NCAA Football: DEC 21 Beef O' Brady's Bowl - Louisville v Southern MissWatching the Mississippi State-Kentucky footbal game was a reminder of just how good the University of Louisville’s defense is this season.

So fun to watch, the standard by which UofL fans compare all college defenses this season, a group largely responsible for Louisville’s 6-2 won-lost record and a healthy dose of optimism as UofL prepares to meet No. 2 Florida State on Thursday.

One kept expecting MSU, the nation’s No. 1 team, to provide some evidence of an effective defense but the Bulldogs just weren’t capable, disapppointing time after time. Defensive stopping ability just wasn’t there, allowing UK to stick around, providing an opportunity for a major upset.

The Bulldog defense was a sieve, allowing UK quarterback Patrick Towles a total of 390 yards through the air. Towles would rush for 76 of Kentucky’s  103 yards on the ground.

Few quarterbacks are going to have those kind of numbers against Louisville, which is No. 1 nationally in total defense. U of L ranks fifth nationally in tackles for loss with 60,  second in sacks with 28, and first in interceptions with 15.

As UofL prepares for the next four games — Florida State, Boston College, Notre Dame and Kentucky — the defense is eager to improve on those numbers. The bigger the challenge, the more motivated this defensive unit becomes and the more likely it is to impose its will on the competition, keeping Louisville in contention to win every game.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

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