LOUISVILLE, Ky. - It might not have been pretty, but Louisville (1-0, 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 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, head coach Scott Satterfield took time to meet with the media. He discussed the previous game against EKU, previewed the upcoming game against the UCF, and more.
Below is the transcript from Satterfield's press conference, as well as the video:
I’ll start with a quick synopsis of the game last week. We are glad to get a win. There are certainly things that we need to get better at but just overall, certainly, glad to get a win and there's no question about that defense played well, offense, played good times still has some plays out there that we could have made, and special teams played really well, had some big plays in the team's aspect. We have another short week, and we are playing an outstanding team in Central Florida. They have had two big wins, they played well throughout the whole game last week, played really well the second half of the Boise State game. They pretty much shut Boise down in the second half defensively, and then got some things going offensively. They are a fast tempo offense with a veteran quarterback that makes a lot of plays. They have a strong running game and passing game, so they certainly put pressure on defenses, and I think defensively they are playing better this year. The defense is based out of a four-down technique, very aggressive defensive plan, man on the back end, a lot of man free coverage. Their defensive line is impressive, two transfers there up front that are that are really good players. The best player up front is probably number 22, Kalia Davis. He is about 6-2, 310 and is very quick off the ball. We know it will be a big challenge for us and another short week for us, our guys have to get fresh and ready to go for this game.
(On balance of offense)
We are game planning now, looking at different things, we obviously looked yesterday, looking back on last week, and then started looking at Central Florida this week. We want to take what the defense gives us, when they are loading up the box, we will look to throw more and vice versa. As we look through the game plan, we will check it out and adjust what we need to do.
(On adjustments this week for Central Florida’s pace of play)
We learned a lot in the Ole Miss game. They (Ole Miss) did not go as fast as they probably could have, there were a lot of times in the Ole Miss game, where they would look back toward the sideline, but as you look at Central Florida, they move really fast and are not worried about trying to get the best play like some teams, they run fast plays and hope to catch the defense not lined up. Hopefully we learned some things to do good and correct for the Ole Miss game. As far as practice goes, we will have one big workday this week, which will be tomorrow for us, again with this short week, our guys haven’t had a day off, since we started practice at the beginning of Ole Miss prep, so today will be light for us and then basically one big workday tomorrow, where we will go tempo against our defense for that day with our scout teams.
(On Josh Johnson)
“He is the man. He's a great person. I love being around him very positive guy, particularly with having the kind of injuries that he's had and to come back from it. He has been living in a training room and just keeps working hard. I am really happy for him. He's been very consistent. He knows what to do, he knows every position at wide receiver, he catches the football well, has a great sense of spatial awareness. You know not about the fastest guy which probably has held him back a little bit, but he does everything else, which is why I think that's he’s been the most consistent in the receiver room.”
(Commitment to running the ball on second and long)
“I think, some of it is we're just trying to get half of that yardage back to make it third and medium or third and short. Some of it is kind of what we're saying, you know, I went back and look on second and five, plus, we're 60 percent run and 40 percent pass. As you look on first down, we're about 50% on pass and run, we try to go back and look and see what we're doing all these downs and down to distances and then trying to make it look balanced to the opposing team. There’s just a lot that goes into what I mean, it's not just second and long let’s throw the football, that's not what we do, and I've never have done it that way. A lot of it is just trying to get half of it back and we think we got a positive play here, and the other night, we're just also trying to work on some things too, we're trying to get our running game going, trying to find some ways to pop a good run and sometimes if they're thinking pass, then you can get a good run. I mean a good example starting 11 Ole Miss the very first time and we're in the queue draw and we pick up 12 yards to get a first down. It's sometimes thinking what they're thinking and trying to do the opposite there’s just a lot a lot of different ways. I mean, with that, I think play calling is it's always funny to me because play calling everybody's a critic after the play, the play works as a great call and if it didn't work why do we call that and even my mom questions that so. We are trying to design all these places to work, and we wanted to get big plays and first downs and touchdowns, and it doesn't always happen that way.”
(On offense converting on third down)
“On the first one that we didn't get on third and two, we had two tight ends, he should have hit it more front side and we ended up banging it back but the linebackers were playing off. We hit it front side and we get a first down, so some of that is just experience I think in the backfield with our guys and some of it is it is the blocking up front but sometimes it's a combination. We got to be able to read that in short yardage because they do most of the time pinch and scrape backers and so you got to find out what your align is and get behind those guys and I think we did. We’ve got to learn from that and do a better job with that it’s no question.”
(On running against UCF’s defense)
“They’re a really good run defense and I think they do that with how aggressive they are up front. We got to find ways to do it and that's what we're doing now in game planning, finding the ways where we can try to get some edges and to be able to get some pops from runs in there. There may be something that you do different on that as well, if they're all stacked in the box and we got to do something outside so a lot of it is just kind of going where they're not mentality, but we’ve got to figure out a way to stay on the field, keep sustaining drives, keep their offense off the field and then we got to get down there and score touchdowns.”
(On blocking for offense)
“Yeah, I mean, I think it all would just do a lot. I think the tight ends were involved on some of those that I thought the o-line had it blocked pretty well and then we got stuffed at the tight end position a couple of different times with that on the edges and that would have really sprung the play to be some better plays. We got caught in pressures on a couple of them and we were running outside and got caught in pressures that were coming from that side, we got to get out of those plays that happened I think twice and all those plays are precious, I don't want to run a bad play, I don't want to play into a pressure that's not a good play so we got to get out of those plays. That’s on us as coaches and it's not all the o-lines fault with that I went back and I just watched all our outside zones for the first two games and there's a lot of good plays there and we got to get better with it but there were some good plays as well. What we haven't had this year is the big breakout run, the run that goes for 50 or 60 and that's what we got to get. I think sometimes that happens from perimeter blocking with the wide receivers getting on their guys, twice in the Ole Miss game where if we were on our safety, we got guys there going for 40 or 50 yards and we didn’t. We got to get better at that. It's all of us, it's not just one position. I mean, I think it's all the groups working together in doing their assignment.”
(On defense’s improvement)
“I will say it was good to see much better with their eye control didn't have nearly as many missed assignments as the last game and better tackling. I thought Kei’Trel Clark played an outstanding game, two interceptions and had some great tackles. We were much more aggressive on the outside; I didn't notice the spot throws in the perimeter throws our guys were really much more aggressive with that. We are going to see it again this week, so they're going to have to pull their triggers and go make those plays. We still could probably get a little bit tighter, with some of the safety coverages, we were still a little bit loose on those. It's great to have Monty Montgomery back out there, I thought he played a good game. The quarterback was getting rid of the football fast. I think we had one sack in the game, but they were getting rid of it in less than two seconds and that ball is gone so it's kind of hard to get back there but much better play by our defense.”
(On evaluating the defensive line against high-tempo offenses)
“It makes it hard. There's not a ton of drop back. With these tempo spread teams, part of their offense is throwing the bubbles, the spots on the outside, and getting it outside. It's like in old days, it was a tall sweep, get the ball on the perimeter and let's see those guys get some blocks. It does frustrate the D-line at times not being able to get to the quarterback. We have to get them in some long yardage situations, where they will do true drop backs so we can get pressure on the quarterback. That's when you really can evaluate and see where the D-line is at. Ashton Gillotte had a good game. I think he's been the most consistent D-lineman that we've had so far in the first two weeks, and I think he'll continue to get better and better. He's got a really bright future.”
(On Ahmari Huggins-Bruce dropping the ball before the endzone)
“Obviously he was disappointed and hurt. He was excited, I guess, when he was running 97 yards. You just have to finish the play. you know. I think he will bounce back from that for sure and grow and learn from that. It's very unfortunate. I've never had that happen to a player in all my years of coaching. I've seen it happen before to other teams; I've seen NFL guys do it. He's a good player. He's continued to learn and gain experience. I thought he played a lot faster in this game compared to the Ole Miss game. He'll catch the football and he's got great speed. He's a playmaker. We have to continue to find ways to get him the ball while he's still learning about our offense and learning what to do within the offense.”
(On the trouble reading defensive pressure, if it is pre-snap recognition or communication from the sideline)
“It's a little bit of both. One of the times, we saw it early and we didn't get out of the play. That's on us, we didn't do it and we just stayed with it. The next one, happened right before the snap. It was in the red zone, there were safeties back and they start creeping right before the snap of the football. That happens on the run and that's why we have to be better up front. They still have to have their eyes up and they have to communicate all in about a second right there, but we need to be able to do that. As coaches, we need to help them out too. If we can see it, recognize it beforehand, then we can get out of the play and go to the next one. So, it's a little bit of both and something we need to get better at.”
(On the wide receiver group)
“It's still a work in progress. The good news is a lot of these guys have made plays. The one we struggle the most getting the ball to Tyler Harrell. That's the one that we'd like to be able to find ways to get the ball to, and I think we had five targets last week, but we didn't connect on any. I think (Jordan) Watkins is obviously solid, Braden Smith is very solid, I think JJ (Josh Johnson) is very solid, I think Justin Marshall is very solid and Marshon Ford is a great target. We have our nucleus that we're going to get the ball to for sure.”
(On if the condensed start to the season impacts player development)
“It's all of it. Each time you go on the field you have to get better. You really recognize, though, when you're playing in the games because things stand out a lot more. We're not out there on the field as coaches, the guys are. They have to recognize and see what's getting presented to them and how they're going to react to it. We learn a lot from the games, there's no question about it. We try to simulate as much as we can in practice and get some of that stuff going, but sometimes it's difficult. Every week we try to go good on well so we can see if anything is going to rise within that. I think it's a little bit of both and, again, guys have to continue to grow and learn from what they've been doing and get better with it.”
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