Cardinals preparing for rival Kentucky

University of Louisville head coach Charlie Strong met with the media on Monday afternoon previewed the 7th-ranked Cardinals upcoming contest at rival Kentucky.

After two blowout victories at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium to open the season, the 7th-ranked University of Louisville will hit the road this weekend when it visits rival Kentucky. The Cardinals have won two straight in the rivalry, including a 24-17 victory the last time they met in Lexington.

"A major test this week," U of L head coach Charlie Strong said to open his weekly press conference. "When you look at our schedule, all games are big weeks, but some games are bigger than others. Some carry a little more significance than others and this is one of those games."

The Cardinals will face a team that won it's first game of the season, with a 41-7 thumping of Miami of Ohio in it's home opener.

"Not only is it a rival game, but it's also our first road test," Strong said. "We are going into an environment where the offense just had over 650 total yards of offense - 400 yards passing, 260 yards rushing."

After losing their season opener to Western Kentucky, the Wildcats rebounded and found success with it's new high-paced offensive over the weekend.

"It's a very balanced offense and very uptempo which will create issues if you don't get lined up and if you can't handle the speed. That's going to be critical for us on defense," said Strong.

After two games, the Louisville defense is ranked second in the nation in red zone defense, ninth in scoring defense and is among the top 20 in total defense. On Saturday afternoon, the Cardinals will need to be disciplined in lining up quickly and remaining focused.

"They're on the ball quickly and they run a lot of plays," Strong continued. "They try to put pressure on the defense because what they want to do is get up on the ball and try to wear you out and wear you down."

The Louisville offense enters the game with the nation's No. 5 passing offense. The Wildcats will attempt to create pressure at the line to disrupt the potent attack.

"Defensively they are very aggressive," Strong said of the defense.

The Cardinals are currently a 12.5 point favorite, one of the highest spreads in the rivalry.

"We don't worry about the point spread or if we're the favorite," said Strong. "We know that its all about us and how we play and how we compete. We know that we are going into a hostile environment."

Kickoff is scheduled for noon.

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