LOUISVILLE, Ky. - It might not have been pretty, but Louisville (1-1, 0-0 ACC) was able to crack the win column for the first time this season, overcoming a slow start to take down Eastern Kentucky (1-1, 0-0 ASUN), 30-3, in their home opener.
Next up, the Cardinals will play under the lights of Cardinal Stadium, and welcome UCF (2-0, 0-0 American) for a primetime matchup. Kickoff against the Knights is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Prior to their upcoming matchup, defensive coordinator Bryan Brown took time to meet with the media. They discussed the previous game against EKU, previewed the upcoming game against the UCF, and more.
Below is the transcript from Brown's press conference, as well as the video:
(On what they learned from the Old Miss film that can help them against UCF)
I think the first and foremost thing, is that our guys understand now that they can't try to see too much. They got to make sure they get all 11 cleats in the ground in order for us to execute, and see when we're supposed to see. Not try to see every swinging thing that's on the football field. I think that's what's going to help us this coming weekend, and the guys understand. We preached and preached going into the Ole Miss game, but I think once you get into the game type environment, reality sets in. We got to get the call, we got to see what we're supposed to see immediately, and just line up and play. I think that's going to help us right there, going from game one to game number three. I think we made strides in that last week, even with EKU trying to go fast a couple of times. That helped us.
(On trying to focus on the offense during pre snap)
That's the biggest thing right there. Our guys, they're really sharp kids, and we give them tips and reminders and things. 'Hey, in this certain formation, these are some of the things they like'. I think in that first game, they tried to see every formation, every key, they're looking at motions when they're not supposed to look at motions, they're looking at zone read concepts when they'r should be looking at the number two receiver - that's when (Matt Corral) was hitting the pop pass on us. We just got to do our job and execute. We did a better job with that this past Saturday, and hopefully we can continue that, and be a lot better from game two to game three coming Friday night.
(On QB Dillon Gabriel, and how facing Ole Miss QB Matt Corral can prepare them for UCF)
Well, number one, Matt's a Heisman Trophy candidate. I mean, that that kid is - he's unbelievable. He may be one of the best I've gone against personally since I've been coaching. He knew where to go with the ball immediately once he saw what he needed to see. Quick release, and he was on point with every single ball, besides the ones we batted. He's no doubt an NFL quarterback.
I think Dillon is similar to a certain extent, and Dillon is a veteran quarterback that's seen a lot, very poised in the pocket, he does scramble to throw the football as well, and he will pull the football down and run - just like Matt will. There are a lot of similarities within it. I think the scheme's a little bit similar, but not necessarily so, because coach (Gus) Malzahn, he most definitely wanted to run the football first, then throwing the football. Dillon poses a great threat. He'll be another good quarterback we face, the first two out of three games, You think about Ole Miss' offense right now, I think they're number four in the country, in the UCF offense we're going against is the number two of the country. It's a great challenge that we look forward to.
(On the performances of defensive ends YaYa Diaby and Ashton Gillotte)
I think with YaYa, we hardly ever talk about - we try not to talk about injuries. Leading up into that first game, he was dealing with a lot of back issues. Having stood out a little bit practice wise, and dealing with some things as far as hydration goes as well. Going into that first game, he had some real back issues that he was dealing with. I think right now, he's getting back to shape and form, to where you know he can be as dominant force as what we were hoping for him to be in that first game. But I think it's just health-wise with him early on, and I think he's back to where he needs to be. But he's gonna be fine, and we look forward to big things for him.
Ashton, he's performing above our expectations. Doing really, really well. He was probably one of the bright spots in that Ole Miss game up front, did a great job for us, and of course got a sack this past week. He wants to do everything that you ask him to do, and do it to the best of his ability, and do it exactly the way you want it to be done. We're excited to have him, and I hope we can continue to have him for the next three years, and him not try to leave early.
(On if Kei'Trel Clark played the most physical game he's ever played vs. EKU, and if they have cleaned up the missed tackles from the Ole Miss game after playing to not give up the big play and allowing plays underneath)
I'll start with the second part of the question. We didn't want to give up the big play. Looking at their film the previous year, that's the one thing that they wanted. Almost every single play was was a deep shot. That's one thing we practiced a lot, was not giving up the big play, letting them have some things underneath. But when you let them have things underneath, you got to tackle, and those are some of the big plays we had. Some of the eye control things we had in the back end, we're doing other people's job, as opposed to our own. I think we've most definitely learned from that. Ole Miss ended up doing some things, where they wanted to use a little bit more wide receiver splits than what we saw on the film, and that causes little problems there. They had a lot of things underneath. Talking to those guys, that's some of the things they told me that they wanted to do, because they knew we wouldn't want to give up the big shot, and that's something that they struggled with last year was drop eight. They did a lot of research in trying to figure out what was the best way to attack drop eight. I thought they did a really good job, and we just didn't execute as well.
Clark on the other hand, I think that's probably one of the most physical games he's played. He was on point, and he was even on point for the Ole Miss game. The times they came his way, he was right there making plays, and even on tackles. I don't think he had a missed tackle in the Ole Miss game. I think he's just locked in right now, man, he's on a mission. I think he's on a mission to be one of the best corners in the country, and hopefully we can continue that this coming weekend.
(On the challenge of facing running back Isaiah Bowser with Louisville's current D-line struggles)
I don't think we're struggling a little bit right now in the run game, I think we did a pretty good job this past week stopping the run. I think that first game, like I said, they were just - 'backers fit in wrong gaps and things of that nature. I thought the D-line did okay, just not getting pressure on the quarterback, number one.
But Bowser, man, he's a big kid that can freakin' run down hill. He does a really good job in their zone schemes, and even some of that counter and power things. He's a veteran guy that came from Northwestern, has played a lot of football. He knows how to read defenses, and how to read the D-line on certain schemes. He's a veteran guy that's downhill, that I think fits exactly what Coach Malzahn wants to do offensively, especially with some of the backs he's had in the past in this offense. He's a really good back, that poses problems for any defense that they play.
(Photo of Bryan Brown via University of Louisville Athletics)
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