U of L defense still working to improve

The University of Louisville's defense is ranked No. 1 nationally in scoring defense and No. 3 in total defense. But the Cardinals defense still needed to improve during the open week.

The University of Louisville football team enjoyed one of three open weeks and this one came after one their most impressive performances of the season as the Cardinals socked Florida International 72-0 last Saturday.

But even with the big win, the U of L players and coaches agree there's still plenty of room for improvement moving forward.

U of L's defense is ranked No. 1 in the nation in scoring defense and No. 3 in total defense, but the defensive players who met with the media this week said don't worry. The defense isn't satisfied and is still working to improve before Saturday's game at Temple.

"We have everything to work on," senior defensive tackle Brandon Dunn said. "As a defense, we made mistakes in the game, and we have to come out here and fix that, and get better during the bye week."

The week off after the blowout of the Panthers was good for the Cardinals' to get some players rested heading into a key four-week stretch.

U of L will need big defensive efforts against Temple and then Rutgers, Central Florida and South Florida in American Athletic Conference contests.

Senior tackle Roy Philon said it would have been nice to keep playing games while the Cards were playing good ball, but the rest will help them get better.

"We try to work the same, whether it's a bye week, or a game week," Philon said. "We take the same mentality and keep working hard."

Added sophomore tackle Sheldon Rankins: "We're going pretty hard because we know we have to continue to get better."

The Cardinals' defense was so good against the Panthers. U of L allowed just two first downs – a school record – and 27 yards of total offense.

Now, the defense says it must stay hungry.

"We just try to go out and humble ourselves," Philon said. "Every week is a week that starts over. We put that performance together last week, knowing that we went out and worked hard for it. Now, we come back and we have Temple, so we are starting back over."

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