Louisville-Murray State Postgame Quotes

 



Sept. 1, 2011

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Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong

(Opening Statement)

“We’re happy to get the win. We’re 1-0 but you look at it, it’s just a tale of two halves. The first half you look at the offense and we were executing well. Defensively we played well, then the second half, you get a half when there’s just no rhythm and you have to have rhythm. You have to have execution.”

“We kept turning the football over. You look at the turnovers by our running backs. Vic Anderson has a turnover, and then Jeremy Wright, then the ball falls out of Stein’s hands. But this is a game that we can learn a lot from. It’s good that we get the victory, and now we have a lot of work to do. We’re nowhere near where we should be. You look at the first game, I thought we would have executed better.”

“I thought we would have made more plays. But you look at our receivers and DeVante Parker is very talented. One of these days, we’re going to look up and say, ‘wow what a great player.’ He doesn’t do nothing but work. And I told Stein, ‘well if you throw the ball up, he’ll go up and get it for you.’ Michaelee made some catches for us. So if you look that position, we’re very talented. I was pretty pleased at the way our corners held up.”

“You know, you’re looking at an offense that had 10 starters back. A quarterback that averaged throwing the ball over more than 300 yards, did not give up any big plays in the secondary, blitzed a lot, was not afraid of great pressure. Overall I was pleased with the way our defense played and that we can get better on defense, but we have to improve on offense, in order for us to continue to make steps in this program.”

(On this being a defensive team)

“Well if you look at our offense, we started five new guys on offensive line. Mario (Benavides) didn’t play tonight. (John) Miller, who’s a true freshman, you look at Jake Smith, who’s a redshirt freshman, then you look at (Hector) Hernandez who is a tackle senior in your program who hasn’t played much, and then (Ryan) Kessling who hasn’t played much. So you look at our offensive line. Actually, we’re just trying to develop and gel together in the offensive line. The quarterback, you lose your two starting quarterbacks. (Will) Stein comes in as quarterback, but it’s fortunate tonight we were able to play all three of them. Teddy (Bridgewater) comes in with a series and ends up throwing the ball down the middle and ends up throwing the pick, but he’s going to play more. Then Dominique (Brown), he’s our wild card guy, but he’s a guy who can get behind the pass. He can do a lot for us, whether it be at quarterback, receiver, or running the football. And then the wide receivers, but we just have to play better. We know that we’re better than that on offense. Defensively, even without (Greg) Scruggs, we are a limited number tonight. BJ Butler not playing at all, Brandon Dunn not playing at all. Roy Philon didn’t play tonight. There are four guys right there not playing. I was very pleased to see Marcus Smith, Malcolm Mitchell, and Randy Salmon. We had some guys that played a lot tonight on defense, but I was just very pleased with the way our corners played.”

(On the fake punts)

“With the fake punt, we noticed it was just the way they lined up. We knew that we could get that the first time, and it actually worked. With the second time, it was a floater, and anytime there’s a floater we should have caught it off and tried to run it again. We should have made the play to Philpott. But the first one, it was in the bag. It’s good that we were able to fake that punt and gave them something to practice.”

Alex Kupper, Jr., C

(On the team’s play tonight)

“We had our fair share of mistakes, but as far as coming out there and playing fast I thought we executed pretty well. For being a young group there will be mental errors, but for the most part I thought we executed pretty well”

(On if there was a sense of frustration)

“Yes, when our drives get stop and you’re looking around wondering what’s going on, you don’t want to point the finger at people and wonder what happened and when you have turnovers it slows things down. It was frustrating, but you as a team have to be a veteran group and gel together and let mistakes roll off your shoulder”

(On the scoring drought)

“Our rhythm changed, we had an up-tempo offense going and one little mistake led to another and then a fumble which slowed our tempo down. In turn, it led to frustration and people missing blocks”

(Did Murray State change their defense to cause the scouring drought?)

“They were moving the front line pretty much every play, they weren’t going to let us just pound the ball on them all day. So they had to make a change and that’s what they did, which made us change our game plan up a little bit. Other than that they didn’t do anything special.”

(On getting the offensive line better prepared for the next game)

“We need to come in tomorrow and view the tape and see what we did wrong and fix the mistakes. Every single game we are going to get better, we have shown that in camp and we are going to show that in the season.”

Will Stein, Jr., QB

(How would you evaluate your performance?)

“It was decent, I should have played a lot better, and we left a lot of points out there. The offense runs through the quarterback so I have to play better for this team and especially in the weeks ahead.”

(What happened in the second half?)

“We couldn’t really find a rhythm. They were blitzing a lot and stopping our run game. We had no rhythm and put ourselves in bad situations. We have to get on a better schedule and that means getting four yards a play”

(How did the coaches respond to the team’s performance?)

“Coach Strong is happy, a win is a win, and I totally agree. It’s good to be 1-0 and to feel that victory feeling. As a player I always feel like I could have done something better. We have to look at the film and see what we need to fix and correct that for next week.”

(Are you disappointed in the offense?)

“I’m not disappointed in anybody. I take a lot of pride in my play and I’m very happy that we won. I couldn’t be more proud, but as a player I feel like I left a lot of plays out there and we should have scored more points.”

(On the play of the offensive line)

“I think they did pretty well. We threw for over 200 something yards and ran for over 100 something. As a whole we did well, but as an offense we need to be better, but a win is a win.”

Victor Anderson, Jr., RB

(On the offensive performance)
“We played well in the first quarter. We just got out of rhythm a little bit and then went downhill from there. We can’t let that get to us in games to come. We got to come out and continue to push like we started the game.”

(On his first touchdown since 2009)
“It felt pretty good. The guys up front did a great job blocking and sealing the edge. I just bounced it outside and used my speed to get to the end zone, but the guys up front did it all.”

(On how he is feeling physically)
“Yes sir it feels good to be back.”

(On the rhythm of the offense after the second quarter)
“Like I said we got out of rhythm there a little bit and when you get out of rhythm we’ve got to continue to play and not let that get to us. We have to come out and play with speed and intelligence. We have to come out and play like we practiced and that is fast and clicking on all cylinders.”

(On the young guys)
“We have a great, young, talented freshman class and these guys are going to be unbelievable stars in games to come. We just have to come out and continue practice well and play well.”

(On all points being scored by Louisville kids)
“We were talking about that a little on the sideline but that doesn’t really mean anything. We just got to come together as a team. We are one family and we just have to continue to push.”

(On what knocked them off rhythm)
“That’s a good question we just came out had a couple good plays and then all of a sudden we just got off rhythm. We can’t do that if we want to continue to win ball games. But we are 1-1and half the teams in the country will be 0-1 after this weekend so we are just going to enjoy this victory and get to practice on Saturday.”


Murray Head Coach Chris Hatcher

(On his team’s overall effort)

“I thought our boys played hard and that is the first thing we ask of them. I thought we enjoyed the game and that is a big thing to me. I want our guys to enjoy playing. We ran out of some players at certain positions there late in the game due to some injuries. I think that really put us behind defensively when Dontrell Johnson went down on the first or second play of the game. Here is a guy that plays every down of every game except for the PAT field goal team. We had to make some adjustments. I thought Dexter Barnett played a good game. He had to play both ways for a little bit of time. All in all I thought our defense really played well. We looked much improved from last season. Offensively I thought we were able to run the ball well but we couldn’t get anything going in the pass game. The one thing that hurt us was they did a really good job of playing our screens and that is a big part of our game. We just couldn’t get that going.”

(On inability to capitalize on four Louisville turnovers)

“The thing about it was some of them were deep in our own territory. We had a miscue there and we turned the ball right back over with an interception. I knew going into the game that the strength of Louisville’s team was their defense. There is no question about it. They play extremely good defense. Some of those runs that Mike (Harris) had, against some of the teams in our league, those are probably touchdown runs. We just couldn’t sustain a drive. Even though we’re used to scoring a lot of points, a lot of the time we have long, methodical drives. We only really had one of those tonight.”

(On Dontrell Johnson’s injury)

“He should be okay. I don’t think it’s anything serious. It was big just because we don’t have much depth. We travel 64 players and I think only 52 of them played in the ballgame. We’re thin but our front line is pretty good. A lot of our guys have to play all the special teams and this may have been the hottest day we’ve had all summer long as far as playing football goes. But I thought we held up well. I think late there in the third quarter, early fourth quarter we had that long drive where we ran the ball down the field. You could tell that we were starting to wear on Louisville’s defense but we just couldn’t really get good field position after that and make anything happen on the offensive side of the ball.”

(On the way Murray’s defense responded in the second half)

“I thought we played hard the whole game defensively. If you look we gave up two big plays. We gave up the one deep ball, but Darrian Skinner had great coverage, the guy just made the play. Then they had us in a mismatch on the one touchdown pass. We had to make an adjustment and put Victor (Daniels), who is a cornerback, we had to move him to linebacker because we were running out of some guys. I thought that defensively we forced many turnovers and shut them out in the second half against a team that runs the ball. If you watched us play last year you’d know we had a hard time doing that to folks. I’m pleased with the way they performed. We could’ve played better offensively but you have to take your hat off to their defense. They forced us to play bad at times.”

Murray State Player Interviews

Mike Harris, Sr., RB

(On Louisville’s defensive line)

“We wanted to play fast and we knew they had a big, physical defensive line, defense as a whole. We just wanted to come out and match their intensity on the field. I feel that we did a good job especially with our O-line.”

(On the passing game)

“It wasn’t a protection issue at all. Like I said our offensive line did one of the best jobs I’ve seen them do. Just some games I guess you just don’t click like that, and it went in their favor tonight.”

(On not being able to capitalize on turnovers)

“A majority came of it from our end. The Louisville defense did a good job of bringing in their blitzes. They look like they adjusted to what we were doing, every time we adjusted to what they were doing. They did a good job on that part. Our defense was looking real good. Like I said I think it was just their defensive coordinator did a good job on adjusting to what we did. Offensive line really held it down this game, I didn’t see any busts that our offensive line had, so I really don’t know.”

(On the passing game)

“Yea, our passing game is big for us because we throw the ball a lot. We do a lot of screens and all that, but I didn’t have a problem with trying to carry the team.”

(On the overall performance)

“I think the defense did a great job. I’m most impressed with our defense and our offensive line. They both stepped up. Coming into the game I wanted to see what our defense and offensive line would do today, and they lived up to the expectations. Our skill guys on offense have to pick it up and do a better job. It will click though, it’ll click.”

Jamal Crook, Jr., DE

(On the defense)

“After we settled down a little bit we just started playing fast and playing hard. They got on us in the first half and they do have a solid offensive line. After the jitters went out guys stepped up and started playing fast. Richard Beirs and Jeff Richards and Tevin Wells those guys played hard, they all came together, I could sit here and go for days. We just wanted to play fast and let the dice roll.”

(On their defensive pursuit)

“Yea, like I told you, tackle drills we work at it every day. I think we could always get better at tackling. The strict tackling circuit came into effect, hopefully they carry over for these next 10 games.”

(On the overall performance)

“We are disappointed in the loss. We think defensively we can get better, got some things we need to clean up. Offensively, they are going to get it going, because we believe in each other and ourselves. This is not the end of Murray State.”

 

 

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