Cards focused on 'basics' during open week

Charlie Strong

University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong didn't have his weekly news conference with the local media because of the open week but he did speak on the American Athletic Conference teleconference. Here's an update:

University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong wrapped up a 72-0 win over Florida International and looked ahead to the open week on Monday morning, speaking on the American Athletic Conference teleconference.

Here are a few nuggets from the teleconference:

**U of L's next game on Oct. 5 at Temple will be played at noon, per the AAC. It will mark the fourth straight noon game for the Cardinals.

**Strong said his team played "very well in all three phases," on Saturday in a 72-9 win over Florida International. The defense held the Panthers to 30 yards of total offense, while the offense amassed 464 and the special teams ended up giving the Cardinals' a 93-yard kickoff return from Charles Gaines.

"We didn't have many yards but we were able to score," Strong said. "Special teams were really able to ignite us. We played very well."

**Strong said the Cardinals have a tough stretch of games coming up after this open week and noted he would spend time on two game plans this week.

"We'll get back to basics and fundamentals," he said. "But it also gives us a chance to work on Temple and Rutgers during the open week."

U of L will play Temple on Oct. 5 before playing Rutgers, Central Florida and South Florida prior to the second open week of the season.

"We are getting ready to step into the conference," Strong said. "It's been a long fall camp and now the first time they really get a rest. I think (the open week) came at the right time for us."

**Asked about the polls and his team dropping a spot in the USA Today Coaches' poll – from No. 6 to No. 7 – and Strong said he "can't control the polls."

"The only thing we can do is continue to play well," he said. "I don't look at what polls say and we don't talk about it at all. We just have to make sure that on each and every game we get better."

On the injury front, Strong said his team "came out (of the FIU game) very well," noting the Cardinals haven't had major injuries in a few weeks.

"We didn't lose anyone," he said. "We're back to where we were with the health of our team. We don't for see anyone we lost the rest of the season."

**Strong said he hasn't spent a lot of time thinking about his team being ranked No. 1 nationally in scoring defense – at 6.8 a game – noting that its still "too early in the season" to worry about statistics.

"We know we are getting ready to get into our conference games and we have to continue to play well on defense," he said. "It's just a matter of making plays.

"We want to be an aggressive, attacking defense. We want to play great defense because that's where it all starts."

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