CARDS ALREADY BOWLING, BUT NOT THINKING BOWL
In his first two seasons at the University of Louisville, Charlie Strong had to wait until the final weeks of the season to see if his team would go to a bowl.
But that's not what the Cardinals will have to do this season.
The Cardinals are 6-0 and one of just 12 FBS teams in the country left undefeated heading into a Saturday game against South Florida.
But Strong said the Cardinals are not worried about where they're going bowling at the end of the season, instead focused on one game at a time.
"It feels good, because the last few years it has taken us to one of the last games to get bowl eligible," he said. "It feels good that we are playing so well. We are not even talking about just being bowl eligible; we are focused on the games we have remaining, and we know everything else will take care of itself."
U of L, Cincinnati and Rutgers are all three undefeated in league play. The Cardinals will play Cincinnati on Oct. 26 and Rutgers on Nov. 29.
CARDS READY FOR QB DANIELS
Louisville had its best game of the season putting pressure on the quarterback last week, sacking Pittsburgh quarterback Tino Sunseri five times.
The Cardinals now must prepare for four-year South Florida starter B.J. Daniels, who is currently the eighth all-time leading passer in Big East history.
Daniels is a dangerous dual-threat quarterback. He has completed 592 of 1,035 career passes for 7,862 yards and 48 touchdowns, while also rushing for 1,911 yards and 24 TDs. He has 9,773 yards of total offense.
As a senior, Daniels is averaging 296.8 yards of total offense – second in the league – including 1,504 yards of passing and 277 yards rushing.
"I think he is really a guy who can beat us on the edges," defensive lineman Roy Philon said. "He is someone we have to contain."
U of L sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said he has watched Daniels and "he has that ability to keep plays alive."
"He's an exciting guy to watch," Bridgewater said. "He does some things that make your shake your head. He can beat you with his leg and his arm."
CARDS NEED TO ATTACK BULLS DEFENSE
Bridgewater said the Cardinals offense needs to come out and "be physical," against the Bulls and attack from the beginning.
"That's kind of our identity now, that we're a physical and tough team," Bridgewater said. "The offensive line does a great job protecting and opening holes, so we're going to rely on those guys. I believe they have 25 seniors and the majority of them are on defense, so those guys have a lot of experience and playing time. It just seems like they have a lot of leadership on their team."
The Bulls have struggled stopping opponents this season.
South Florida ranks seven in the Big East in total defense, allowing 390.7 yards a contest. The Bulls have allowed a league-most 18 touchdowns.
The Bulls are the only FBS program in the country with no interceptions and are in bottom half of NCAA in both rush (75) and pass efficiency (86) defense.
CARDS RETURN HOME – FINALLY
It's been more than a month since the Cardinals played at home in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, playing three road games and having an open week since they tagged North Carolina with a loss on Sept. 15.
"I think there's going to be a lot of excitement with the fans," Bridgewater said. "We've been gone for a month now, so the fans can't wait to see us play."
U of L hasn't played at home in 35 games but the Cardinals are 3-0 at home this season. The Cardinals are averaging 467.7 yards a game at home.
The game against the Bulls is sold out, along with Friday's home game against Cincinnati. U of L will then play Temple at home on Nov. 3 before hitting the road again on Nov. 10 to play at Syracuse.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Bridgewater on U of L's mindset heading into the Pittsburgh game:
"Our main goal going into that game was to be 1-0 in conference play," he said. "It was our first conference game, so we just wanted to send a message to the rest of the conference."