After a second consecutive Louisville loss, Charlie Strong's press conference on Monday afternoon was all about the team's offense, which has been struggling of late. But more specifically, most of the talk was about the team's offensive coordinator, Mike Sanford, who was relieved of his duties just before Saturday's game against North Carolina.
"I just want to clear the air because this has become a hot topic: there was no physical or verbal altercation between Mike Sanford and myself," Strong said. "We are both professionals, very mature, and we've been in this business a long time.
"There are going to be arguments, there are going to be disagreements. I respect Mike. I respect him as a person, I respect his character, I respect who he is. But, the decision I made at that time was, I thought, in the best interest of this program for us to move forward. Just like you and your business, you and your profession, people are reassigned all the time, and I just thought that it would make our team better and it would make our program better.
"We just want to move forward with it. Mike is still a part of this staff. I have not reassigned a role for him yet, but he will be a part of this staff."
The road does not get any easier for Louisville this Saturday, as the Cardinals open Big East play on the road this Saturday against a very powerful offensive attack in the Cincinnati Bearcats.
"They're very explosive on offense," Strong said. "With either (wide receiver Anthony) McClung or with (wide receiver D.J.) Woods, they spread the ball out. We have to be smart (with our) gap control, because they're going to run the football.
"We're going to have to be able to stop the run, and then we're going to have to be able to cover enough to where when they do catch the ball, we can't allow yards after the catch."
Here's the good news for Louisville: the team's defense is playing well of late. Yes, the team lost the last two games, but they have not given up many points. They'll need that defense to play well against the Cincinnati offense that ranks toward the top of the Big East in almost every offensive category.