Strong’s First Full Class to Play Last Home Game on Saturday
Head coach Charlie Strong will watch his first full class play their last home game of the season on Saturday versus Memphis. Taking over the program in 2010, Strong will see Preston Brown, B.J. Butler, Brandon Dunn, Jarrett Davis, Senorise Perry, Deon Rogers and Marcus Smith play at home for the final time. Those seven players participated as true freshmen and helped the Cardinals get to a bowl for the first time in three seasons.
“It’s just guys that have helped us build this program,” Strong said. “You hope they go out the right way. That is why I said that at the beginning you hate to see this time of year comes because you hate to see these guys move on. You would like to have another year, I wish we could have redshirted Preston (Brown) and Marcus Smith.”
The Cardinals are looking for their 12th home win in their last 14 games with a win over the Tigers.
Cardinals Use New Scheme to Stop Houston’s Potent Offensive Attack
Strong admitted on Monday that the Cardinals used a new defensive scheme to hold Houston to a season-low 195 yards of total offense and 121 yards passing, which was almost 200 yards fewer than its season average. Strong the Cardinals used four down linemen and a linebacker to stop Houston’s bubble screen.
“We tried before but we didn’t play it the right way the last time we tried to play it,” Strong said. “The guys were getting on the edge of the defense. What you have to do is eliminate the gaps inside. If a backer is inside he has a gap to the outside. You have to close off that gap so he can run the ball to the outside. We were able to do that.”
Cardinals Go For Sixth Conference Win
The Cardinals are looking for their sixth conference win for the first time since going 6-1 in the BIG EAST Conference in 2006 and just the fifth time in school history. Louisville won a school record eight league games in 2004 and also won at least six in 2001 and 2000.
Brown Records Second 100-Yard Contest
Junior running back Dominique Brown recorded his second 100-yard rushing game with a career-high 137 yards on a career-best 27 carries and his first two-touchdown performance. Brown put the Cardinals ahead in the first quarter with a 13-yard run and later scored on a three-yard scamper. Brown has totaled 650 yards and a team-high six touchdowns this season on a team-high 111 carries.
Not a Normal Occurrence
With the win over Houston, the Cardinals are 9-1 for the second-straight season and just the seventh time in school history. Outside of the last two seasons, the Cardinals were also 9-1 in 2006, 2004, 2001, 1972 and 1957. Head coach Charlie Strong is just the second coach in school history to lead their teams to a pair of 9-1 starts and the first coach to do it in consecutive seasons.