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Louisville 24 Rutgers 10: Louisville wins, but wins ugly

Louisville squanders a chance to make a national statement in sliding by Rutgers 24-10. The defense shined as it has all season, but the offensive struggles made this game much closer than it should've been.

Andy Lyons

For the fourth consecutive time, Louisville beat Rutgers. Before a sold out crowd, Louisville improved to 6-0 with a 24-10 win over the Scarlet Knights. The win makes Louisville bowl eligible for the fourth straight season and puts the Cardinals in position to put a stranglehold on the AAC just three weeks into conference play, should they win next week over Central Florida.

While all of the talk this week was over Teddy Bridgewater and the NFL scouts turning out in droves to see him play, it was the play of the Louisville defense was stellar tonight. The Cardinals sacked, harassed, and repeatedly turned Rutgers quarterback Gary Nova over. The Cardinals picked Nova off four times including two drive-killing interceptions when Rutgers had the ball down 17-10 with a chance to drive and tie the game.

The obvious reaction will be to be disappointed with another squandered opportunity to make a national statement, but the national title discussion was probably always a pipe dream. After tonight it's off the table entirely. Perhaps now the team will simply relax and enjoy the chance the run the table and go to another BCS bowl game in its final season in the AAC. Are there issues with the team right now? Perhaps in the red zone, sure. Overly determined to run the ball when it was clear Rutgers couldn't handle the middle of the field against Louisville's receivers.

Nevertheless, fans should heed Charlie's advice before the season started and try to simply enjoy winning games. Being 6-0 is always awesome.