They came barreling into the Big East with plenty of pump. But in 2010 Charlie Strong will be the third coach to start a season with the Louisville Cardinals in five years.First meeting: 2000 (2005 was the first meeting as a member of the Big East)
Louisville last season: 4-8 overall, 1-6 Big East.
Who's gone, who's back? Louisville finished last in six team categories last season so it's definitely time for something new and the Cardinals will have it in Strong, the dynamic former Florida assistant coach. Louisville also has some outstanding young talent and many might play immediately. Quarterback Dominique Brown, who originally committed to Cincinnati, is promising and senior QB Adam Froman better watch his back. Louisville is strong a receiver. There are some good young receivers coming but there are some good ones returning in Doug Beaumont who is due for a big year and 6-foot-8 Josh Chichester. Victor Anderson and Bilal Powell are a heck of a running back tandem.
Defensively, well, Louisville has always been considered an offensive team but that might change under Strong. He's a proponent of focusing the strength of the defense around linebacker. Dexter Heyman, Brandon Heath and Antwon Canady are an experienced crew.
The UConn-Louisville rivalry: UConn has won the past three meetings. The games have been quite eventful. Perhaps the wildest was 2007: That was The Fair Catch Game when an official had his head turned when UConn punt returner Larry Taylor signaled for a fair catch. Taylor caught the ball and took it the distance untouched. The Cardinals said they saw the fair catch signal so they let up.
The Huskies won that game 21-17 and Louisville fans won't forget. Even in 2008, when the Huskies scored a huge Big East victory on the road in Louisville, 2007 became the topic again. Another memory: When the Huskies last played Louisville Oct.17, 2009 at Rentschler Field, it would be Jasper Howard's last game. He would be killed early the next morning.
What's at stake? Surely the Cards would like to put an end to the three-game losing streak but they have bigger fish to fry in that they need to start winning some games.
The Louisville Schedule: The Cardinals go to Oregon State for a non-league game Sept. 18. Corvallis can be a scary place for visiting freshman.