Don't expect Cards to play it safe against Houston

If you're expecting the No.8 Louisville Cardinals to letdown against an inferior Houston Cougar (3-7, 3-4) team today in Robertson Stadium, you're probably going to be dissappointed.

With a chance to clinch at least a share of their third Conference USA title in the past five seasons, U of L coach Bobby Petrino says his teams lone focus this week has been the potentially explosive Cougars.

And even though U of L is coming off an extremely emotional four game stretch that saw them win three of four games televised by ESPN and steadily climb in the national rankings, Petrino says there's no chance his team will let down today.

"I think our players are just at the point, where they are just focused in on this game," Petrino said. "We're definitely not going to let up."

Petrino credits veteran leadership for his teams ability to focus on the task at hand instead of on their already impressive national credentials and press clippings.

"This team has bonded real well together," Petrino explained. "I think we've got some real good leadership within the team and they seem to get stronger and stronger as a team. I think they believe in each other and they're excited."

And while Houston has struggled this season, they still have one of the conference's top quarterbacks in sophomore Kevin Kolb. Kolb, though, who was the C-USA Freshman of the Year last season, hasn't enjoyed a banner second season under center, passing for just nine touchdowns while throwing five interceptions.

"They are a team capable of scoring a lot of points," Petrino said of Houston. "They have a unique style of offense that will provide us some challenges."

Houston, who fell to U of L 66-45 last season in Louisville, proved a year ago that they can score points in bunches.

"They're all back, it's the same guys we played against last year," Petrino said. "But they haven't been as effective this year."

And with a national ranking and conference title at stake, don't expect Petrino to harness his aggressive approach to guard against losing. That's simply not his style and opponents should expect Petrino's top ranked offense to continue doing what has helped it reach a No. 8 national ranking.

"We've got to be aggressive and go play to win," Petrino said. "That's what I want to concentrate on these next three games, playing to win."

If past accomplishment is any indication, Petrino's group will continue doing what they've done more than 75-percent of the time since the second-year arrived; win. And fans should expect the Cougars to be the Cardinals next victim today.

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