As Louisville poured on the points, linebacker Brandon Johnson was hoping the Cardinals' high-powered offense and opportunistic special teams would slow down.
Louisville struck quickly and often, beating Cincinnati, 70-7, to clinch its third Conference USA championship since 2000.
Montrell Jones caught two touchdown passes and returned a punt for a score, Eric Shelton rushed for 158 yards and Kolby Smith had three short TD runs for Louisville, which reached 70 points for the first time since 1955.
The quick strikes never gave Johnson and the defense much of a breather.
"I told the guys after the game, 'You guys don't know anything about ball control,' " he said. "I mean, three plays, touchdown; one play, touchdown; two plays, touchdown. That's how our offense plays. What are you going to do?"
Johnson was part of the problem. He returned a blocked punt for a touchdown and Tiger Jones recovered another blocked punt in the end zone for Louisville (9-1, 7-0), which accepted the league champion's automatic bid to the Liberty Bowl after the game.
Cincinnati (6-5, 5-3) had a four-game winning streak snapped.
Around the nation
Jared Zabransky passed for 244 yards and three touchdowns to lead No. 10 Boise State (11-0, 8-0) to a 58-21 win over Nevada (5-7, 3-5) in the Western Athletic Conference. With their 22nd consecutive victory, the Broncos kept alive hopes for a spot in the BCS.
Sonny Cumbie, the nation's leading passer, had a season-low 281 yards but threw for three touchdowns to lead Texas Tech (7-4, 5-3) to a 31-15 victory over No. 23 Oklahoma State (7-4, 4-4) in the Big 12. Cumbie, who came in averaging 394 yards passing, was 31 for 46 with an interception.
Ashlan Davis extended his own NCAA record with his fifth kickoff return for a touchdown this season and Tulsa (4-8, 2-5) beat a ranked opponent for the first time in more than eight years, with a 37-35 decision over No. 24 UTEP (8-3, 6-2) in the Western Athletic Conference.