesn't sit well with the LSU's Board of Supervisors. The Supervisors last Friday ignored a plea from former Gov. John McKeithen to honor the remainder of Stovall's contract, scheduled to expire at the end of the 1984 season.
The board said it would listen to recommendations from Brodhead and Wharton at a meeting on Stovall's future Dec. 2.
Things haven't exactly gone smoothly this season for Tulane either. The Green Wave is 4-6 but school officials spent much of the year fighting whether quarterback John English, the coach's son, could play after the NCAA said he had violated the transfer rule. Both the state and federal courts both ruled he couldn't play.
Despite all the turmoil surrounding each school, Thursday night's game figures to bring out the best in both teams as it usually does. Who can forget last season when Tulane, a 24-point underdog, upset the Orange-bowl bound Tigers, 31-28?
Although most of the major colleges have finished their regular season, four of the nation's top-ranked teams will be in action Saturday. No. 1 Nebraska visits Oklahoma, No. 2 Texas plays host to Texas A&M and No. 6 SMU visits Houston.