Louisville is a much-improved team, there is no question about that, but how can you measure how far a team has come just based off the score from last year. I don't look at the score from the previous year as a barometer mainly because every season and every game is different.
The Cats have always gotten a fight from Louisville on the road, in fact just two years ago when they were making their first BE championship run, they had to struggle to pull out the win. To me, this is a rivalry where it does not matter what the records are because it is going to be a fight. Granted, the Cats did lay into the Cards last season 41-10 but I would not necessarily say the Cards were that bad, I just think that the Cats were just that good.
I will even take you back to Petrino's last year when UL smoked UC 70-7, that UC team was good but any momentum that the team had going in was lost when it was determined that Gino Guidugli would not play because of injury but back to my original train of thought.
After the first three games, the Cats could not overcome any turnovers and it lets you know just how far they have come in a short time if you can overcome three and still win the game. Is it confidence? On the other hand, do the Cats have their swagger back from the last two years in the sense that it doesn't matter what the circumstance, they will find a way to win!
It is comforting in many ways to see a team that is so very young to be able to play the way that they have recently. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely things that the Cats must clean up the rest of the way but the scary thing to future opponents is that this team is not even close to its potential.
The offense is becoming more efficient and as Zach gets more comfortable with his receivers, the better they are. I also like the fact that if someone is having a bad game or is being focused on, someone else steps up. Armon Binns is becoming the Randy Moss of this team with his height and big-play ability and DJ Woods is the team's Miles Austin, coming up with the tough catches and shredding some decent and good secondaries. Now if we can just get DJ to play under control and not give the other team 15-yard penalty gifts; we will be fine.
Ben Guidugli is starting to also be a target once again for Collaros and with the running of Pead and Goebel, this unit is becoming hard to stop. I think it would also be wrong of me not to mention the improvement of the offensive line, which has given Zach plenty of time in the pocket to make plays.
I think what really impressed me all night, were the adjustments that the defensive coaches made at halftime. The Cats only gave up three points in the second half and that was the key to the win. After scoring 24 in the first half, giving up anymore TD's would have lost the game. Adjustments are huge and if you have good coaches that can do that, you have a chance to win every game.
Overall, was it pretty? Heck no, but sometimes games are not. The bottom line is that this team has found a way to get the win and that is all that matters. You can give up too many yards, turn the ball over and make other mistakes but if you can find a way to still get a win; you are becoming a good team.
Now onto South Florida which has had all sorts of problems playing in Nippert Stadium. Every game is the championship for this UC football team from here on out and the Bulls are just another team that the Cats have to knock off in order to win the conference. I expect a great game out of the Cats who should have a loud home crowd behind them. Let us hope this train continues to keep rolling!