Meeting with the media on Monday morning, head coach Charlie Strong expressed his disappointment in his defense's inability to keep the Knights offense in check and allow the come-from-behind loss.
"It was a combination of angles, it was combination guys just being out of position," Strong explained. "It was just a poor game, just an overall poor game."
Despite the loss, which puts U of L a game back in the AAC standings and automatic BCS bowl birth, Strong continued to echo his belief that the Cardinals are one of the nation's elite teams.
"I said that yesterday and I believe it," he said. "I have not changed about how I feel about this football team. Even though we lost that game the other night, and you have to give Central Florida credit, but I still say the best football team lost that football game. We are and I will continue to say that."
The 18th-ranked Cardinals now find themselves in a similar position as last season when they raced to a 9-0 start and then dropped two consecutive upset losses to Syracuse and Connecticut.
"You have a veteran team now," said Strong. "They take it personal and when you show them the [game] tape they really take it personal, and they take it personal as a position group, which is good because that's what you really want now. Now you see your program turning. There used to be a time when you take a loss it was all farts and giggles, but now its no longer like that."
The Cardinals are now preparing for conference road test at South Florida (2-4, 2-0). After starting the season with four consecutive losses, the Bulls have won two straight conference games and are tied with Houston and UCF atop the AAC standings.
"You have to move on because you have five games left and you still have a chance to end up with an outstanding season."
USF is coached by first-year head coach Willie Taggart who arrived in Tampa after a brief, yet successful stint at Western Kentucky.
"South Florida is a very physical football team," Strong said. "Similar to the teams he had down at Western, he likes to run the ball offensively. They've only scored six touchdowns, but they are playing very well on defense and the special teams is very solid."
"We are going to have our hands full. We know this, preparation has to be there this week and focus has to be there. We have to take a football team on the road that is prepared to play."