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No. 23 Louisville aims to avoid another letdown

Associated Press Modified: September 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm •  Published: September 7, 2012

The most encouraging area was a ground game that saw juniors Perry and Jeremy Wright thrive. Perry finished with a game-high 108 yards including a 47-yard touchdown run while Wright rushed 22 times for 105 and three scores, and the Cardinals still have Dominique Brown waiting in the wings.

Louisville's biggest concern will be shoring up a defense that gave up 373 yards to Kentucky. To be fair, the Cardinals' reaction to the no-huddle offense improved as the game progressed and they were able to contain Wildcats quarterback Maxwell Smith.

Smith still passed for 280 yards and two touchdowns, and now the Cardinals will face Bears quarterback Ashton Glaser after he threw for 257 on 22 of 44 attempts. An offensive line that returned four starters didn't allow the Missouri transfer to be sacked and he went on to find seven targets, led by junior Dorian Buford (seven catches, 114 yards).

"It is a team that has a spread offense," Strong said, "so, they do a good job of throwing the ball around."

Though Louisville sacked Smith twice, recovered two fumbles and held Kentucky to 93 rushing yards, Coach Charlie Strong wants more aggression from a defense used to creating opportunities for the offense. Since that unit is showing signs of holding up its end, he said the defense must step up as well.

For this week, the Cardinals' overall plan is keeping up what they started on Sunday.

"You like to think that we're more mature now that we've played a lot of games," Strong said. "You can always go back to last season, and we beat Kentucky and we followed it up and got beat. We cannot allow that to happen and we're at home. ... (You'd) like to think that you don't have to go through it again."