After allowing 105 yards on just 5 completions in the embarrassing 45-14 loss at South Florida, U of L cornerbacks coach Joe Whitt Jr. said that the return to fundamentals is what this year's squad needs.
"You have to give credit to them, they played a heck of a game, but we didn't play our game," Whitt told Inside The Ville on Wednesday. "If we play our game we can beat anybody in the country. We are going to have to take care of ourselves and get better. If we do that we'll be fine."
After watching the South Florida game film Whitt admitted that the reason for the poor performance was an across-the-board meltdown and not a lack of ability.
"In that game you could point at everything," he explained. "It was one of those nights where nothing went right. We can't have that and we're not going to have it. There wasn't just one thing in that game. It was a combination of things and it won't happen again - that's for sure."
Whitt works with Bobby Buchanan during
"Everybody came back focused and we have had two, not good practices, but great practices," said Whitt. "The kids understand now that you do have to take it one game at a time and that every game is as important as the championship."
Heading into this weekend's homecoming contest against Florida Atlantic, the Cardinal secondary finds itself ranked No. 88 in the nation against the pass, giving up 253 yards through the air per outing.
While the year-to-date statistics are disappointing, the unit has kept it's confidence and Whitt continues to stress that the Cardinals are still a top ten caliber program.
"We're going to get challenged every week, but we are still a top ten caliber team and we know that," he said. "Even though we didn't perform that way last week, we still know that and the kids haven't lost focus of that. They still have their swagger."
Now that the team has suffered it's first loss, the swagger of this group of Cardinals, which dropped 14 spots in the USA Today/Coaches poll following the South Florida loss, has evolved into one that now has a chip on it's shoulder.
"We know that we are going to get everybody's best," Whitt continued. "There has been so much written about us and so many have been talking about us, everybody wants to show that Louisville is not that good, but we are, and we are going to prove it every week."