Louisville's defense suspect

Louisville's defense feels good about making plays that have either changed or saved games this season. The No. 16 Cardinals would feel better making more of the routine plays and avoid the need for late-game heroics.

Defensive lulls in Saturday's 27-25 win over South Florida cost the Cardinals another a big lead and force them to make another late stand to escape with a victory. It also was another unexpected battle with an underdog, reminding the Cardinals (7-0, 2-0 Big East Conference) they can't take any opponent for granted.

Louisville will need the complete defensive that coach Charlie Strong has been stressing on Friday night in the Big East showdown against Cincinnati (5-1, 1-0), which leads the conference in several offensive categories - including scoring (34.7 points per game).