The fact that Louisville lost a football game this season wasn’t surprising. Seeing the Cardinals going undefeated would have been the shocking part. Yet, it was the way they lost to Syracuse on Saturday that had Big East fans scratching their heads. The loss wasn’t due to a lack of talent or being outgunned.
Louisville wasn’t disciplined enough. Among everything, that stood out to their head coach, Charlie Strong.
“It’s discipline. We weren’t a very disciplined football team today. … When that happens to you and you have those type of issues, it’s what happens. You come into an environment like this and lose a game.”
The dirty secret for the previously undefeated Cardinals revolved around their porous run defense. The players simply weren’t filling the gaps or keeping responsibility. Eventually, Teddy Bridgewater wasn’t going to be able to bail them out with late game touchdowns.
Considering that a showdown with Rutgers is looming as the de facto Big East Title Game, realizing a lack of discipline exists on the defensive side could be a blessing in disguise. If the Cardinals don’t clean up the deficiencies — starting by adhering to responsibilities on the defensive side of the ball — Rutgers’ dynamic duo of Jamison and Huggins will run them over.
The Big East wasn’t good enough to have an undefeated team. Kent State and Syracuse proved that over the last two weekends, respectively. However, as the rules state, they will put someone in a BCS game.
Louisville has the better quarterback in Bridgewater, but Rutgers looks more sound in the coaching aspects of the game.
Perhaps that’s what bothered Charlie Strong the most during his postgame press conference.