GLASGOW — The four losses in 2003 would be the most during Petrino's tenure at Louisville, as he led the Cardinals to a 12-1 record in his second season, winning a Conference USA title, while also winning the Liberty Bowl over 10th-ranked Boise State. The Cardinals led the nation in total offense (539.0) and scoring offense (49.8), scored 40 points or more nine different times, scored 50 points seven times and set an NCAA record by scoring 55 or more points in five straight games.
After a 9-3 season in 2005, Petrino took Louisville to new heights in 2006, finishing the season with a 12-1 record and a 24-13 victory over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. The 12 wins were the most in school history, besting a previous high of 11 set during Petrino's second season. The BCS bowl win was the first in school history.
During that particular 2006 season, the Petrino-led Cardinals averaged over 37 points per game offensively, ranking fourth nationally in that category, while still limiting the opposition to just over 16 points per game. Petrino's offense ranked second in the nation in total yards per game (475.3), while leading the Big East in passing offense (290.0) and first downs (296). Louisville jumped as high as No. 3 in the national polls during the season, finishing the year ranked sixth in the AP poll, posting three wins over top-15 teams, including third-ranked West Virginia en route to the program's first Big East title.
During Petrino's time at Louisville, he coached Bronko Nagurski and Ted Hendricks Award winner Elvis Dumervil, who led the nation in sacks (20) and forced fumbles (10) on his way to earning All-America honors in 2006. During that same season, running back Michael Bush scored 24 touchdowns and became the school's first 1,000-yard rusher since 1999. Petrino inherits a running back in Antonio Andrews at WKU that rushed for 1,609 yards in the regular season, ranking sixth nationally in rushing yards per game.