No. 7 Louisville defense stepping up on third down - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

No. 7 Louisville defense stepping up on third down

Louisville's defense is creating more opportunities for quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and the Cardinals' high-powered offense to get on the field.

 Seventh-ranked Louisville (3-0) enters Saturday's game against struggling Florida International (0-3) ranked fifth nationally in third-down defense, having allowed just 10 of 41 conversions (24. That's a huge drop from a year ago when opponents converted 17 of 37 chances (46%).

 The Cardinals completely shut down Kentucky on third down. The Wildcats were 0 for 13 Saturday, tying the second-best effort ever by a Louisville defense. Duke was 0-for-15 on third down against the Cardinals in 2002.

 Louisville's proficiency on what defensive players call the "money down" could improve against the Panthers, who have made just 23% of their third-down chances.

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