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Cardinals' Strong pleased with players' focus entering opener against upset-capable Ohio team

Louisville coach Charlie Strong has been pleased with his team's mental focus this month and expects it in Sunday's season opener against Ohio.

Facing a Bobcats team that upset Penn State in last year's opener and has won consecutive bowl games should keep the attention of the ninth-ranked Cardinals. Strong enters his fourth season with high expectations after an 11-2 finish and a Sugar Bowl upset of Florida.

Louisville's preseason ranking is the highest ever. The Cardinals have been picked to win the new American Athletic Conference — formerly the Big East, which they've won the past two seasons. Living up to those lofty hopes means taking every opponent seriously, especially an Ohio team capable of pulling off another opening-game surprise.