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Louisville-FIU Postgame Quotes


Sept. 10, 2011

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Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong
(On momentum going into the second half)
"I always tell them that the first five minutes of the second half are so critical. You would have thought we would have scored right before half and get some points out of it. But we didn't get established. We returned the ball out to the 15. If we don't get that penalty to the 50, we still would've had a chance."

(On establishing a running game)
"We just didn't move people and didn't block people. That's two straight weeks we have kept the running game going. It is something we have to work on. You have to be able to run the football, because when you move the football, you have to be able to play physical."

(Chichester's performance)
"Chichester played very well. He is a big target, and he makes catches for us. Stein did a good job of finding him."

(Strategy against Hilton)
"What's key about Hilton is you know the ball's going to him, and our players had to know where he was. The first slant that he caught, we were in man coverage; we actually had double coverage. He split the guys and ended up taking it the distance. Then third down play, we blitzed. Our safety got caught in a little hole, and he just ran by."

(Improvements over the last week)
"I just don't know, penalty wise, where we are, but you can't give up the big plays. There was no improvement there. Just in the throwing game, I thought Stein did a better job of managing the offense and operating."

(On Stein's strategy)
"It is what it is. An offense is rhythm once you get guys in rhythm. Defense disrupts what offense is. We were able to get it going there at the end of the second half, because he got in a rhythm making those throws. The thing Stein can do is when they bring pressure, he can beat you with his feet. He was able to scramble out of a lot of pressure that came at him and get rid of the ball to the open receivers. He actually scrambled for a first down."

(On the pressure)
"What we tried to do with our game plan on defense is get rid of the ball. He got rid of the ball so quickly. The one sack Dexter (Heyman) had, he double pumped the ball. Then as soon as he catches it, it's out of his hands. They're in shotgun a lot, so it's hard to get the pressure back."

(On missing two plays)
"We missed two plays, and that's two plays that beat us. That's 14 points to give up. You give up one, and it's 7-3. Then you're hoping you get it back. The thing it does is take momentum away from you, now all of a sudden you have to get your guys to regroup. We have to continue to play. Now we're right where we need to be. We get the ball, it's 21-10. Get the ball, go drive it, now it's 21-17, but we didn't get that accomplished."

(On the play of receivers)
"We're so talented at that position. Look at DeVante (Parker), makes another catch. Had guys all over him, and he makes a touchdown. Michaelee (Harris) played very well for us and Chichester at receiver/tight end. Those guys are making plays for us. Stein is doing a good job of finding a receiver and getting the ball to him."

Hakeem Smith, So., S
(Talk about what happened on those two big plays)
"We had miscommunications, he made a big play and we made big mistakes."

(Was the defense in man coverage?)
"No, we were playing a zone defense and the defender took a bad angle at the ball and Hilton got around him."

(What about Hilton's second big touchdown?)
"We had miscommunication once again and had guys in the wrong spot."

(Could you see T.Y. Hilton as an NFL athlete?)
"Yeah, he's a great athlete and I definitely could see him playing at the next level."

(Did the team gain anything from this loss?)
"We are going to take this loss and learn from it. It's just going to push us and make us work harder."

(Talk about what happened tonight?)
"We started the game off pretty well and then we slacked a little bit and then that's when we let the big plays happen. After those mistakes the game took a turn for the worse. If you give up big plays it will cost you in the long run. We kept fighting as a team though, and we never gave up. In the second half we were able to execute a little better. We accomplished our keys to the game and we executed like we did in the beginning of the game, and we should have done that the whole game. We were able to read their offense and make plays on the ball."

Will Stein, Jr., QB
(On the disappointing night)
"We have to give FIU some credit; they came in with a purpose tonight and really played well. I felt like we improved a lot on offense we got more rhythm to ourselves and the passing game was pretty effective. We had a couple plays that really killed us. In the first half, the pick-six really hurt and in the end we lost by seven. It was just one play and we couldn't convert the fourth and one in the end zone. It was plays here and there that kept us from making this our game."

(On Chichester's big game)
"Chi played really well, I was really happy for him. He is getting open and I was finding him. I think all the receivers played really well tonight. We threw for a lot of yards; we have to better on first downs and getting ourselves in manageable situations."

(On FIU bringing the pressure)
They blitzed probably 50 percent of the time. They are a lot like our defense, so it's nothing we haven't seen before. I felt like we did pretty well against it, they blitzed on first and second down a lot then went to coverage on the third down. We did better in the second half.

Dexter Heyman, Sr., LB
(On getting pressure on FIU's QB)
"We didn't pressure a lot to begin with, with the exception of those two big plays we had an okay showing on defense. For the most part we stopped the run. One thing you worry about is maintaining control of big plays, stopping the big play, and how you respond to those situations."

(On coach Strong saying UK is the better team right now)
"I don't know, I haven't really watched them much. They definitely have a lot more experience coming back, especially on defensive side of the ball with 10 returning starters. To win, to beat Kentucky, our defense has to outplay their defense. We have to stop the big plays."

(On the UK vs. U of L rivalry)
"We have a lot of work to do. It's a real big game that has a lot of state implications, bragging rights and even for the coaches and in-state recruiting purposes. We have to game plan that comes back to preparation. We have to prepare like we want to beat UK."

FIU Head Coach Mario Cristobal
(On what this win does for the program)
"It's huge. It's huge for us. Since the day you get there you preach about building a championship program and people look at you like a three-eyed monster. We've just been pecking away; every coach, every player, every administrator, everyone in the program. We got to this point where we win a conference championship, win our first game. Now we're 2-0 against a conference opponent and now a BCS program in their own backyard. Louisville is a team that recruits against us and I hope the eyes are open real wide after what went on here tonight."

Wesley Carroll, Sr., QB
(On T.Y. Hilton)
"They are an excellent defense, we knew they were going to come out aggressive, they were going to blitz they were going to play man-to-man. Very, very good defense. Coach Strong is obviously a very defensive minded coach, and we knew that coming into the game. We knew that any chance we could get T.Y. one-on-one we were going to take advantage of it so just get the ball out of my hand quickly and let him do what he can do once he gets the ball."

(On Andrew Johnson's comment about T.Y. Hilton)
"We really don't worry about that; we always are concerned about what we can control. If people want to talk that's OK but it doesn't put any more points on the board, it doesn't change anything that we do, as long as we go out and as long as we execute. He hardly even covered T.Y. so I don't even know why he said that. But it's in the past, it doesn't much matter, when the whistle blows in between the lines is all that counts."

(On first two touchdowns)
"That's the thing about this defense. You take gambles by playing man-to-man. If you want to play man-to-man on TY it's going to be a touchdown, because he's got no help. There might be a safety that's deep, but with T.Y.'s speed, if that guy doesn't get him down initially it's going to be a big play, and we knew that. We know that T.Y. is capable of big plays, he's a phenomenal player. The line did a great job of just holding on long enough to get the ball out. We moved the ball well."

(On what changed in the second quarter)
"It was just what we wanted, man-to-man the safeties were split, nobody in the middle of the field. So, to us the way we look at that is that it's just like one-on-one drills. Catch the ball throw it he's got to make a play. It was worked to perfection. The people in the box don't matter when the ball is thrown on time. We're our best friend as a quarterback when you get the ball off on time and it helps to have a line that can hold them off and take licks off of us."

(On being 2-0 for the first time)
"We never talk about 2-0, it's 1-0, tonight we are 1-0 and now we are 0-0 going into the next game. That's every week, it doesn't matter about the last two games, the biggest game of the season is next week. We have UCF next week at our place and we want to be 1-0 at the end of that game."

(On having the lead)
"Absolutely not, we've learned from our mistakes last year, we kind of took our foot off the pedal a few times, we got complacent and we didn't play our offense. When we do that we give them a chance to score, we give them an opportunity to get back in the ball game. We have got to get first downs, we've got to move the ball down the field, and we have to flip the field. Worst case scenario. We did a great job of getting a few first down when they had us deep, then we were able to punt it and have them drive 70 yards down the field. We didn't turn the ball over. That's a huge positive. We still haven't thrown an interception; we've been doing great controlling the ball. We don't have any fumbles on the season as far as offensively. We know that if we can control the ball we can eliminate turnovers. If we can win that battle every game we have a chance to win it in the 4th quarter."

T.Y. Hilton, Sr., WR
(On being frustrated in the first quarter)
"No, I wasn't frustrated at all, just told the coach what I was seeing. The things that they were throwing at me, and I came to him and told him what was open, and then he kind of gave me a few ideas and we went with that. I just kind of felt my way through the game, didn't rush anything and just let the game come to me."

(On the two touchdowns)
"On the first one, they blitzed my man, so I told Wes he was coming and he gave me a look. I gave him a quick movement and used my quickness to my advantage and just shot past him. On the second one I saw they had the linebacker on me, and I looked at Wes again and he looked the safety off and came back to me across the middle."

(On breaking his receiving record)
"I was just having fun playing the game. A lot of credit goes to my teammates, the o-line for blocking well, the receivers running the right routes, and Wes throwing the perfect ball, can't ask for a better ball. "

(On the win)
"It was a big win for us, going in last year against Texas A&M we kind of felt like we let one go in the fourth quarter. That's all we were preaching this week. We are going to hit them with some blows and they are going to hit us back. It's who is going to respond the longest. Our motto is who can go 12 rounds with us, and we prevailed tonight."

(On whether he is a household name now)
"I hope so, but I have to give a lot of credit to my teammates. They helped and freed me up. The O-line did a great job of picking up all of the blitzes and gave Wes enough time to find me."

(On being 2-0 for the first time ever)
"The sky is the limit. We just take it one game at a time. We are 1-0 tonight and tomorrow we are 0-0."

(On being the biggest win in school history)
"I would think so. Coach Cristobal did a great job with us. Everything he is doing has FIU on the rise."

(On his nickname being "good-bye")
"You see what happened when I caught the ball? Once I caught it and I shot off, everybody just stopped and said, `Oh, he's gone.' That's why they call me 'good-bye.'"

(On Andrew Johnson's comments)
"He's a good guy. I can't say much about him, but he made some comments, but at the end of the day I don't pay attention to that because I know the game is going to be played on the field. The game is not played on paper or the internet. Once you are on the field, it's war time."

(On whether Louisville defense respected him before the game)
"Yeah, I feel like they did respect me. On the field, there was a lot of talking going on, a lot of emotion building up and we were just ready to get it on. The offense the defense and the special teams we all played a big role. The coaching staff prepared us this week and it worked out."



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