Quotes from The 'Stache's weekly press conference:
--"As we get ready for Louisville this week there's no question as a football team from top to bottom, that they're the best team we've played in our conference. All you have to do is look through the Big East statistics. They're in the top-third, top-quarter of every category - offense, defense and special teams. They're protecting the football, they're plus four on turnover margin and they're running the ball. They're right behind us in sacks. We lead the league with 21 sacks and they have 20, right behind us. They're doing a remarkable job, they really are.
--"They're a senior team. When you look at their football team they have eight starters on offense and five starters on defense. They have a group of guys that have been there, played and have game experience. Charlie Strong has obviously implemented a system and an attitude that the kids have bought into. They're performing at a high level. We have to continue to prepare. The message to our guys this week is that we need to continue to work hard, improve, prepare and to go out there and find a way to take our game to another level."
On Louisville's offense:
--"The first game their quarterback started was a year ago against us. He's a senior kid; he was a junior college kid too. He's a good athlete. He can get out of trouble and run the football. He's the third-leading rusher on their team.
--"They have giant receivers. Rutgers had good size, but these guys have a group of receivers that is experienced and have really good size. They've been scoring points running the ball. They're balanced. They're throwing the ball and running the ball effectively. They're not a one-dimensional team."
On the Big East race:
--"I really felt that looking at everything and knowing where we were at, the players that had graduated, how long it takes to bring players along and everything that really goes into coaching and putting a team together, I really thought that there were five teams capable of winning the Big East. That's probably holding true.
--"Our guys are coming along. As long as we continue to work, I think that if you look at our team now, compared to five or six weeks ago you're seeing improvement in the offensive line. You're seeing improvement in our running game. You're seeing improvement in Tino Sunseri and defensively up front and all the way across.
--"That's the key. The team that can stay healthy, continue to work hard with the right attitude and get better every week is the team that will make an impact. I think that the conference will be decided the last week of the season."
On being undefeated in the Big East:
--"We're undefeated after two games. I think that we have to keep it in perspective, and our guys will. This is the toughest conference game that we have to date this week. We're focused no further ahead, or on anything else than just Louisville. It would be foolish to try and look at it from any other angle."
On Louisville's running game:
--"They have a very good offensive line across the board and two good tight ends. Their running backs are running the ball with more consistency. By that I mean numbers. If you look at the number of times they're running the game and their possession time, they're committed to running the football. They have good schemes.
--"Their center and left tackle are probably the best that we've seen in awhile. They do a lot of schemes with their offensive line - block down and pull, stuff like that which forces to be secure. They keep you balanced. They're playing very physical right now."
On the impact of junior college players at Louisville:
--"I'm not sure which ones were junior college players or were not. I know that they have 13 seniors starting on their team. We have five. How that works out, which ones were junior college players and which ones were not, I don't know."
On the defensive backs going against Louisville's receivers:
"When we talk to our defensive backs and talk about another team having big receivers, the first thing they say is that they're not as big as Mike Shanahan or Jon Baldwin. It does help (facing big receivers in practice). I think that good competition in practice helps you gain confidence for the game."