With the dramatic 20-17 win over Rutgers on Thursday, Nov. 29, the Cardinals improved their record to 10-2 overall and 5-2 in the BIG EAST Conference. The 10 wins were the most since the 2006 squad won the Orange Bowl with a school-best 12-1 mark.
Louisville won 10 games for the fifth time in school history and four have come since 2000. Louisville went 10-1 in 1990 and won the Fiesta Bowl. In 2001, the Cardinals produced an 11-2 campaign that was culminated with a 28-10 victory over BYU in the Liberty Bowl. The 2004 squad was 11-1 and defeated Boise State 44-40 in the Liberty Bowl, while the 2006 squad went 12-1 and defeated Wake Forest 24-13 in the Orange Bowl.
Bowling with the Cardinals
Louisville has made 16 bowl appearances all-time with 12 of those coming in the last 15 seasons, heading into the Sugar Bowl. The Cardinals sport a 7-8-1 record in bowl games and are 1-1 under head coach Charlie Strong. The Sugar Bowl will be the 13th different bowl games that the Cardinals have appeared in during their school history. All told, Louisville has traveled to bowl games in 11 different states with Florida (3) and Tennessee (3) being the most frequent destinations.
Louisville and the SEC
The Cardinals will be playing their 48th game against a member from the Southeastern Conference when the Cardinals face the Gators of Florida. Prior to the Sugar Bowl, the Cardinals last faced an SEC team when Louisville defeated Kentucky 32-14 to open the 2012 season. All-time, the Cardinals are 12-34-1 against SEC squads and have met only one in a bowl game. Louisville defeated Alabama in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl. Louisville doesn’t have a winning record against any teams from the SEC.
Cardinals vs. Ranked Opponents
The Cardinals will face their second ranked opponent of the year when Louisville faces No. 4 Florida in the Sugar Bowl. It will be the fourth ranked foe that head coach Charlie Strong has faced as head coach of the Cardinals. He is 2-1 against ranked opponents, losing to No. 25 Oregon State 35-28 in 2010 and defeating No. 21 West Virginia 38-35 last season and the 20-17 win over No. 25 Rutgers on Nov. 29.
Louisville is 15-24 all-time versus ranked foes, but has won five of the last eight meetings. However, the Cardinals are 4-18 on the road against ranked opponents and are 4-2 against ranked foes in bowl games.
The No. 4 Gators are the highest-ranked foe since Louisville knocked off No. 3 West Virginia 44-34 in 2006 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Louisville defeated No. 4 Florida State 26-20 in overtime in 2002. Louisville also fell 41-38 at No. 3 Miami (Fla.) in 2004. The Cardinals are 2-4 against teams ranked in the top five nationally.