Cards to face another no-huddle offense

The University of Louisville defense has faced a pair of offenses that like to go no-huddle and create a faster pace. The Cardinals will see another one this weekend with North Carolina. Are they adjusted to the tempo?

The University of Louisville defense has another challenge this weekend, facing a big, physical offensive line.

And for the third straight week an offense that plays up-tempo. Both Kentucky and Missouri State used no-huddle attacks, while North Carolina will do the same on Saturday but it will be different than the two previous opponents.

"They are very different than Kentucky and Missouri State," U of L head coach Charlie Strong. "It is all about tempo and they like to be up on the ball quickly. Their tempo is difficult to practice and we really will not get a feel for until the game.

"We have to just survive the first quarter where the offense is coming right at us. What they do is throw a lot of bubble screens based on alignment. If our guys are not in position, they will throw it there. But, a lot of their game is throwing it down the field. They use a quick fake here and then throw it down the field because their wide receivers are just so athletic."

The Cardinals have fared well in the first two weeks. While Strong and defensive coordinator Vance Bedford noted the need for improvement, the Cardinals have still allowed just 21 points in two contests.

Kentucky finished with 373 total offensive yards, while Missouri State had 249.

We are coming along good," defensive tackle Brandon Dunn said. "The no-huddle has been like a pain in our foot and we are trying to get rid of it.

"We have to adapt to it."

While the Tar Heels attack will be different the U of L defensive players are hoping the previous two weeks will aid in helping them adjust faster to the up-tempo pace they will see again.

"It'll be like the first two weeks, up-tempo," safety Calvin Pryor said. "They do have big guys and big linemen. But we've seen the fast tempo. Once we go against it every week, I think it becomes a little easier.

"I think now, we at least know what we're going against."

The U of L defensive line was considered a strong suit in the preseason but has only three sacks in the first two games.

Because the offenses have been no-huddle and forcing the tempo, the line hasn't been able to do its thing just yet. Dunn said it's been "very frustrating."

"I am frustrated, B.J. Dubose is frustrated, I can name the whole defensive line and we're frustrated," Dunn said. "There's no feel for the game like we want because it's just so fast. You just have to go hard and play what you feel.

"There's no pacing. You just have to get the call and get right back on the ball. The good thing about it is that we're prepared for it more now. We were a lot better last weekend and we'll be even better this week."

North Carolina, a loser to Wake Forest last weekend, is averaging more than 44 points during their first two games and have averaged more than 475 yards of total offense through two weeks.

The Tar Heels' line is massive.

Tackle Brennan Williams (6-7, 315) and guard Jonathan Cooper (6-3, 310) are considered top pro prospects, while tackle James Hurst (6-6, 310) and guard Travis Bond (6-6, 340) are also likely to be drafted.

We understand this is a big game," Dunn said. "The D-line sees this as a respect game. There's a lot of NFL talent on UNC's offense."

Added defensive end Marcus Smith: "We have a game plan in place and I am just ready to go against these big guys."

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