LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Coming off of a much-needed bye week, Louisville (3-3, 1-2 ACC) will be looking to get back in the right direction after back-to-back heartbreaking losses - most recently at home vs. Virginia.
Next up, the Cardinals will be back at home in Cardinal Stadium to host Boston College (4-2, 0-2 ACC) - who is also looking to snap a two-game skid. Kickoff against the Eagles is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23 at 4:00 p.m. EST.
Prior to their upcoming matchup, head coach Scott Satterfield took time to meet with the media. He discussed the previous game against Virginia as well as the bye week, previewed the upcoming game against Boston College, and more.
Below is the transcript from Satterfield's press conference, as well as the video:
"We're back at it again after a bye week last week. We took a good job last week of getting some guys and trying to get them healed up. A lot of those guys are back, which is good, got a little bit of rest. We practices three days last week: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and then came back Sunday and had a good practice, very spirited practice. It's good to see the guy's back. We went and did some recruiting last week on Monday and Friday as coaches, which was good. I felt like we were gone about a month, and really it was only a day or two. It was good to get back and get around our guys. They were flying around Sunday. We did a little bit of a longer practice on Sunday than we normally do - what we've been doing of a bye week - to get ready for this BC team. I watched that game (NC State-Boston College) live Saturday night, good football game, two good teams, and actually our next two opponents. I think (Head) Coach (Jeff) Hafley has done a really good job there, him and his staff. Their kids play hard at BC, they know what they want to do. They're running football team, they want to establish that - several backs. They do a great job running the football. They lost their starting quarterback (Phil Jurkovec) early in the season, and now it's the next one up (Dennis Grosel), and he's played a lot. Their quarterback played against us last year and had a good game against us. He can do a little bit of both, he can run, he can throw, but they want to be balanced, I think they are trying to run the ball more now. Zay Flowers is a big play threat guy. He’s a good receiver on the outside, they want to take shots with him for sure. You can double him, but he can still run by you, so you better be on point when you try to cover him. I think defensively, they have a very solid defense. They keep everything in front of them. They are a one-high team and are playing a lot of man this year. During the Clemson game this year, they manned them up throughout the whole game. Their d-line gets after it, and they play hard. They have a couple transfers that came in and are making plays for them. They are only giving up 329 yards per game, so a very solid defense. They make you make plays; they’re not going to give you anything and I think that’s the mark of a good defense. They’re 4-2 coming in here, we know we’re going to get a good football team. We’ve had back-to-back heartbreak losses so we’re looking to bounce back and get a win in a very competitive league, so obviously a big game for us. We’re looking forward to it, we’re looking forward to getting back out there and playing after this bye week.”
(On if the team got healthier this week and resting players)
“Yeah, we did. We gave some of the guys, Marshon Ford was one for example, he didn't really do much last week. We did a little bit more with some of the older guys and guys that have been getting a ton of reps, letting them get some breaks. They need it, their bodies need it. A lot of the young guys got more opportunity as we went, guys that are redshirting this year or guys that have played limited snaps, we got them a lot more work this week and then also scrimmaged them 15 minutes at the end of all three practices which was good. We know these last six games there is going to be some more guys that haven't played as much in the beginning that are going to be playing more. Even though we’ve played a lot of young players this year, we'll still play some of those guys. Ashton (Gillotte) is another one that really didn't get much work last week, we let him take the whole week off came. He came back Sunday and worked some yesterday. CJ Avery didn't go as much. (Kenderick) Duncan, Quinterio Cole, those guys have been getting a ton of reps. Those safeties have basically gotten every rep these first six games but hopefully they're rejuvenated and ready to come back and have a great second half of the season.”
(On the next few opponents being totally different and how you prepare for that)
“It is, it’s different dynamics of football teams. I think that's why it's different from one week to the next because it's matchups. It's how this team matches up with another team and Boston College is a completely different team than a Virginia team who's going to throw the ball 60 times and do a great job with that. This team is going to lineup, they have a really good offensive line and they're going to try to run the football right down your throat, so you better have a plan for that. I think it just comes back down to what team are we getting ready to play, what are their strengths and how are we going to counteract those strengths. We have to be able to stop the run this week and so we have to have a good plan for that, whereas last week those guys were going five wide, spreading everybody out and we had to figure out how we were going to defend the pass which tough. So, we have to do a much better job with that and get the ball back to the offense. When you think defensively, this team is a tougher defense than what we're facing in Virginia and Wake Forest even though Wake Forest's defense is pretty solid. I think offensively, we've been able to move the football. Where we've lacked in offense, our third downs have not been good this year for whatever reason. I feel like it should be but for whatever reason third downs have not been good. Overall, offensively we've been able to move the football and score points, we just need to score a little bit more. As you look at the matchups, I think that's probably the biggest thing, but obviously you have to get a great game plan for what the strengths are to counteract for these next six games.”
(On Boston College Quarterback Dennis Grosel)
“I don't think it's anything different, I think he's a good football player. Last year, he was 14 for 18 throwing against at BC, and I think he's a feisty player, he's a winner. He does everything pretty good, nothing bad. Sometimes you think he doesn't run as well, but he gets out and go get some yards running the football and then, you think he's more of a runner than a passer but then he sits there and makes those throws too. I think he's a good football player. He fits perfectly for what they want to do offensively; run the football, take care of the ball, keep pressure on the defense and take shots and I think he does a good job with that. He was very good last year when we went to that game, and he proved to be. It all starts with them running the ball, so you have to find a way to make it hard on them to run the football, and then that plays more into our hands.”
(On mixing up the defense and figuring out the best way to stop the run)
“Obviously, we have. We're trying to mix it up, we're trying to do a little bit of a lot of different things. Do you bring more pressure, or do you drop more off, do you play more coverage, all those things. Do we need to play more man and tighten up the coverage compared to some zone stuff. Looking at personnel, do you need to put more DBS on the field when those passing scenarios are happening or more rush guys so you can go get the quarterback and make the ball come out of his hands. All those things, you're looking back and looking at all those things and deciding what we can do that's a little bit different. Now we're playing a Boston College team that's going to play with some tight ends and pack everybody in which is completely different than Ole Miss, Central Florida and Virginia. It's a different offense. Those things you with the pass teams is going to be different this week so you can't do those, so now there's another issue because we have a team that's going to pack everything inside. So, do we need more big guys in to stop the run. You have to look at all those things and we've started to look at those things defensively to try to figure out putting the best players in the best positions to make plays and then scheme wise, what is going to give us the best chance to stop teams. We've started to look at all those and hopefully we've come up with a better plan to go out there and slow down these offenses.
(On making changes in the bye week)
There are several things that as coaches you go back and watch to figure out what you want to do differently. I think that bringing pressure was the one thing we should have done more looking back to last week, instead of sitting back with the Virginia quarterback because if you give him time, it does not matter how many guys you drop into coverage, he is going to find somebody. He had great poise and was able to find those windows. If you do bring pressure, then the ball has to come out of his hand. It may be a one-on-one matchup and our guys now have to make the play in space because if you miss a tackle or are out of position it is going to be a big play, but that is the chance that we have to take and that is rolling the dice. I think that we have to be able to do that to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands; or if it is cover-two and the safety is not getting off the hash wide enough and the offense hits one of these balls on the sideline. We got to do a better job with getting wider to where the offense can’t hit those balls on the sideline. I think in the Virginia game and Wake (Forest) game that we gave those plays up several times, so we got to do a better job with that. It is a little bit of everything. The coaches have to do a better job of getting the players in a position to make plays and the players got to do a better job when they're in that position to make the play. It is a little bit of everything, but I think you give up whatever we gave up last week, there is enough blame to go all the way around.
(On retiring Lamar’s Jackson jersey)
When Lamar (Jackson) left here, I wasn’t here yet but everyone understood that he was one of the best players to have ever played here and probably one of the best players to ever play college football. He was that good. He was a generational player. You do not run across those types of players anymore. He is a guy who have changed the game. There are not many players that have changed the game of football, even at the NFL level, and he has been that guy. The knock on him coming out was that he can’t throw the ball well, and two weeks ago, I mean he was incredible passing and I stayed up and watched that game. I mean there is nothing that he can’t do. It is huge for this program to be able to do that, usually a guy is walking with a cane by the time they retire the number. I am glad that we did it now because it is going to happen so let it happen now where he can enjoy it and really relish in it. He is going to come back here toward the end of the season, which it will be awesome to get him back here. There is not anybody that does not love Lamar Jackson, everybody loves him here, and loves what he did for this program and what he continues to do for this program. There is not a recruit where we do not mention Lamar because you would be crazy not to and because everybody believes that they are going the next Lamar at their position. Lamar is the kind of player where I have seen quotes from players that didn't even play quarterback and they are like, “That’s my guy, Lamar Jackson.”, so what an honor to get your number retired like that and to forever be known as Lamar Jackson, Number 8. It is a cool, I mean Tyler Harrell has already come to me say I need to switch my number real quick. What a great honor man so pumped for Lamar and his family. Forever he is going to be known as one of the greatest in college football.
(On what recent results do for players)
It is not only four points. It is 18 seconds and 22 seconds, so it is tough. It was really hard, but like I told our guys when we met with the leadership group, it doesn't matter if you're sitting here five at one and undefeated in the league doesn't change anything for this week. The way that we approach this week has to be the same; our focus is on Boston College and what we can do to continue to get better as a football team. Our guys are having fun like I was “I am having the most fun that I have ever had in my career”. I mean you Tabarius Peterson has been here forever, and he told me this last week had been the most fun he has ever had preparing and practicing hard, getting after it and going out and have fun in the games. I told him that that energy gives us a chance and that we have to figure out how to make one more play here and there to be able to win these games, but I do know that our football team has to continue to get better and better. I thought that we did throughout the first three to four games. We got to continue to grow as a team and gain that confidence to where we get toward the end of the game and our guys know that we are going to make those plays in order to win. It is such a fine line between winning and losing, so making those close plays throughout the season and throughout the course of the game, but I know that our guys want to keep having fun and keep preparing in a way that gives our team a chance.
(On Tyler Harrell gaining confidence)
“I was just talking to him Sunday at practice and he's excited, he's fired up. He's gotten a lot more confident, throughout the whole season. I think early on in the first couple of games a little frustration because we couldn't really get him involved and couldn't find ways and it’s not like we weren't calling his number, we were trying to get the ball to him, and it just didn't work out for one reason or another. The defense knows to put guys on him and when you’re able to get him the ball in space, I mean we've seen it, he can fly. So, how can we do that and what ways can we get him matched up and get him the ball? He's excited about the opportunity, a chance to go out there and try to make plays. I've seen it every each and every week, he's working really hard in practice, he's catching the ball better, he's running better routes and he’s certainly a big play guy and we got to get him the ball. The thing about it is, we've got a lot of guys that we've spread the ball out to, we’ve got four guys that have over 250 yards receiving. That's a good thing, because now the defense can't just single in on one guy, but we know guys can make plays before Jordan (Watkins), Tyler (Harrell), Amari (Huggins-Bruce) so we’ve got a lot of guys making plays and we’ve got to continue to expand on that because they can break the game open with their big plays.”
(On Josh Minkins getting more reps)
“I just can't speak on any of those guys, I know they're going to be guys that are going to rise up and end up making plays for us. Josh (Minkins) is one player that comes to mind at safety we'd like to get him on the field, he hasn’t played much but of course he had the injury, coming off that at the beginning of the year. He's been available, he's practiced hard the last two weeks. I just think we got to get him in there and we’ve just got to play him. He lacks the experience, but he can run he can jump and the way he's been practicing, I feel very confident he'll go out there and make plays for us. It also takes a little bit off the other guys the other two safeties, so we’ve got to get him in and let him make plays. I think he's probably the one that comes to mind and when you talk about a player that really hasn’t played this year, but I think he'll be one that continues to elevate and get a lot more reps.”
(On finding ways to make big plays)
I think we're always looking for ways to make plays. I think one of the things we did last week, we took the shot to Tyler (Harrell), I think we were up 10 and we took a shot on that. It’s a risk reward obviously if you hit that play, you're down the field, if you don't, now it’s second and 10.
We ran a sprint out, the second to last drive as well to try to get the ball on the perimeter and get Malik (Cunningham) into run pass option plays. I think Virginia did a better job the teams as far as trying to contain Malik (Cunningham), he’s rushed for 100 yards last two times against them. I think that's why we had success with the running back or we did a good job rushing with the running backs, so I think when teams are really trying to contain him, other guys have to make plays and that's what Hassan (Hall) was able to do last week to make some of those big runs. It was a big play when Hassan (Hall) broke off the 50 yard run and if one guy didn’t make the tackle he scores right there and we win the game. I think there's other guys that can make plays but we don't need to pull back, we need to keep being aggressive and keep trying to make plays, but just because we've turned to hand the ball off that mean we're not trying to still be aggressive. I think Hassan (Hall) proved that with some really big runs in that game and we felt we can continue to do that.”
(Update on Jawhar Jordan)
“He's back and he's been practicing, he got cleared last week, so he's another guy but you can only put 11 out there on the field.”
(On wide receivers and running backs playing by committee)
“We thought coming into the season, how everybody talked about losing Javian Hawkins, Dez Fitzpatrick and Tutu Atwell and who's going to replace all those guys. We felt that it’s going to be by committee and it's kind of been that way at running back, we've played four or five different running backs, we talked about these receivers catching the balls out here, we knew Marshon (Ford) was going to be an impact player for us. I think the way we decide is we practice with a plan to say ‘look we’ve got to get the ball in the hands of these guys right here and everybody else can get the ball off of that’ We feel really good about our guys I think those guys are making plays, I feel really good about our top receivers, our running backs Jalen (Mitchell) Hassan (Hall) showed up last week which was awesome, Trevion (Cooley) is a guy we feel like can break it and could have a game like Hassan (Hall) did. He's that kind of player and catches the ball out of the backfield as well, he's still growing, he's still learning experience and all that stuff. I feel like Amari (Huggins-Bruce) is the same way, he’s a young player that’s still learning and growing. I think he has a huge upside to continue to get better and better, even though Tyler (Harrell) has been here for a while now, he's still young but he’s getting better. Jordan (Watkins) is young, he’s still a freshman, there's a lot of young guys I still feel like a lot of their best games of ahead of them and that they are going to continue to get make more plays and hopefully they'll continue to grow as we head into the last six games of the season.”
(On Hassan Hall’s performance against Virginia)
Well, I think the last couple of games, he has not been healthy, he started feeling better last week prior to that game. We rotate those backs and we put them in and we had a tempo play on the first one where he shot out of a cannon when he scored that touchdown. I think that just gave him some confidence and then throughout the game, he was making plays, he was running hard and watching film this week he had a couple of nice runs against Boston College last year and when we played those guys and he’s certainly got it in him when he’s healthy, he’s good to go. He practiced well Sunday, so he's a big play guy but he’s got to be feeling good and healthy and he is right now, so we'll see. We’ve got confidence in Jalen (Mitchell), Trevion (Cooley) and Hassan (Hall) these guys have been making plays but we're looking forward to seeing if these guys can have some big runs against a very stingy Boston College defense.”
(Photo of Scott Satterfield: Reinhold Matay - USA TODAY Sports)
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