Louisville defense ‘performed their butts off’ to spark win at UCF

There was an elevated expectation for Louisville’s defense through the offseason. Defensive coordinator Bryan Brown spoke extremely of his group all through spring apply, through the summer season and into the autumn camp.

The reward, which was enhanced partially by the gathering of additives by way of the NCAA switch portal, had many believing that the defense was poised for its finest season since Scott Satterfield and Bryan Brown arrived 4 years in the past.

Then week one occurred. The defense missed quite a few tackles and struggled to gradual the Syracuse offense in a stunning 31-7 loss. The woes within the season opener have been harking back to the defensive struggles of the season earlier than main many prognosticators to marvel all of the offseason discuss was simply inner hype.

Despite the primary sport efficiency, Brown remained assured in his group. On Friday night time in Orlando, the UofL defense was nearer to resembling what the preseason expectations had constructed by limiting the UCF offense to simply 96 second half yards and scoreless through the remaining two quarters in a 20-14 win.

The group got here up with a number of large performs whereas holding the Knights in verify on 10 consecutive drives.

“I imagine it. I knew it,” Brown mentioned. “I knew it in spring ball, in fall camp. We simply missed some tackles final week, a pair misses – I feel it was a little bit of first sport jitters. Tonight, the blokes got here out and performed their freakin’ butts off. Tackling was executed to a tee. We settled down after the primary drive and I feel the blokes have been on level. They performed arduous and I’m simply excited for them.”

The response by the UofL defense following the loss to Syracuse was immediate.

“The subsequent day in apply you could not inform that we misplaced the sport,” Brown mentioned. “Guys got here out and practiced their butt off. I imply, they have been flying round the entire week. I noticed it in their eyes that they have been prepared to play. They have been excited to get that dangerous style out of their mouths. To come right into a hostile surroundings and accomplish that, there’s nothing extra gratifying than seeing guys celebrating within the locker room.”

The defense recorded 4 sacks, six stops for a loss, broke up 5 passes and notched a key fourth-quarter interception ultimately zone.

“I feel as soon as we acquired used to that tempo, they have been wonderful from that time on,” Brown mentioned. “In the second half, we had some issues in our bag that we held again that we began to hit these guys with and so they could not modify to it.”

Among the various highlights was the interception by Jarvis Brownlee that stopped a possible go-ahead landing drive. UCF had three fourth-quarter possessions, which ended with a punt, an interception and a turnover on downs.

“Anytime you get fourth quarter stops – you concentrate on final yr and what number of video games we misplaced within the fourth quarter – so we preached that each one offseason,” Brown mentioned. “We discuss to our guys on the sideline, even after Jarvis Brownlee’ decide ultimately zone, I calmed them down and mentioned, ‘hey, we have been going to have to return out and make one other cease to win this soccer sport.’ The guys have been assured that they might go on the market and do it.”

Senior security Kenderick Duncan, who led all with 13 tackles, believes the fourth quarter effort is a product of the group’s concentrate on closing video games sturdy.

“One of our major focuses this summer season was simply ending,” Duncan mentioned. “We knew final yr there have been loads of video games that we left on the road by not ending, so our major focus was ending. This sport proved that we are able to do it and now we acquired to do it week in and week out.”

Louisville will subsequent face ACC rival Florida State on Friday, Sept. 16 at Cardinal Stadium.

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