LB Cook and Miami Defense Await Challenge

When Miami beat Louisville 41-38 in 2004, the Cardinals shocked UM with a potent offense that was leading by 17 points with 20 minutes left in the game.

Louisville gained 507 yards of total offense in the game, confusing Miami with a lethal spread attack.

Two years later, Glenn Cook remembers the high scoring game and says that in 2006, the ‘Canes will be much more prepared for Louisville's offense.

"I think the first year we played they rattled us a little bit," Cook said. "They did some things that we didn't adjust to as quickly as we should have. We will be better prepared this time, it will just be about executing."

Cook says that Miami's defense, ranked the seventh total defense in the nation, has not played up to its potential yet. Cook sees the Louisville matchup as a chance for the defense to shine.

"I think it is a good opportunity for our defense," Cook said. "We haven't played to well—we played alright against Florida State and came out a little slow against FAMU—so it will be a good challenge for us to go up against an offense like Louisville.

"I think we did alright. People have said that we played well, but we haven't played to our best yet. We can definitely improve. We haven't really been complete. Against FSU we played three quarters and FAMU we came out slow. We need to come out strong and play a full game and be aggressive."

Versus FAMU, the defense allowed gains of 39 and 40 yards. FAMU, who ran a spread offense against UM, gained a total of 225 yards.

"I think we lost a little bit of focus and got a little relaxed," Cook said about the FAMU game. "If we keep each other up and into the game, we will be alright."

Miami will need to be more focused on Saturday as they face the number one ranked total offense and scoring offense in the country. Louisville is led by stud quarterback Brian Brohm. On the season, Brohm, a junior, is 35-of-60 for 561 yards and one touchdown.

Louisville also has the number three rushing attack in the country despite the loss of Michael Bush. Running backs George Stripling and Kolby Smith each have rushed for over 150 yards while averaging over 8 yards per carry.

"They are a very balanced team that has a high powered offense," Cook said. "If we make mistakes, they are going to score 30 on us. We have to be real disciplined this game and if we stick to the game plan, I think we will be real successful."

In 2004 Brohm directed an 80-yard touchdown drive as a freshman when starting quarterback Stefan Lefors was taking out of the game with an injury. Brohm finished the game 7-of-12 for 51 yards.

"He is a very accurate quarterback," Cook said of Brohm. "He makes good decisions and he always finds the open guy. When they need somebody open, he is going to find him. He is a real smart guy."

"I think the key is to put a lot of pressure on him. It seems like when teams do that he gets a little rattled so we are going to try and put pressure on him, but we are not going to do anything out of the ordinary of what we normally do."

Under Coach Larry Coker, UM is 5-0 when they play as an underdog on the road. A win at Louisville this Saturday would be a huge statement for the ‘Canes.

"Every game is valuable at this point," Cook said. "I don't plan to lose any more games this year. We are focused on Louisville right no and going out and playing a great game on Saturday."

"It will help that we are on the road. I have noticed that we focused a little more. Virginia Tech, we were into it a little more. We can feel the pressure of the crowd and it is just us out there."

David Lake can be reached at lake@canestime.com

Canes Time Top Stories