The University of Louisville football team is off to a quick 2-0 start and the Cardinals have a lot of confidence, especially on defense.
Junior linebacker James Burgess believes the opener against Miami helped build that confidence, noting the U of L defense faced one of the best running backs in college football in Duke Johnson.
“We held him (Johnson) up to under 100 yards,” Burgess said. “It just put a lot of confidence in our run game, and we still have room to improve.”
So far, it’s been good for the defense. The Cardinals have only given up 34 total points this season and they have made stopping the run game one of the strengths of the defense.
In the game against Miami, the Cardinals only gave up 90 yards to Johnson, and against Murray State U of L only gave up 41 yards rushing as a team. Burgess credits the physicality of the defense as to why they have had such great success early on.
“When it comes to defense you have to be physical at the point of attack.” He said. “When you get off blocks you can make plays.”
Making plays is something that Burgess looks to do this weekend taking on Virginia in their first ACC road game. But Burgess does not think the crowd will affect the performance of the defense.
The Cardinals will play Virginia tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. The Cavaliers have run for just 277 yards and average only 3.5 yards a play.
“Defensively it’s a lot better (the crowd) because it’s a lot more quiet for the opponents offense when they are on the field, it gives us a chance to get all our checks in,” he said.
Louisville has fared well in road games as of recent history only losing once since the 2012 season. And Burgess is confident his team will play well in what is expected to be a noisy crowd as they face their new cross- division rival.
”Football is not won by crowds,” he said with a smile.