Oct. 9, 2010
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Louisville-Memphis Postgame Quotes
Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong
"We completed phase two. Phase one was Kentucky and it was really important for us to go out and finish Phase two today. What we tried to do is break down the season in three phases. Kentucky was the first phase. Then we got to the second phase which was Eastern Kentucky, Oregon State, Arkansas State and Memphis. And we needed to go out and play well so we could head into Phase three which is the conference. We were just talking to the team that it is so important for our team to get established. And we needed to play well today. And we did and we played very well. We were able to go finish a game. Last week against Arkansas State we were up 31-7 at halftime and we didn't go out and play well in the second half. Today it was critical that our offense took the ball and scored on the first drive of the second half. And they went down and scored. There were so many individual efforts today. Look at Bilal Powell, running for over 200 yards. Froman was doing a good job throwing the ball around, throwing for over 200 yards himself. The offensive line played very well, protected the quarterback and opened up holes for the running back. And then defensively, they went out and pitched a shutout. They did so well. That is confidence for our defense. There are a lot of guys that played on defense. We were able to move a lot of guys around. We needed to play well on defense, to head into the season and the next phase which is Cincinnati next week.
Was this the most complete game
Of all season , yes (it was). We were able to pitch a shutout on defense and played so well on offense. And even in the special teams we were able to go out and cover well. But it was very critical for us to go out and play well.
On confidence builder
We just talked about, and I said to them, I don't know when the last time you part of a shutout or the last time we scored this many points. Some of you were here as freshman, but it critical that we needed to go play well. It is good for confidence as we enter into Phase three and our conference.
Able to predict the win from practice?
You can never feel it because you just never know from practice what is really going to happen. You just want your guys to go out and play hard and compete.
On falling into place
It is going to be a good measuring stick when we head into our conference. We are going to see exactly where we are. We knew we were a better football team than Memphis and we knew we were better than Arkansas State, but now we had to go play and prove that we were a better football team, which we were able to do. Now from here out, things will be balanced for us. And we will just see as we continue to grow and develop.
On the building blocks for this team
They are finding out who they really are. Just watch them play. Watch the Kentucky game and it is a total different football team from game one to game five.
On difference between game 1-5
They are developing more. What is happening with our football team is that our seniors are playing their best football and when your seniors play the best football, you have a chance. So now they are showing the leadership and they can go play. Then the other guys will come along. Look at Bilal Powell, the senior running back; Adam Froman, the senior quarterback; our offensive line. Then there is Byron Stingily, Greg Tomczyk, Conrad Thomas from the line. Then you look over at the defense and Brandon Heath is playing well. Malcolm Tatum is playing well. So you have some guys that are playing well. Johnny Patrick, played well. But you have guys who are at that position and they want to win. And so when you have your seniors who really want to win, then you are always going to have a chance.
On Darius Ashley
He needed to play well. He was in the position where Mike Evans got hurt, so what has happened is that he has played solid at that position. It was critical.
Change in attitude
It was an attitude to go finish the game. We talked about that before the game. I want to see you guys go play a complete game and finish it. Once you talk to them, they listen. It is not like you are talking over their head and they are locked in and they are listening to what you have to say.
Oh yes, for us to get a shutout on defense, that is a finish there. For the offense to put up the numbers, over or around 575 yards and it was critical. In the kicking game we were able to kick the ball down and cover. We had some young guys running down on kickoffs. Senorise Perry, a true freshman ran down and made a tackle. Andrell Smith and Brown and Deon Rogers ... we have guys that are young guys, true freshman that are playing well for us. Dominique Brown lined up at quarterback and wide receiver. So our true freshman were coming on and they are playing a lot. That is really good because we were able to play a lot of players in a lot of different positions because we had a big lead.
It is a case of execution and opening up. Last week, we opened up well and we took the ball down there. But if you look at our offensive, we have been playing pretty well. At the Oregon State game, we drove the ball down the first two positions. They first two times we took it down the field. So offensively we have been playing pretty consistently.
Louisville Player Quotes
Darius Ashley, So. , CB
Making the switch to defense
"I am more excited about the win to be honest. I was nervous in the first half but the team came out and played really well. It's easy to feed off that as a player."
On the win
"It's huge but that part of the season is over. Now the BIG EAST starts and that is where our primary focus lays now. We have to go out there against Cincinnati and get it done in our first BIG EAST game."
"We are going to play hard for four quarters and everyone is starting to see that we don't quit."
On the BIG EAST race
"We worked real hard over the entire offseason, lifting weights and running conditioning drills. That stuff helps build your confidence. We have had some road blocks with our two losses right now but we learned something from every game. That is what our team has been doing very well is learning from every game and trying to improve."
Does winning help you buy into Coach Strong's philosophy
"Everybody bought in as soon as he got here. He is a great coach and has a great pedigree. Everybody has been on board since day one. Winning helps give our team confidence in general."
How much emphasis was put onto not letting up at halftime
"That was huge. We talked about it last week. Our team did a great job of coming out and responding to the challenge. The offense came out and played really well and the defense maintained."
Dexter Heyman, Jr., LB
"Coach would be happiest with the shutout, because if they can't score, they can't win."
On Darius Ashley
"Darius is awesome. It was fun to see him out there. He is a great player and a great athlete."
On the BIG EAST race
"I think everyone thinks the BIG EAST is wide open but to be honest every conference is wide open. This is college football and everybody is suspect on any given Saturday. So we have to come out and bring our A game every week and play the best we can and continue to improve."
How big of a step forward we this
"It was a big step in terms of finishing a game. Last week we were up at the half and came out and didn't play particularly well. When we can come out and finish the second half and put a team away like this, it is another step toward success."
On the attitude of the team
"The attitude of the team is that we are growing and maturing. We are starting to believe in ourselves and starting to believe we can win. That is a big thing, just having that belief factor is the biggest crutch to some teams and the biggest plus to some teams when we are talking college football. We are growing in that department and we are growing in leadership also."
Adam Froman, Sr., QB
On the BIG EAST race
"We have some good teams in the conference, it is going to be a battle day in and day out. We are excited about it, this is what you look forward to in the off season is BIG EAST conference season. At the end of the day that is what it is about, winning the conference and going to a BCS bowl. We are excited to start the season and open up with Cincinnati next week on national television."
On the team
"I would say the work ethic is going well. That is what starts everything off. You can't go out there and compete everyday if you have lazy guys. Everyday we go out there and battle against each other. When you compete in all three phases like we did today it makes us hard to beat."
On Bellamy's day
"It was big time. That is the receiver we need him to be. That is who he is, he will go up in one on one coverage and he can't be stopped. The only way to cover him is in double coverage. For him to go up contested and make a catch in the endzone - that makes an explosive offense. "
Greg Tomczyk, Sr., OT
On any indication of a big win like this one
"We knew we were better than Memphis. We knew our offense was explosive and our defense could put pressure on passer. I didn't think it would fold that quickly, but it did. We came into the game really prepared. We had a really good week of practice. They came out and lined up just like we knew they would and we took care of business."
On Bilal Powell
"Bilal is just a hell of a player. He comes out and plays hard every down. He runs with a purpose and he is going to get his yards regardless of who he plays. He keeps getting better and better as the year goes on, so expect bigger things. Bilal is focused and he stays quiet. He gets fired up, don't get me wrong. He is very emotional and when he has a good run he will show it. But for the most part, he keeps his head down and he keeps his feet moving. He doesn't really say much."
On getting prepared for the game against Cincinnati
"I don't think we are rebuilding anything anymore. We are playing to win. We have as good of a shot at winning as anyone. We have a lot of momentum coming out of this game. We are going to get the Keg of Nails back, or at least try to. Me and some of the other offensive linemen weren't looking past Memphis, but we have been looking at Cincinnati now for the last two or three weeks. We are pretty fired up for it and we will be ready Friday."
On where he thinks Louisville stands in the BIG EAST
"It's wide open right now. Our offense showed we can play and defense just keeps getting better each week. Until we play a BIG EAST game, we won't know where we stand. But that is coming up real quick and we are excited for it."
On if he thinks the team is getting better each week
"Absolutely, every week we get better and better. I don't think there is any doubt about that. We continue to grow as an offense. We keep adding things to the playbook. We are finding things we are more and more comfortable with. The defense keeps adding more blitzes and different coverages. We are just rolling as a team right now. I think the sky is the limit."
Greg Scruggs, Jr., DT
On rolling offensively and defensively
"It feels great to finally put a game together. We made some mistakes, but we will fix them this week and take this momentum into the BIG EAST and play our best ball."
On if it was a complete game
"I would say so. In the head coaches' eyes, he said so. So, I agree with him. We still have some things we need to fix. We will start practice tomorrow and will come out and fix those mistakes."
On shutting out Memphis
"It is like getting a monkey off our backs. Just like the road win. When you hear about the great teams that have come through here, they could pitch a shutout like it was nothing. So, for us to finally get one, it's a tribute to how hard we work in practice on finishing a game. We had it in the first half and came out in the second half and didn't give up. We kept the pedal to the medal and really achieved our goal of getting a shutout."
On heading into the BIG EAST
"There are a lot of great teams in the BIG EAST. Cincinnati has a passing attack that is second to none. There are teams like Rutgers and UConn that are passing the ball more and are able to run the ball as well. There is a lot of competition out there and there is no favorite. We have to come out and play every game to win. I think we will give our best shot the every team we play and will see what the outcome is. I know that if we play our best ball, we are a tough team to beat, but that is if we play our best ball. This was the first game that we came close to doing that. If we play our best ball, we give everyone a run. No win is guaranteed, we still have to play the games, so we shall see."
On if having back-to-back wins gives the team more confidence
"I believe we are getting better. I believe we are rolling and our confidence is getting up. We still have to come out and practice and we still have to play the games to win. We can't just say `Oh, we beat Memphis, so we are automatically going to beat Cincinnati.' We have to come out every day and work. Coach (Charlie) Strong is going to push us and they are not going let off just because we had such a big win. It is going to be the same hard grind at practice and they expect the same results when we play Friday."
On Darius Ashley's performance
"I'm proud of Darius. That's my man. He has been determined to make the most of his opportunity that he had today and starting. Coach (Vance) Bedford, coach (Larry) Slade and coach (Charlie) Strong all trusted him to go out on defense and do his job and do his assignment. I think he did it to the best of his ability today. He had a few mistakes, but those will get corrected by Friday."
Memphis Head Coach Larry Porter
"Obviously, we put ourselves in a position of a lapse out there, that's basically what happened. I thought Louisville played better on both sides of the ball. There's not much to say about the game other than there were a few guys out there that continued to compete and fight and as the head coach of this football team, I've got to take this game and determine what's going on and find ways to put this team in a position to be more successful. Again, we still have half a season left to go and I assure you as we go forward with this football team, we'll improve."
On how the reacted after a couple of bad plays
"We gave up too many big plays on defense. I don't think we played the second or third quarter of this game. We did not stop them to give our offense a chance. We missed some big tackles. We put them (Louisville) in a position to make big plays that led them to a lot of points."
On the lack of competition after the 74-yard touchdown run
"I disagree. After we threw the interception, it just kept going - and it never stopped. So I didn't see it at that point. I just didn't see us putting ourselves in a position to respond, because that next series they went down and scored. It was third and some-odd yards and we ended up missing a tackle and they scored. We came back the next series and punted and they got the ball and they scored again. So from the time we threw the interception, we put ourselves in a position to turn the ship and get going back right. They had too many big plays and the pass they threw over Mohammed Seisay, the guy just went over his head and got it. And I don't think we tackled as well either."
On Louisville's offensive line
"They thought that Louisville's offensive line was big and physical. But I also felt like we had a strong defense and our line. So I felt like it was a matchup. But obviously they have a back that's a difference maker. And obviously we've got to tackle that guy and if we tackle him then we eliminate a lot of big plays that he had. When you look at missed tackles and making plays they'll put you in position to not respond as quickly and take the morale away from the team, especially when you give up big plays."
On the team's mistakes
"We'll go back and look at certain guys and find ways to make the tackle. Once that it got to the point that it kept spiraling and spiraling out of control it was just hard to stop it. Our offense did not help and when you look at the position and the way our defense played..."
On why the mistakes were made
"That's why I burden this loss, me personally. We've had two bad consecutive weeks so that's when we have to go back and assess exactly what's going on."
On players being mentally engaged
"That's a concern, but as we've gone throughout the season, there are some guys that have a strong presence within this team to set some guys loose, but that's not what we have to lean on. We have to rally the troops and keep going. Even last week when we look at the way they came back and practiced, I really and truly thought it was one of their better weeks of practice. That's why this is so disheartening in terms of the way that we played. There's just no room for guys feeling sorry for themselves."