Can Louisville continue building momentum?

How will Louisville respond after its big upset win over West Virginia? That's a big question for Charlie Strong's young Cardinals heading into Saturday's home finale against Pittsburgh.

How will Louisville respond after its big upset win over West Virginia?

That's a big question for Charlie Strong's young Cardinals heading into Saturday's home finale against Pittsburgh.

The last time Louisville came off an emotionally charged road win against rival Kentucky, the Cardinals didn't respond well, falling flat at home against Marshall despite two weeks to prepare for the Thundering Herd.

Did Strong's players learn their lesson? Will they be focused on the Panthers Saturday afternoon at PJCS or still riding high from their big win over the Mountaineers?

"I think this week will be different just because we've learned from our mistakes," said defensive end Greg Scruggs, who will play his final home game this weekend. "We know how we rode that emotional wave as much as we tried not to after the Kentucky game. We let it get into our heads too much."

Scruggs believes Louisville has learned from their mistakes and will prepare the right way for the Panthers, who have won the past three games in the series.

"I think you can already see the demeanor of the team," said Scruggs. "Just from yesterday and being around people today, we are focused and we've learned to put that game (WV) behind us. Yeah, it was a great win for the team. It was a great win for the program. But the season goes on. So we've learned to put that behind us. I think everybody is coming out ready to work this week."

Though it might come as a surprise to league observers, Scruggs isn't shocked that Louisville owns sole possession of second place in the Big East standings behind Cincinnati with just three games remaining against Pittsburgh, UConn and USF.

"To be honest with you, every year I believe that we have a chance to compete for the Big East championship," Scruggs said. "Realistically, I believe in my team and I believe that we have the talent and the capability to go out and win every game that we play."

While Louisville is definitely in the thick of the Big East race, Scruggs and his teammates aren't wasting their time day-dreaming about conference titles and BCS bowls.

"We don't talk about it at all," said Scruggs. "We don't want to get ahead of ourselves. You start talking about a bowl game and then get kicked in the face for the last three games. Now you're sitting here saying, ‘I wish I would've focused on one game at a time.' That is what we've set out to do. The main focus of the players is just to take it one week at a time."

Scruggs said he and Louisville's other seniors must lead the way and set an example for the younger players in the program on how to finish the season strong.

"As a senior, I think all of the seniors and the coaches have been doing a great job," Scruggs said. "Even the young guys are really trying to focus on one game at a time and kind of letting the season unfold as opposed to thinking about things in the future."


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