For the first time under the current staff, the Louisville Cardinals (1-3, 0-3 ACC) find themselves on a three game losing streak most recently extended from a 46-27 loss to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-2, 2-1 ACC) last Friday. Next up, Louisville faces their toughest test of the season as they are set to travel to South Bend to face the No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-0, 2-0 ACC). Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 17 at 2:30 p.m.
Prior to their upcoming matchup, offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford & offensive lineman Cam DeGeorge took time to meet with the media. They discussed the previous game against the Yellow Jackets, previewed the upcoming game against the Irish, and more.
Below is the transcript from their press conference as well as the videos:
Offensive Coordinator Dwayne Ledford
(On keeping the guys focused on the process)
You know, it's kind of what you hit on. It's really not coaching talk for us about always talking about the process. Regardless of what those outcomes are at games, or what happens during the game - we got to be about a process of going about our daily business, preparing for our team and going out there and being the best that we can be in practice. Knowing that those practice reps, all of them, are so vital for us to to make improvements. I think our guys have done a good job with that. Today it was a very spirited practice. Guys were into it, a lot of energy out there. I think our guys have handled very well with it as far as the maturity of keeping it about the process.
(On the offensive line play vs. Georgia Tech)
I thought the guys played fast. I thought they played really well and run game, but also in protections. Cam DeGeorge, we had him playing at right tackle some but also rotating in at both of the guard positions. We tried to just keep a good rotation there with keeping those guys fresh. We had a good bye week like I mentioned before. I felt that after that Pitt game, they put a lot of it on their shoulders and wanted to go out and play this next opponent and try to make corrections from the Pitt game. I thought the guys did come out and they played hard. I thought they strained. There's still things we got to clean up and continue to work on, and that's what we're doing every day.
(On his impression of Cam DeGeorge)
I've been very lucky. He's the best teammate I've ever been around. I've told that to the guys in my room and to other players and coaches on the staff. He's the best teammate I've ever been around. What I mean by that, he is so unselfish and he is all about what can he do to help. For a guy coming in as a grad transfer, just trying to feel his way to learn his role and things like that, I think he's a great teammate. He's a guy that'll jump on a grenade for you. I think he garners a lot of respect from all of his teammates.
It's a lot of experience that comes with Cam. He's got a lot of snaps underneath his belt, and I think he's playing really well. I think that his Georgia Tech game, I think he graded out the highest amongst all the linemen after the game. I thought that he played really well. And asking him to play three different positions in a game - that's that's tough on a lineman. Especially when you're playing tackle and both guards like that. I thought that he's doing extremely well. He's very valuable to us upfront. Extremely valuable.
(On if Cam DeGeorge has exceeded his expectations)
Yes he has. I think that his versatility, and what he brings to us with providing us depth and where we can get a rotation, is extremely valuable. I've told people all the time that, he started this last game against Georgia Tech, but I feel like I got six starters right now. I'm very fortunate with that and having a guy like Cam that I feel so highly about, but also is playing so well. Just the experience that he brings, like I keep saying, it's a lot. The more you can take off guys early in games - up front in the trenches, it's a lot of body blows. It's just back and forth, back and forth. You want to build a finish strong, and I think Cam allows us to do that at multiple positions up front.
(On what allows Cam DeGeorge to plat multiple positions in the same game)
Well for one he's extremely smart. He knows what's going on. He could tell you on each play what each person up front has to do on that play. That allows him to be able to do the things that he does. The second thing is his ability to do that. He's an athletic big guy. He can bend, he plays well with his hands. To be able to go out on the edge and play as a tackle shows the type of feet and the athleticism he has, and his ability to be able to change direction. I've been very impressed with him from not only his skill standpoint, but his knowledge of what we're doing up front. All the way across the board. He knows at any minute, he can go in for any position. To be able to go in and step in some pressure situations and actually execute them, that says a lot about him and his preparation.
(On his versatility)
What he did his last game, starting at tackle and playing both guards. They're in situations where it's before the half where you're trying to get a score and it's like a hurry up two minute situation where you're in some passing situations - to be in those different moments, those different situations in the game at different positions for him - that's impressive. I told Coach (Pete) Thomas after the game 'man what we asked Cam to do, that was just remarkable what he was able to do to build a to go and play all those positions that mean he snaps at different positions throughout the whole game'. I've never had a player that I've had to ask to do that, or that has done that. He's the first player I've had to play all three positions like that in a game. I was pretty impressed with it.
(On the challenge of facing Notre Dame)
I don't think there's one area that you can look at on their defense and say 'well this is a weakness'. They're very, very smart, well coached. They are where they're supposed to be, and they got great size, great length and great speed. We opened up with them last year, that was a great atmosphere we had here at home. The guys are excited to go up there to play at Notre Dame, against a top ranked team in the country right now. We looked at their roster to kind of go over their depth chart today when we introduced them to the players. They played against all these guys last year. They graduated two defensive ends they had last year, but the two guys that are playing now - they played significant reps last year and are very, very good. The guys know the challenge. They know what we got to do. We got to start fast and we got to finish strong. Walking in here to do this press conference that we're doing right now, it's on our walls. 'Start fast, finish strong. Start fast, finish strong". We're trying to make that an emphasis for the players this week on our side of the ball. That's a big part of it because if you look at it, that to me is what we got to do a better job of.
(On correcting deep ball miscues & turnovers)
Some of it is the fundamentals of each of those players that are involved in those plays, but the turnovers - that's a huge piece of it. In our three losses, we had three turnovers in each of those games. Those are valuable, valuable possessions. If you can have three extra possessions in a game, that's a lot to overcome. You got to take care of the football. That's something that you heard all the coaches out there today just stressing taking care of the ball. Making sure that we're handing it back to the officials. We're taking the taking care of the ball all the way through the play. I thought Georgia Tech did a good job of creating those turnovers, but that's something that we've got to correct and we got to fix. We're working hard at practice, not only the drills that we're doing but also emphasizing it with our scout teams trying to do a good job of stripping balls or trying to create turnovers themselves. We're trying to make these two practices that we have on Tuesday and Wednesday as much as a game like situation for us as possible.
Offensive Lineman Cam DeGeorge
(On what has time at Louisville has been like so far)
This is my fifth year of college football so I have a good understanding. Coming in here, I've just been the playbook a lot. That's been one of the biggest things. From a physical standpoint, I'm there. It's more just getting mental at this point with his with what (Coach Ledford's) expectations are. His fundamentals, techniques, get around the group of o-linemen and seeing how they click together, and trying to try to hop in and make sure nobody misses their stride.
(On playing multiple positions on the offensive line)
It's a little difficult at times, but it's nothing that I can't handle. It's fun. It's a unique challenge but it's fun to do. It's an opportunity that I've never really seen before, so I really like going out there and trying my best to fulfill the role.
(On his favorite position to play on the offensive line)
I've played three years straight a right guard & left guard, so I think I'm more comfortable at that position. But finally going out and getting some right tackle reps in a live game, that was a unique new experience for me. It was quite enjoyable. It changed up like how I see like how I played football
(On how important the bye week was after the Pitt game)
As a unit, we came together. We have some leaders on the o-line that really stepped up and said 'this is what we need to do, this is what we accomplish'. Along with Coach Ledford's guidance, we really had a solid two weeks of practice which prepared for Georgia Tech.
(On Notre Dame's defensive line)
There's some good players up front. Fundamentally, they play sound. There are some big boys, some good players that can be a fun challenge for us.
(On if there's more at stake for this game)
Every game is important. You just gotta go in, and just come up with that 'W'. That's the goal. We're preparing, and we're gonna hope to accomplish our goals.
(On if Notre Dame holds a certain mystique playing there)
I grew up watching the movie 'Rudy', so just the stigma behind Notre Dame football has historical importance and everything. It's gonna be cool and I'm excited to play in that stadium.
(On the mood around the facility after a three game loss)
We're just trying to get back at it and we're trying to prepare for the next opponent. We're trying to do our best. As an o-line, we're coming together to try to have a solid game. That's what we want to do. We want to come up and show people what we can do.
(On expectations when coming to Louisville)
My goals are what every college football player wants: to play and to win. Expectations, I kind of stepped out of my comfort zone. I'm from the northeast. I'm 1000 miles away from home, I've never really been out here - especially as far away from home at one time. I'm just taking a chance, and I just wanted to see how it rolls.
I'm enjoying myself a lot right now. I'm loving the coaching staff, love the teammates. It's been a fun experience so far.
(Photo of Marshon Ford: Hyosub Shin/AJC)
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