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What Scott Satterfield, Louisville Players Said After 28-14 Win vs. Boston College

Read what the head coach of the Cardinals, quarterback Malik Cunningham, running back Trevion Cooley and linebacker Dorian Jones said after their win over the Eagles:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville was able to get back in the right action to start the second half of the season, downing Boston College 28-14 to snap a two-game losing streak.

Here's what head coach Scott Satterfield, quarterback Malik Cunningham, running back Trevion Cooley and linebacker Dorian Jones had to say following the win/loss:

Head Coach Scott Satterfield

(Opening Statement)

“The last two, it came down to the last 25 seconds in both of those losses. We talked about it all week, our guys came out with a lot of spirit and a lot of energy. I thought they showed it tonight, I was really proud of our defense tonight. Offensively, we put those guys in some tough situations, but they kept rising up, essentially gave up two drives, the first drive and then the drive there in the second half. I’m extremely proud of those guys. Offensively, I'm really proud of our guys up front, especially our offensive line. That is a defensive team (Boston College) that has not given up very many rushing yards on the season and to go rush for over 300 and to get two guys over 100, that says a lot about the boys up front and the way they were able to block. We didn't throw the ball very well at all tonight, so we obviously have to do better there. But, our running game carried us and I think that was the big thing. We've been taking care of the football, but tonight we did not. It's always good when you can come out victorious on a night when you turn the ball over, so we have to clean that up. I proud of (Trevion) Cooley, who went over 100 yards for the first time his career as a true freshman. Ryheem Craig, it’s the first time he's played and he gets a big sack, which was big time for him. Josh Minkins, we talked about him earlier in the week that he was going to be able to play, and he gets a big time interception. A lot of these young guys are playing. Dorian Jones was another guy who got a lot of minutes tonight at the Will linebacker that played really good. We had a lot of guys that I thought played really well and it came down to the end there and we were able to close it out with a nice drive and big time run by (Malik) Cunningham there to get the last touchdown.”

(On the play of Malik Cunningham)

“I have the best seat in the house. We are right there and I don't know how it gets out of some of those (tackles). It's incredible, some of those runs that he was able to make tonight. Their defense guessed right a few times and he still gets first downs. He's a really good athlete, but he's also an extreme competitor and I think that just fuels him to try to get first downs and to make the play. Sometimes that gets him in trouble, but you love the spirit he has and the way he plays. We tried some things in the passing game and I thought Brandon Sebastian made a great play, we were going to take a shot for Tyler Harrell and that was a great interception. We were trying to hit Marshon (Ford) with a little bender and Jaiden Woodbey played it great and jumped the route. Those are two unfortunate throws there that were picks, but it was good plays by their defense. But, I know he (Malik Cunningham) can't stand it and I think that speaks to his competitiveness. But, I’m super proud of the way he played. We feed off the way he plays, his competitive spirit.”

(On adapting the offense more to Cunningham’s game)

“No, but we sprinkle a little bit of it in, just like that (option) play right there was. I joke with him because when I played that was my play, that was the play we ran 35 years ago, actually it was only about 25 years ago, but it's that late pitch. What's funny on that play, we kept telling them ‘listen, they're gonna run to the pitch and you're going to run the football.’ Well, we'd already run it a couple times and then the guy came to him and he looks out there because we told the running back to make sure you're stretching it, and he's almost to the sideline, so he had to throw it way out there, I thought he was going to take it to the house. That's a thing of beauty if you like option football. But, we want to be a spread, pro style offense with the ability to run some option and some ability to run some zone read option. We ran that play last year and had some success so we brought it back. It’s a good play the way they set up their defense.”

(On Josh Minkins getting an interception and making big plays)

“I'm extremely happy for him, because anytime a guy has worked the way he's worked the last three weeks is awesome because you want to reward guys for working that way. He's a guy that need to play, quite honestly. To be able to let him go out there and play, he did good tonight and to be able to get an interception, that's awesome for him. He was in the right place at the right time, we had some great pressure, I think it was YaYa (Diaby) that hit the quarterback to pop the ball up, but it was a good play by him. He'll continue to do that. We'd love to be able to get a three-man rotation in that safety spot with (Kenderick) Duncan, (Qwynnterrio) Cole and him, it just helps the other guys too, so now they can come off, take a break and get back in the game and make a play. Sometimes when you come out, you can see what's happening and refocus before you go back out there.”

(On giving Josh Minkins, Ryheem Craig and Dorian Jones a chance to play after the bye week)

“Ryheem Craig for sure. He's been on the scout team so we get to see him every day on the field and one thing he can do is pass rush. He hadn't played much to begin with, and we have four games to play him and still get a redshirt out of him so put him out there to see what happens in our dime package where we're putting more speed on the field, and he's part of the dime package because of the way he can rush the edge. I don't think the tackle barely touched him when he went and got that sack. We have a hard time blocking him in practice. He's an undersized defensive end, so he needs a year to try to bulk up, but he has a lot of quickness, a lot of speed. (Josh) Minkins, same thing, these guys are starting to show it and we want to reward them and put them out there and they're helping us win games which is awesome.”

(On bringing a lot of pressure at the quarterback on defense)

“I think it's probably both. The quarterback two weeks ago was different than this quarterback, that kid is good at Virginia. He's a really good player, has a lot of poise. We were trying to do a little too much when we go back and look at how we played them when we were trying to drop back and trying to bring pressure, so we want to find the happy medium but tonight, we wanted to be aggressive. That was just the game plan, let's be aggressive defensively. We knew we had to stop the run, and that was a big thing that we were worried about so we wanted to get a lot of guys around the box to stop the run and then since we were there, every now and again we wanted to keep bringing some pressure with them. I thought our pressure got to him, I think we maybe had five sacks tonight, which was awesome and that's two games in a row with five sacks. This team obviously didn't throw as much as Virginia but putting that pressure on put them in long yardage situations in the first half and they didn't convert many third downs because they were in long yardage situations”

(On the defense playing with energy)

"I think our coaches did a great job last week. Obviously, if you're hearing it for two weeks that you're not very good on defense, you want to do something about it. I also think that this offense we played is not like these offenses, we've played this season. I think that's a big thing to look at. Ole Miss, Wake Forest, Virginia and UCF are four really good offenses and I think it's hard to stop those guys. I think this is what we can be. We have to continue to get better, we have to develop, and these young guys are starting to make plays which is awesome. I think obviously they're going to keep getting better."

(On Cort Dennison not coaching tonight)

"Cort asked for a leave of absence, and we granted that to him, but we don't have a timetable for the return"

(On offensive success on the last drive)

"The last drive we were trying to get into some formations that we thought we could have success in, and we hit a couple of those plays. I think once you pop a few plays then we should be in a good rhythm. Once we got down, they started taking their timeouts. It came down to 3rd and 3 and we just wanted to put the ball in Malik's hands. We put it in his hands and the guys did a great job blocking. Great block by (Jalen) Mitchell our running back on their linebackers. He gets it up inside and broke two tackles for the touchdown. We are trying all game to find those plays that are going to work. Sometimes they just aren't working, and the guy’s up front put it on themselves and said let's go win this game right here."

(On having confidence in putting the ball in Malik’s hands)

"Tremendous confidence. He's a dynamic runner. The teams that we play have to defend the pass, they have to be out there and cover those wide receivers. So, when they do that, it's going to free him up to make those runs. We designed the run he scored in practice. We knew it was desperation mode for them. They were probably going to play goal line defense, so that's why we called that play and Malik did the rest. It was a great run and great block. We lean on him for a lot. There's no question about it because he usually comes through.”

Quarterback Malik Cunningham

(Cunningham on the running game the last few weeks)

“We challenge the offensive line every week to put our offense on their back, so when the passing game isn’t working, then we are able to lean on the running game. That is what we did today.”

(Cunningham on leaning on the run game as the game progress)

“The passing game was not there for us early; Boston College had a good defensive scheme to limit some of the plays that we have been converting on the past couple of weeks. They had a plan to limit our passing attack; they study film like we do. They took it away, so we had to lean on the run game, and it came through for us today.”

(Cunningham on the run game’s procession these past few games)

“Was it 331 yards? I wouldn’t say that I expect 331 rushing yards a game from this offense, but I will say that we expect around 200-250 a game because we challenge our offensive line every week. Hats off to those guys, they put in a lot of work and there is a lot of experience up front. Those guys know the ins and outs of the offense; they have seen a lot of defensive front and blitzes so they put us on their shoulders tonight for the win.”

(Cunningham on how much of his rushing was planned versus taking what the defense gives)

“Last year, I think that our offense rushed for 130 yards against this team and that was part of our game plan going heading into this game. They have a very disciplined defense, so we knew what they were going to do. The ends were crashing down inside all night, begging me to pull the ball on the read, so that is what I did.”

(Cunningham on his two interceptions)

“Boston College’s defensive coordinator called a great game to limit our passing attack. He did a good job scheming up their plan. Both interceptions are still my fault, I have to do a better job at taking care of the football, which I have done so far this year. It really got to me at halftime that I had two turnovers but hats off to our defense and I just had to keep focusing on executing and that is what we did.” 

Running Back Trevion Cooley

(About getting over 100 yards for the first time in career)

"Honestly, I didn't have any idea that I was over 100 until my coach told me after the game. I didn't know. But my first time, it felt pretty good."

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(About not having played football for over a year)

"Just getting back to the pace. I got away from a lot of that just being out of football for a while and just getting a feel for the game. I'm getting a lot more drives as the season goes on, so that's helping me."

(Between Cooley, Hassan (Hall) and Jalen Mitchell, just how much have they grown together, and as the offensive line improves, the running game improves as well)

"Offensive line -- hats off to those guys. It's hard switching from one coach to another on short notice, right before the season starts. Hats off to them for adjusting to a different coach. Obviously, everybody's different, but those guys work hard, those offensive lineman, those three running backs. I learned a lot from Jalen Mitchell and Hassan (Hall) since I've been here."

(About his and Hassan Hall’s fumbled today, after long runs and protecting the ball)

"It's hard. Boston College, they kept running to the ball. That's on my end, I'm just trying to make a play, trying to get us off the two-yard line. I was trying to stiff arm a guy just to get a little extra. But you know, obviously, I should have just had better ball security and our coach teaches us that. I just got away from what he's taught us."

(Including Malik, four different backs all averaged over six yard a carry. What was working today better than other games?)

"Honestly, the outside zone, it was killing them. Then our offensive line came out with the mindset of ‘you can't stop me. You're going to have to bust me in the mouth to stop me,’ and that's what helped us become so successful."

(About some of the plays using the wishbone option for the quarterback)

“Yeah, I mean, that goes back to little league, actually felt like a little league play we run it all the time now. I have run that play my whole life. It’s something I’m comfortable with and I’m close to those call at play. But yeah, I mean as Jay (Mitchell) mentioned he took it all way down to the 10 and I, we finished that dry.

(About the defense found a way to keep them out of the endzone, at all but one of those turnovers, just kind of talked about their performance, bounce back performance after the Virginia)

“Those guys (the defense) did a great job helping us out because four turnovers, from a team, normally isn't a loss, but defense came through like you guys said and just those guys as well just finish. I mean last week was on both of us, down 17 and we just finished on offense or defense. And so today, they accepted that challenge and they came through for us today.”

(About being a leader of this group, did he talk to defense at all during the bye week about bouncing back)

“I mean I tell those guys every day, because without them I can't do anything. Defense wins games, you know, the defense definitely won the game today. I had young guys here like Dorian (Jones) stepping up and (Trevion) Cooley stepping up. They need all the glory and not just me.”

(About having 30 touchdowns and over 2000 yards rushing. Do you pay any attention to that at all?)

“No, not at all. I'll see it, if someone tagged me in it, my mom sent it to me. But I wouldn't have those stats if it weren't for the O line and the running backs blocking receivers, blocking downfield and my faith in God. He blessed me with the athletic ability that I have.”

(About Cooley, who's grown a lot since the spring. Just what was it like to see him go over 100 yards and how much does he add to the running game)

“Since Cooley's first day he came early out, I knew he has something in him. It's not like a secret weapon. Everybody knows he has an arm but a three-headed monster back there and him being the youngest one come in and finishing that game off how he did. Hats off to him now. I wish him the best he has a bright future here, and I love that kid like a little brother.

Linebacker Dorian Jones

(On the impact that defensive veterans have had on young linebackers after Monty Montgomery’s injury forced them into action)

“This team is tough as nails, so it’s just ‘next guy up.’ We have to hold our teammates up, so when somebody goes down, someone has to step up.”

(On the feeling of getting first career sack)

“I felt pretty good, that was my first career sack. But this is not just me. There’s a lot more that goes into it, the D-line stunting the right way, stunting at the same time, at the right time.”

(On the defensive performance despite the strong offensive line and running backs of Boston College)

“Like I said before, this defense is tough as nails, we work hard throughout the week, and we work on getting to the ball and tackling, week in and week out. And that's really our main focus. It doesn't really matter who the opponent is, the goal is the same every week, stop the run.”

(On how much the defense needed a performance like tonight’s)

“We were definitely hungry all across the board, not only the defense, but the offense as well. When you take a loss, everybody has a part in the loss and in the same way, everybody is a part of a win.”

(On Josh Minkins’ interception and his impact on the team)

“He brings a lot to the table, just like everybody else on the field, and our coaches tell us whether you're first on the depth chart, or fourth on the depth chart, when you step on the field, you're starting. And he showed that and that was really big, especially in the time like that where it was really big to come up with it.”

(On building on the performance of the defense going into next week)

“This is what we do consistently, we just have to be consistent. I've seen it in practice, I've seen it in spring ball, I've seen it in camp. We just have to be consistent and play our game.”

(Photo of Scott Satterfield: Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports)

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