Cards determined to avoid Michigan-type upset

Appalachian State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that David could slay Goliath when the 1-AA Mountaineers knocked off then No. 5 Michigan 34-32 in the Big House last Saturday. No. 10 Louisville is determined to avoid a similar fate Thursday against Middle Tennessee.

Appalachian State proved beyond a reasonable doubt that David could slay Goliath when the 1-AA Mountaineers knocked off then No. 5 Michigan 34-32 in the Big House last Saturday. No. 10 Louisville is determined to avoid a similar fate Thursday against Middle Tennessee.

Coming off a 73-10 win over Murray State in their season-opener last Thursday, the Cardinals seemingly have another ‘easy' game this week against Middle Tennessee, who lost to Florida Atlantic 27-14 Saturday.

But Louisville knows better than to overlook any opponent, especially after watching AppalachianState knock off Michigan in front of more than 100,000 Wolverine fans on the road.

"I don't think there's any question that got (our) attention pretty quickly," Kragthorpe said. "Everybody can beat everybody as we saw in Ann Arbor this weekend. We've got to be ready to play."

Kragthorpe said his player's watched Michigan fall Saturday and is glad that they did.

"Our guys watched it," Kragthorpe said. "They were all sitting in the training room watching it and I had to postpone the special teams meeting for five extra minutes. I wanted them to watch it because I've said it before and sometimes people don't believe me, but anybody can beat anybody.


Scott Long watched Appalachian State's upset
over Michigan closely.

"Nobody anticipated that Appalachian State would go into Ann Arbor and win in that kind of environment against that type of team. But it happens and we're capable of being beaten just like anybody else in the country."

One player who watched with intense interest was wide receiver Scott Long, a sophomore from Southport, North Carolina, which is nearby Appalachian State's campus.

"I have a lot of friends on that team that I played against in high school," Long said. "So we were all excited watching that unfold. It just shows you that you can't overlook anyone and you have to come out ready and prepared to play your best ball."

With scholarship limitations, talent is more evenly spread across the country these days, meaning that programs like Middle Tennessee have plenty of talented players, like KR Damon Nickson, to spring an upset on an unsuspecting, higher ranked opponent.

"Anybody can beat anybody," Kragthorpe said. "There are great players at all levels. There is good football being played all over the country. And just because you're ranked doesn't mean that you're going to go out and win every time unless you give great effort and play the way you are capable of playing."

Louisville also has something else working against them in matchups like Thursday's game against the Blue Raiders. As defending Big East and Orange Bowl champions and currently ranked high atop the national polls, the Cardinals have a large bulls eye on their backs every time they take the field.

"We know we're going to get everybody's best effort because we're ranked in the Top 10," said Kragthorpe. "We know we're going to get a great effort every time we play so the thing we've got to do is be in total command and in total focus with the task at hand, and that's us playing good football."

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