Mountaineers need knockout blow

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The way West Virginia's defense is playing, a 17-10 Mountaineers lead heading into the fourth quarter might be enough.

Still, they're letting Louisville hang around, which is always dangerous. West Virginia has lacked that killer instinct much of the year, and it really needs to land a knockout blow to make sure the Cardinals don't get back in this thing with one big play.

Credit Louisville's defense, which has done a good job all day of bottling up the Mountaineers running game. But it is only the second-best defense on the field.

West Virginia came into Saturday with the No. 2 scoring defense in the country, and has only given up three points. There's no openings for Louisville to run, and quarterback Justin Burke is getting hit repeatedly. The Cardinals had just 19 yards of offense in the third quarter and only 117 for the game.

That's truly dominant stuff, as it has been all season for West Virginia's defense. Now the offense just needs to lend a hand and put up another score to make this lead safe.