What Head Coach Scott Satterfield & Louisville Players Said After 48-16 Win vs. Florida State

MatthewMcGavic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville secured their first conference victory of the season, winning 48-16 over the Florida State Seminoles to snap a four-game losing streak

Here's what Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield, quarterback Malik Cunningham, running back Javian Hawkins, wide receiver Tutu Atwell and inside linebacker CJ Avery had to say following the win:

Louisville Head Coach Scott Satterfield:

(Opening Statement)

“First of all, I'm really proud of our guys. The way they went out and played today. We've been getting a lot better in the last few weeks, and that's what we've been talking about throughout the week and how we prepare on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, every day of the week. That's what matters. You surrender the outcome. We started doing that last week at Notre Dame and our guys played all the way to the end and just came up a little bit short. We told them last night and in the Friday night meeting that we thought we had a great opportunity today to explode as a football team. You could just feel it throughout the last few weeks and, and you had to believe that. Our guys came out today right from the start. I thought defensively that we gave up a touchdown drive but after that, we settled in and played very, very well throughout the rest of the day. I thought offensively, a lot of big plays, which was kind of what we were accustomed to last year. For whatever reason this year, they haven't been doing that and they were dialed in today. I thought (Malik) Cunningham played well. Tutu (Atwell) got loose and (Javian) Hawkins got loose. It was fun watching those guys make those kinds of plays. It's fun to see our guys close it out in the second half. Even right there at the end. I just think you fight all the way to the end and no matter what the score is. When they had the ball down there, we muffed a punt, and essentially the game's over. They get four opportunities inside the 10 and we hold them out. That's huge. I love that. And that's the mark of really good football teams. We have to continue to get better. We're not anywhere near where we need to be, but I can tell you when you go in a locker room after the win. It's a lot more fun than what's been happening the last few weeks.”

(How important was to get the big play back in your offense?)

“Extremely important, obviously for many reasons. It keeps your offense rolling, you get momentum. You obviously get points on the board, and that's what we have to do. We have so many of these guys that can make that those types of plays happen. Sometimes the play is not exactly drawn up the way you want it to, but guys make it. Like the Hawkins run, we ended up reversing field and went for a 70-yard touchdown. That's a great play by Hawkins. He got a good block by Cunningham on that play. It's such an essential part of this offense, because we do want to run the ball but we know when we call the shots downfield, we’ve got to connect on those in order to make the whole thing go, and that's what we're able to do.”

(Talking Tutu’s big play and when the big play comes early and opens the floodgates to cause more big plays?)

“Well it does, but it also gives you confidence. It really gives everybody confidence. You can just feel the sidelines erupt really in all phases. Because that's what we are accustomed to seeing. That's what we have to see and I think that was on second-and-23 or second-and-24 on that big play. Tutu just outran them and it was a really good throw by Malik. We've been missing that connection with the deep ball for several games this year. That's what we had to get back to be able to make. We had several more throughout the day today that we didn't connect on all of them. We had several that we probably could have scored on but that was good to see that on that particular one.”

(What were your thoughts on how the defense played after giving up a score on their opening drive?)

“I think they made three third down conversions on that particular drive. When they went down and scored and, we're right there. We had the quarterback in the backfield at least two times maybe three times and he scrambles out and gets the first down. So what it says is that we have guys there they got to be able to make those plays, but we didn't make them. They went and scored, but what was awesome about that is that we responded. And we went down to score seven points within, I think, three plays maybe and got that score tied right back up. Now our defense can go back and recalibrate what we're doing, and get back out on the field. They played great from that point forward… several batted balls. They were passing the football 14-for-41 throwing the football, but it was a lot of contested throws out there. A lot of balls that were knocked down, probably at least three balls that should have been intercepted. I told our guys we're going to pull the jugs machine out and let the DB's work on catching balls. We have to get those balls, when they're hung in the air like that, but a great job by our defense after that first drive.”

(About Javian’s reverse play and scoring a touchdown)

“Well a lot of that is God-given ability. On that play they got penetration on the right side. They blitzed on the backside, but the blitzer was not up the field, he was tight to the line of scrimmage. He kind of gets bounced back toward the middle to the line of scrimmage and with his vision on the left side. He kind of saw where he could bounce that out and he was able to bounce all the way around and take it all the way to the endzone. But he just has a lot of God-given ability. He can run fast and he’s tough and strong. You usually don’t like to see that out of your running backs where you bounce back in the backfield and for the most part, he doesn’t do that. He does a good job sticking down and getting his head up in there, but it was nice to see the big plays and you have a lot more flexibility when you take it 70 yards at the back end.

(About being more consistent this game with moving the ball)

“I thought it all started up front. I thought our offensive line did a tremendous job, they are really big across the front, 6’7,6’5, 6’5, 6’5 and they are all close to 300 pounds. We wanted to get them running and we didn't think we could just line up and push them off the ball, so we had a lot of good plays out on the perimeter, out on the edge within our running game so that kept us on track. I don’t know if we had a ton of lost yardage plays today - I don’t think we did, but much better than what we have done. But I think it starts up front, they created some good holes and then I think Malik was very consistent in the pass game in the first half. What did he have, one incompletion maybe? So that keeps you on track. When you are able to keep on track like that, now you’re able to dial up the next play. It’s a lot harder to call second and 12 or third and 14. But if you’re second and two… it’s a lot easier.”

(About the win, what does it do for the team’s confidence)

“I think it does a lot. Even last week our guys were confident coming out. I know it was a loss, but our guys played well. We were in that game and we were right there. The Pitt game we were in that game, we only lost by 3. But you need a game like this to kind of get you over the hump to say, ‘hey listen, all the hard work you are putting in and the things you are doing consistently, daily, it doesn’t guarantee you a win but it gives you a chance. And that’s what we are telling them. Today, when it all clicks, you get a big win and this will just propel us into next week. We have to have the best Sunday that we’ve had this year… You have to just continue to get better every single day and if you don’t then you’re sliding and not doing good. We don’t worry about the outcomes on game day, we have Virginia Tech next week, they’re great football team, but we have to put together another great week of practice and everybody has to be focused and stay consistent. That will give us a great chance when we go play them next Saturday. So that’s all we have to focus on and not worry about the rest of the stuff.”

(About struggling the past couple weeks, was this a sense of relief this week?)

“Yeah, you could call it relief. It’s good when those plays hit, because our guys work so hard and our coaching staff works really, really hard as well. We are here all the time… and when you put all that time and effort into it you want the plays to work on game day. You get frustrated sometimes when it’s just not clicking whether it be offense, defense or kicking game. Same thing with the players, all the time and effort they are putting into it, they want to see all the fruits of their labor on game day. When our guys go out and make plays and I see them flying around and having fun and I see them dancing in the locker room it makes all the hard work worthwhile. We certainly were welcoming all of the big plays today and that win.”

(Was that the offense you expected to see consistently this year?)

“Absolutely. This is what we expect, we rushed for 291 yards and threw for 278 - that’s a great balance. In the game we were 5-for-9 on third down, which is tremendous. We were 6-for-6 on red zone scores and out of the offense we didn't turn the football over. This was a very efficient day offensively, big plays in the running game and passing game. It was a great day. And that’s what we want to see from our guys and hopefully we will build off of this and we will continue to move forward with that next week.”

Quarterback Malik Cunningham

(On the long run by Javian Hawkins)

“I know that Hawkins is a very smart and intelligent runner. I know if he doesn’t see stuff on the front side, he is going to take a look at that backside. It was a good job me on just carrying out my fake and being able to get in front of that guy, then Hawkins was off to the races after that.”

(On feeling a weight lifted on offense)

“On the sideline, we were telling each other, ‘this is us.’ That’s how we should’ve been playing the whole year. We started off fast and I give my credit to the o-line like I always do. They did a phenomenal job in run-blocking and pass-blocking. The receivers made some good plays on the edge, Marshon did too. It just felt very good to have that kind of game with 500-plus yards of offense under our belt. That’s what we are used to, and it was good to get back to that today and keep going forward to close the season out.”

(On the big throw to Tutu Atwell)

“We are running that day like night and day. That’s one of our go-to’s, the middle was vacated, and Tutu got there in a good enough time for me to see him and get him the ball. He did what he’s supposed to do after the play. So that was good to get that first drive started and it was on after that.”

(On what this game means for them)

“It feels good, but we can’t dwell on it. We are all happy, but we just have to get back to work tomorrow and get ready for Virginia Tech. They’re a really good football team, so we have a lot at stake. We have to bring the same energy that we’ve been bringing the last two weeks, the same passion, and the same focus. We always say that the games are won during the week not just on Saturdays. We have to get ready tomorrow to come back to work.”

(On the Sunday film session after Notre Dame)

“Honestly, it was kind of quick, considering that we only had seven possessions. We learned a lot from the little mistakes like the penalties and the drive killers that we had that could have led to some points. Today I told the offensive line, and harping on it all week, ‘no dumb penalties,’ and today we didn’t have any dumb unsportsmanlike penalties behind the ball. If you don’t have penalties and no turnovers, you have a good chance at winning the game and we had a good chance at winning and did.”

Running Back Javian Hawkins

(After you dropped a pass and immmediately went down to do pushups. What was the thought process behind that, and does that shine a light on the focus you guys had coming into this game?)

“Malik got me the ball. I saw a lot of grass and I was trying to make plays, but I got a little loose with the ball and he punched it out. I looked first to make sure we got it back, and we did get it back, and I was like, dang. That’s the life of the program here on the offense and that’s what they preach. Fix the mistake and get back out there.”

(The second touchdown where you reversed your field - that’s a fairly unusual play. What gives you the confidence to know that you can do that?)

I thank God, first of all, for blessing me with the ability to do what I can do. When the o-line is comfortable, the energy bounces off. When they have a play like that. We already know. Coach preaches what we can do when something’s not good. We just made plays, really.”

(Where did you get the name ‘Play Station’?)

“It came in Little League. It came one weekend, and everybody ran with it like the kids from other Pop Warner teams. Everywhere we went, they started calling me Play Station just because of the way I played on the field.”

(After a performance like this, does this feel like the team, and especially the offense, has turned a corner?)

“For sure. We definitely turned a corner. Like Tutu said before, we just have to keep our foot on the gas. There’s no looking back, because this is us. We have to be consistent now.”

(Obviously you made a number of big plays today, but there were other guys who got involved as well: Marshon, Tutu. What’s it like from your vantage point when you see someone like Tutu breaking free for big plays?)

“It goes back to what I say about the o-line. We go off each other. When that energy gets going and the plays start getting made, it feels great. When Tutu made it, I was like, Yes. I knew what time it was.”

(For you all offensively, you’ve been a little bit inconsistent. For a game like this, how much focus did you guys put in after that Notre Dame game when it was kind of disappointing for you all? How much focus went into it?)

“Laser focus. We preached it all week from the staff down: do your job. Everyone does their job, and look what happens. Not only do it, but do it to the fullest and have fun doing it. Do it for the other ten.”

(I think you heard Tutu’s answer. Do you agree that he’s faster than you and he’d beat you in a race?)

“We’ve got to race first, but as of right now, he’s the fastest on the team. He definitely is. That kid has different speed.”

(Are you the second fastest?)

“Yeah, no doubt. It’s debatable, because we have a lot of speed here and different types of speed. I’m more your sprinter, and we have some long sprinter guys who would maybe get me in 100 yards. We’re all fast.”

(Going in, you were fifth in the country in rushing. You’ve probably moved up today. I know you passed at least one of the guys ahead of you. Is that an important goal for you, and how do you look at that?)

“Not really for where I’m at on the list or being that guy, but it’s definitely a goal to keep being the best.”

(Going back to those pushups. How many pushups do you have to do if you fumble?)

“A fumble is 25 up-downs, but I couldn’t do 25 up-downs out there. We still have to knock those out. I just did a few extra out there to lock back in.”

(How many pushups did you do?)

“Ten.”

Wide Receiver Tutu Atwell

(On how much they needed a win)

“We needed this very importantly. Like Malik said, we’ve been working hard, and it’s been the little things that have been messing us up in the other games. This week we just brought everything together and played as a team.”

(On this being what the offense they expected)

“Yes of course. We are just trying to get it back and run it like how last year was. Everything was missing and I thought the o-line did a great job, Malik made a couple good reads, [Javian] Hawkins came to play today, and everything just came together.”

(On being faster than Javian Hawkins)

“We haven’t raced, but I’m the fastest. I’m going to take myself. We haven’t set that up yet, but after the season we will set that up. He’s got a little burn on him though.”

(On what this does confidence wise)

“This just gives us more confidence. We knew what we are capable of doing it. And what we saw today, we knew we could be something special. We just have to keep everything up and tomorrow, keep our foot on the gas. We’ve got to do some stuff in practice tomorrow.”

Inside Linebacker CJ Avery

(On the consistency and growth of defense?)

“Yeah, definitely consistency and growth for us. We have to make sure we keep our foot on the gas and keep doing it day in and day out. The best defenses are always consistent, and we’re trying to get to that point.”

(Coach Satterfield mentioned a lot of batted balls and deflected balls today. Talk about that part of the defense today)

“It really came down to just doing your job. Coach Brown does a good job of putting us in position, and we just have to make sure we make the plays when they come our way.”

(On the turnover belt)

“That means everything for a defensive player. You’re just doing your job and getting the ball back to the offense. That’s all they can ask for us, to get them the ball. That’s what we did today, and we have to continue doing that more.”

(Photo of Scott Satterfield: Melina Myers/USA TODAY Sports)

You can follow us for future coverage by clicking "Follow" on the top righthand corner of the page. Also be sure to like us on Facebook & Twitter:

Facebook - @LouisvilleOnSI

Twitter - @LouisvilleOnSI and Matthew McGavic at @GeneralWasp

Comments

Football

FEATURED
COMMUNITY