WKU Provides Louisville Defense with "Teachable Moments"

MatthewMcGavic

While normally thought of as a team that focusing primarily on lighting up the scoreboard, Louisville's defense played just as big of a role as the offense did in claiming a season-opening victory against Western Kentucky last Saturday.

The Cardinals (1-0, 0-0 ACC) allowed the Hilltoppers to gain only 248 total yards of offense in their season opening 35-21 win - the lowest yardage total allowed by a Louisville FBS opponent since Kent State gained 150 yards back on Sept. 23, 2017.

"We took some stride forward in the first game," defensive coordinator Bryan Brown said Wednesday. "Overall from a standpoint of being in our gaps and controlling our gaps and tackling, I thought we tackled really, really well in Saturday's game."

Brown's biggest takeaway was the defense's ability to not give up the big play - which was a primary reason for giving up 439.9 yards per game a season ago. WKU's lone explosive play on the night was a 50-yard strike from Tyrrell Pigrome to Jahcour Pearson, but even that resulted in a Russ Yeast forced & recovered fumble.

While the play resulted in a turnover that favored the Cardinals, Brown still used this as an opportunity to show his defense how they can get better. Yeast may have been able to get to the ball, but the second year defensive coordinator pointed out that he shouldn't have had to and other defenders should have been in hot pursuit.

"You need to chase the football because you have no idea what may happen at any given moment," he said. "The guys understood that clip, it was a teachable moment, and hopefully we learn from it."

Heading into their next game against the No. 17 Miami (1-0, 0-0 ACC), Brown is hoping to build off lessons from last year's matchup with the Hurricanes & the season opener against WKU.

"We just have to make sure we do our job."

Kickoff for Louisville's ACC opener against Miami is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 19 at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.

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