LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Following a pair of less than inspiring performances, Louisville (2-1, 0-0 ACC) broke through in a big way last Friday, taking down UCF (2-1, 0-0 American) in a 42-35 thriller.
Next up, the Cardinals will hit the road for a matchup against Florida State in their ACC opener. Kickoff against the Seminoles is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 25 at 3:30 p.m. EST.
Prior to their upcoming matchup, offensive linemen Cole Bentley and Bryan Hudson took time to meet with the media. They discussed the previous game against UCF, previewed the upcoming game against FSU, and more.
Below is the transcript from their press conference, as well as the videos:
Center Cole Bentley
(On if something specifically changed with the offensive line vs. UCF, or if they just approached with a different mindset)
I think for us - if you go back and watch all of our games, yeah there's been some plays where it's been the unit as a whole (making mistakes), but then there's been some plays where if somebody would have maybe done a certain thing the correct way - just one person kind of messing up on one play, it would have broke for 40 yards. This last week, we've been working towards that, trying to get be a unit on the field. I feel like that's kind of what happened last week. We just all started clicking, and doing all the things we're supposed to do at the right time.
(On how big is it to have a performance like the Central Florida game for the overall confidence of the group)
I think it's always important to go out, and feel like you play your best ball week by week, and always feel like you're getting better as the games go on - so that way you're playing your best ball at the end of the year. We've been struggling a little bit, and we all kind of felt that. So to be able to go out, and all of us click with one another, and be able to go out and - at times, it felt like we were just doing whatever we wanted and enforcing our will on them, just moving the ball down the field at ease, and just scoring touchdowns. I feel like that's what good offensive lines do, so for us to go out there and do what we did on Friday, it kind of gave us that feeling of, "we're we're a good unit".
(On how impressive their performance vs. UCF was knowing they were short two regular contributors (Adonis Boone, Michael Gonzalez) on the line)
It's like I was saying earlier, I feel like we're a good unit. It's just, things weren't going right. The defense would make a good call vs. the play we had, or just one person was messing up on that play and it wouldn't break. But I just feel like on Friday, we just all clicked. No matter who it was that was in there, we were just all playing good, playing the way we were supposed to play. Just as a unit, we were moving the ball and doing what we're supposed to do.
(On what they need to do to carry the momentum into the Florida State game)
Last week. we were really focused. We didn't rush - it's kind of hard to say into a short week, but I feel like we just didn't rush into the game. We felt like we were prepared better as a unit, we had studied more film. I think the excitement of having a big team like that come in - not that one game is more important than the other, but we knew we needed to buckle down and get it. and I think that's what happened.
(On what they need to watch out for against FSU)
Just like every year, they're big, strong, athletic guys that play with good technique. I just think that we need to just stay after it, no matter what happens. If we go out and have a couple three-and-outs, we can't go to the sideline and get down, we just got to keep moving and keep the momentum going in our way. And I think we'll do that.
(On his play through the start of the season)
That's a tough one. I don't think I'm playing the way I need to. I expect a lot out of myself, especially being in the center. I feel like if I'm not playing good, then it's hard for the team to. I feel like the offense flows through me, being the one that sets the protections, and is the ones setting all the blocks and making the schemes work. But I feel like if I'm not playing up to the standard that I need to, then the offense lacks, and I feel like that's what's happened.
(On who spoke up to spark things offensively after the two short drives to start the UCF game)
Honestly, there wasn't really much talking outside of just normal, "hey, we got to pick it up". I don't think there was anything that changed, I think we just knew as an offense - and we've felt it all year. We've felt that we're a good offense, something's just got to click, and that's what we had said to one another. Just stay consistent, stay consistent, it's gonna happen. And that's what happened.
(On how they block out the outside noise)
We've said that we just need to stay off social media, you know what I mean? Like, you get on social media, and you see what people are saying, and you know that's not gonna help you, even if it's, "Louisville's offense is rolling right now!" That's not going to help you. "Louisville's offense is terrible right now!" That's not going to help you. Just staying off social media, and just knowing what you have. We all knew we were going to be a good offense, and it just had to happen. We just had to click. Staying off social media,. and just believing in one another, we went out there and we did it.
(On at what point during the game they felt like they had established their offensive rhythm)
Honestly, I think it was after the third drive - our first touchdown drive. We just moved the ball down the field, it felt like at will. It felt like we were moving the ball, doing what we supposed to do, everything was clicking. Any play we called up was just gaining yards, and getting towards the end zone.
I think that every team needs a little bit of a reminder. I feel like we always thought we were going to be good. In the first two games we underperformed, but then having something like that reminds you that you are going to be good, and everything's gonna be okay. All the hard work you put in, it's gonna pay off. It's just a little reminder that we just got to keep at it.
(On what he has learned from the younger guys)
It's always funny, you feel like you have everything figured out, then you have the young guys come in, and then something comes up. They do something, and you're like, "I've never went through that either. That's a learning point for me". Just to have the young guys come in and - I think it was a story of an old NFL quarterback who had been in the system for 15 years, so he'd always fill up a notebook every year. He would always write rewrite it, because he never knew if he'd miss something. It's just stuff like that. You can always learn, no matter how many years you've been there. You never want to be complacent, and I feel like that's what the young guys have taught me.
Offensive Guard/Center Bryan Hudson
(On the assessment of his play through the first three games)
I think overall, I've played pretty well. I definitely think I can improve, and do a lot of things a lot better. Kind of like the same thing Cole said, I expect a lot out of myself. There's always room to improve. I'm pretty happy with it, but it can get frustrating at times - some of the just mental mistakes, and things like that. But overall, I've think I played pretty well.
(On his experience since joining the team, and how he has adjusted)
My experience with it has been awesome. Coming out of high school, I knew that I wanted to be able to be versatile like that, and play multiple positions - even all five. Being able to do that, getting some experience with that at Virginia Tech, and through practices and even games playing other positions here, being able to go from guard to center, center to guard, right side to left, has been really good for me. I think it's worked out pretty well.
(On worked well for the offensive line against UCF)
Honestly, we improved a lot on the technique, and just focused throughout the game. We weren't thinking as much, we were kind of clicking as a unit together. Things like getting more push, and things that we saw from the first two weeks, we were able to kind of correct. Not everything, obviously, but we definitely improved in correcting some of those mistakes.
(On what the expect from the FSU defensive front)
Teams like Florida State, no matter what record they have, they're always gonna have freakish athletes. The guys up front, they're gonna be big, strong and they can move really well. We just got to focus on the film throughout the week, and be prepared for the tendencies, and the games that are going to throw at our face, and just kind of come together as a unit. Do what we've been doing, improve on last week, and just keep getting to where we want to be so we can do well against FSU.
(On what jumps out on film regarding FSU's front seven)
Well, to be honest, the first thing that jumps out is just their size. A team like Florida State, they're always going to have the size up front, the D-line especially. But other than that just, they're very active with their hands, they're quick and they're just overall good players. We just got to watch the film, and be able to come out and put our best foot forward.
(On if one position on the offensive line is more difficult than the other to play)
Three positions is the most I've played in one game, and to be honest, I've done it so much in practice just on a daily basis. If somebody needs a break, or rotating from drill to drill, or what have you - throw me and other guys around too, but even in games, I've gotten pretty comfortable with that, and have been able to kind of switch gears a little bit. I think it's been pretty well for me.
(On if the experience of the offensive line helps prepare for a strong FSU defensive line)
Absolutely. Being able to get the guys that we have with a lot of experience, and some of the young guys haven't played as much ball, them being able to see those type of athletes, and being able to see that kind of defense, and their blitzes, and things like that, I think definitely helped out a lot. It prepared us as well for this upcoming game, and also seeing the mistakes that we've made against those type of defenses, and being able to see it, slow down the game a little bit more, and be able to pick that kind of stuff up.
(Photo of Louisville, FSU Players: ACC Pool)
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