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, defensive coordinator Bryan Brown 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 conferences, as well as the videos:
Defensive Coordinator Bryan Brown
(On the play call and what he was thinking during Jaylin Alderman's game-winning pick six)
Well, first of all, once we got into huddle after the turnover (Malik Cunningham's interception) - we always try to huddle up anytime before we take the field. Somebody in the huddle said, "if they can get a turnover, we can too". I don't know exactly who said it, but somebody did. We broke the huddle, and I knew Jaylen was going in the game. The funny thing is this: I said, "hey, we got to bring pressure". I asked the coaches, you think pressure or drop? Those coaches said, "man, coach D-Nic (inside linebackers coach Derek Nicholson) has been sending pressure, so everybody said pressure. So I call pressure, but the funny thing is, the pressure that I called - at halftime, the players said, "coach, we can't call it anymore, because we're 0-for-4 vs. that call'. Now, we got to execute the call, but the formation that they were giving us in the same call we didn't execute in, it was a different formation. So I saw the formation, I was like, "man, this is going to hit if I call this". I called a pressure that nobody wanted me to call on the defensive side of the deal, and it hit. It hit at the right time, and I knew it would with the formation. The good Lord above was with us at that time. I know coach Satterfield said he wasn't supposed to be there, but actually, he's a wall two guy, and I don't think he looked at his two initially, but thank God his two came in, so he didn't have the wall, and he was actually in the right spot at the time. Once he intercepted it, I just said, "man, just go score". I was just calm, cool and collected, and while he's running, I'm continuously looking at the clock, looking down, looking at the clock and seeing him run. Once I saw him clear the quarterback, I was like, "oh man, he's taking this thing to the house". It was awesome. I was amped up for him, for the defense, as well as for the team in general. I'm just so thankful to the good Lord above that he made it. And great blocking by all those guys, man. You think about CJ Avery on the pressure, he came scot free. The guys did their job. You think about Jacques (Turner), who was a dropper - he dropped, and he actually really helped cause that interception. The receiver glanced at Jacques, and by the time he glanced back, the ball was in his arms. Thankful for Jacques doing his job, and then Yasir (Abdullah) with the freakin great hustle to be able to spring him into the end zone.
(On the health of the team following a physical game vs. UCF)
You look at the sheet that has all the guys that are injured, and that's been in the training room, it was full on that Saturday and Sunday. Then today, it may have been one or two guys on that list. That was a great thing to see. We're looking forward to going in and competing on Saturday, and giving it our all, because we're going against a great Florida State team. The record doesn't show it, but they are really good football team. We're excited about that.
(On what the win vs. UCF can do for the team's confidence heading into ACC play)
It gives you confidence anytime you win a football game, number one. I think for us, defensively, it continues to give us confidence. We played pretty well the last two weeks, couple mistakes in that game (vs. UCF). One by myself on the second play of the game. I did not see the ref sub in for 12 personnel, and I needed to get base back out there, and I kept our nickel package out there. That was on me on that first touchdown. I left (Kei'Trel Clark) out to dry that one. The the 4th and 2 play, I mean, that's a heck of a play by that kid. We should have had correct leverage, but that's a heck of a catch, the one-handed catch that made number one on SportsCenter. So that's 14 points from 35, and that team averaged 50-something points and over 600 yards of total offense per game, and we held them to 420 - which is not great at all, don't get me wrong. But it's a lot of yards under what they average, as well as points per game as well. I was really pleased. We got stops when we needed to get stops. When you're against a high powered offense like that, you got to do a good job of getting stops when you most definitely need to, and you got to try to execute to a tee, and I think we did that for the most part of that game. Just a couple plays here and there that got us. The last drive, our guys are thinking two minute drill, and our guys are not playing the run and playing their gaps, and that hurt us. About three runs in that last drive before they scored, and that hurt us. We got that corrected this week, and I think our guys understand that no matter what, understand that situations may arise. See what you see, play your keys, and do your job. The guys understand it now, and I think they have a better understanding of how to play in that two minutes scenario as well. But we're excited. I can't wait to go back out here on Saturday.
(On what he thought of the defense's overall execution vs. UCF)
I think it may have been about 85 to 87 percent that we executed each play, and that's awesome, especially going against a high powered offense like those guys, and how fast they were. Way better than the first game, as far as execution-wise goes. A couple plays, that's 14 points. You take those 14 points away, they scored 21 points in that game, and I'll take that any day against an offense like that. Our guys executed really well, and they tackled well for the most part in that game. Keeping everything in front, driving down and making tackles, getting a couple sacks here and there. We were able to get stops on third down, and that's really, really critical when you're going against an offense like that. That team averaged 80-90 plays per game, and only ran 60-something plays. That's really good. That's a testament for us, making those guys go 2-10 on third down, and get off the football field. But we got to execute a little bit better on first and second down to get them in more third down situations.
(On Jacques Turner, and the rotation at nose tackle)
I think Jacques is coming along. He's grasping at more and more each and every week, and right now he's - once he got here, he had to start at the bottom of the depth chart, and we have six noses, and now he's worked his way up to number two. That should tell you what he's doing for us right now every day in practice, and even in game execution-wise. We're excited to have him at that spot behind Dezmond Tell, who's having a phenomenal fall camp, and then of course a first couple of games. He's been pretty solid there. Yes, we would like more production by that group, some more TFLs absolutely, but for the most part, those guys are in their gaps, and they're allowing the linebackers to fit where they need. That's what we ask those guys to do. Jacques is doing a tremendous job for us right now.
(On the amount of nickel and dime they have ran so far, and when they felt comfortable being able to run so many)
The first year, we ran some a good bit on third down, but this year, we've gone to where we can play it on first and second down as well. I think it helps to be able to put more speed on the field, you're able to be a little bit more versatile. Some of the things you're able to do defensively gives the offense a different look. They have to prepare for our base package, as well as a dime package on first and second down. We can give you multiple looks out of that, and it helps us. It helped this past game, and hopefully we'll continue to be able to move it, and use it moving forward with our depth. I will say, when we recruited a lot of these guys, we wanted to be able to do some of those things on first and second down, and I think this past spring in this recruiting class, we were able to do that. You're seeing Kani Walker as a freshman playing well, even Trey Franklin starting within the first group. We have the depth right now to be able to play those six DBs on the football field, and it helps you to be able to put more speed on the field, and be able to match some personnel, and that just helps us out defensively.
(On if that speaks to the evolution of the defense from year one to year three)
Absolutely. We want to be able to get more speed on the football field, and you have to recruit that way, and I think we have, and we'll continue to do that. The portal hurt us a little bit, especially in the secondary, so hopefully with that new rule, we'll be able to replace them with some guys, if some others want to get in the portal. I think that will help us. But yes, I'm very thrilled to be able to use this package on first and second down, and hopefully it will continue to pay dividends for us in the near future.
Cornerback Greedy Vance
(On his reaction to Jaylin Alderman's game-winning pick six)
It was a really exciting moment. It was just crazy ho wit happened, knowing it was Jaylin's first time in the game, and how the opportunity came in so fast. The play came, and he made it.
(On his performance through the first three games)
I've been progressing real fast, I'm getting more comfortable and comfortable every game. The biggest thing for me is just finding the role, and my role in the team, and how to pay that to the fullest effect of this team to be successful. I have some real good leadership in front of me with Kei'Trel Clark and Chandler Jones, everything that they show me, I just take it and mix it up with things that I'm good at, and just go out and play football.
(On if his time on the field last season prepared him for this year)
Last year was a head start, I'd say. Last year, I kind of got like a little taste in my mouth of what it was like, and how fast things go. But compared from last year to this year, now I'm getting a little but more time. It's like I'm there, but then again, I'm still getting comfortable at the same time.
(On what he has seen on FSU's offense)
Just getting the ball to the best players, and letting them do whatever they do in space. Getting the ball to their best playmakers, that's the biggest thing. Just keeping their best players from making the biggest plays, that's, that's the big thing.
(On if he loves the high profile matchup vs. top tier wide receivers)
Yes sir. I never back down from anyone. Whoever is in the game, whoever is on that backside, they got to do what they have to do, and we're gonna play football.
(On if he likes the nickel and dime defensive back sets)
We have a lot of depth, also we have a lot of smart guys in our room, and we have a good relationship in our room. Those three things are a big reason why all six of us can play on the field, because you know we communicate and talk so much. I have no problems about anything, and it just goes smooth. That's why everything is so looks so good.
(On if they're prepared for both quarterbacks that FSU could play)
We know both quarterbacks' strengths and weaknesses. We know how to game plan against them, we know what we're getting out of each quarterback, we know who likes to do what. So when that time comes, we're gonna have to just lineup, just play the call, and stop them from whatever their strengths is.
(Photo of Bryan Brown, Louisville Players: John Sommers II - Special to the Courier Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC)
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