Coming off a 72-0 win over FIU to move to 4-0 on the season, the University of Louisville football team currently is enjoying one of its three bye weeks for the season.
Enjoy might not be the right word because the Cardinals are continuing to grind this week on the practice field in preparation for their first American Athletic Conference game when they travel to Temple on Oct. 5.
The bye week this early in the season has both pros and cons. On one hand, it gives the team a chance to get a little healthier and its legs back, but for the Cardinals, it stops a little of the momentum generated by their fast start.
"We have everything to work on," senior defensive tackle Brandon Dunn said after Wednesday's practice. "As a defense, we made mistakes in the game. We have come out here and try to fix him and get better during our off week."
While Dunn needs a little break after a long training camp and the first four games, he is indifferent on the week off.
"It's cool," Dunn said of the bye week. "We have to get our legs back. In my opinion, I hate it. I feel like we should be playing a game this week. We can't control that, so we are just coming out here to get better."
Of his four years at Louisville, Dunn is playing his best football right now. Competing at the nose tackle position, Dunn has ignited the defense with his play up front. The Cardinals lead the nation in scoring defense and are third in total defense.
"Coach Strong always preaches that it starts in the middle," Dunn said. "Every day I have to get my engine revved up for practice. I'm getting a better push. I got my body right and I am playing at the right weight so I can move better."
Louisville is coming off a performance against FIU where it allowed two first downs, zero yards rushing, and just 27 total yards, which was one of the most dominating performances in school history.
The Cardinals also registered their first shutout since a 26-0 win over Connecticut during the 2010 campaign.
"It feels good," senior defensive tackle Roy Philon said of the third shutout in the Charlie Strong era. "It's been a long time. Just to get that shutout was great because shutouts come from the defense."
Despite the performance, the Cardinals know they have to put that behind them and get ready for the league opener.
"We just try to go out and humble ourselves," Philon said. "Every week is a week that starts over. We put that performance together last week, knowing that we went out and worked hard for it. Now, we come back and we have Temple, so we are starting back over."
While the Cardinals have the week off, they will get a chance to watch the rest of the country, but they understand that they weekend is short, and they will have to turn it back up next week in practice so they can get a leg up on the rest of the conference.