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Louisville-Temple Postgame Quotes

 



Nov. 3, 2012

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Louisville head coach Charlie Strong

(Opening statement)
“The way we started off this day, I didn’t know if I would have a chance to stand up here talking about going 9-0. When you watch this team, Temple took the opening kickoff all the way back. Then our offense gets a chance to move the ball, and defensively we didn’t play well. We missed way too many tackles which allowed them to run the ball effectively in the first half. Then you watch the second half, we come out like a totally different defense. We shut down the run and actually pitched a shutout. This football team is a resilient team that always finds a way to win. We talked earlier how we needed to play well and execute. We have to stay locked in and be focused and not play down to the end where someone has to have a winning drive. We didn’t need to rely on Teddy (Bridgewater) to operate late and get a winning drive. You see the game Teddy had with five touchdowns. What’s unbelievable about Teddy is how he is able to find the open receiver. Each week it has been a different receiver step up. Today it was Andrell Smith. Andrell really deserved it. I always talk about the seniors. Our seniors need to be playing their best football. Andrell Smith is playing his best football right now along with Alex Kupper and Mario (Benavides) and Adrian Bushell. Watch how well Teddy did and they way our offensive line protected. Add in a 100 yard rusher with Jeremy Wright. Then on the defensive side we were able to create turnovers and stop the run. They rushed for a lot of yards, but we made them one dimensional. They couldn’t throw the ball that well so we locked in, and stayed in our gaps in the second half.”

(On what he tells the team following a historic 9-0 start to the season)
“We have not talked about this on record; and each week our focus has been just on the team we are playing. We were sitting there at 8-0 and I never once said, ‘Hey, we are 8-0 and No. 10 in the country.’ I just said, ‘Hey, listen guys, we have a good Temple football team coming in here and it is going to be a tough game.’ This morning at breakfast, I rattled their cage a little because I just did not feel like the focus was there. Guys were coming in late and that is not the character of our football team. I told them, ‘Listen right now, when that game starts, we are going to be in a dog fight in the beginning. Who is going to step up and see who can take over the leadership of this football team and lead this team and see how well we can come back and bounce back and play?’ That is what we were able to do.”

(On what starting 9-0 means to him and his football program)
“I just look at our program, and we are sitting here at 9-0, and we are still not anywhere near where we should be. I mean, if you look at that game today and the way we started off, I was like, “Oh goodness. That is an 8-0 football team out there playing?” I could not believe it was. But, just to watch and know that we have much to teach and they have so much to learn from today’s game, and it is good because you do not want guys to get full of themselves. You don’t want guys to start thinking, “Hey, we are 9-0 and really good.” No, we are not a really good football team. I can take two or three plays out of this game and I can show you guys that we are nowhere where we should be.”

(On if he has a strategy to give the team a jumpstart as a result of being behind early in games)
“Well the strategy is to let a team get ahead and let us come back. I think we are good at playing from behind. But, you watch the start of that game and we let up the opening kick-off, but we come back and answer. Then they go up and we were able to take the lead coming in at halftime. It’s just our team never panicked. We sit there and say, “It is a 60 minute game, just continue to play and good things will happen. Someone will make a play.” Right now that player who is making plays is over on the offensive side of the ball.”

(On why Andrell Smith is playing much better now and this year)
“Well you take guys and watch them develop and grow up and I think that is what has happened with him. He is growing up and is now a senior. I told our seniors, and it is not a large group of seniors, that I would like for them to leave their mark on this program...just leave your stamp on this program and that is what they are doing. You look at (Alex Kupper) Kup, you look at Mario (Benavides), you look at (Will) Stein, you look at (Adrian) Bushell, you look at Andrell (Smith), and (Nick) Heuser; the guys I just called are contributing to this program.”

(On if Andrell Smith is quiet with the coaches like he is with the media)
“He is very quiet, very soft spoken, doesn’t say anything, but just works. The thing you like about him is, if you just look at his body, he is big and he is physical and it is hard to tackle him. You look at that throw we made down there in the end-zone where he stepped out of bounds; they didn’t even get him down. And that happens at practice, they cannot get him down. I can remember one day we were doing tackling drills out there and, I can’t remember who it was, but one of the defensive backs was chirping to another smaller receiver. I said, “Okay, look if you keep talking I am going to put Andrell in.” I can’t remember who exactly the defensive back was, but he did not want any piece of that. I said, “Andrell,” and he kind of backed away and I said, “Yeah, that will shut you up.” But no, he is very quiet and doesn’t say anything, but just like his work ethic he just goes about his business and knows exactly what he wants.

(On the touchdown play to Ryan Hubbell)
“Well we worked on that play all week and we knew it would be there because they are two deep and we knew if we stretched the field to the outside, the safeties would come up the hash and the tight end down the middle would be wide open. Then (Ryan Hubbell) Hub catches it, and just to see him run away; I thought he was going to get caught and he kept looking around, but I saw a guy and said, “Score!” We were down 14-7 and that got the game tied back up. You just look at Teddy (Bridgewater) and he is scanning the field and he pulls this safety here and then he looks left and pulls the safety and then he lets it go right down the middle.”

Teddy Bridgewater, Quarterback
(On the key to the game)
“Basically, just take what the defense gives you. Coach Watson did a great job of calling the plays and we executed.”

(On the feeling of entering the fourth quarter with a large lead)
“It felt very good -- just knowing that we can go out there and just play football relaxed and calm.”

(On how the comfort of the offense in today’s game)
“We just worked hard all week in practice and it carried over to the game. We are always practicing game-like situations. I was very comfortable and we finally got a dry day.”

(On expecting a big game like today)
“That’s just something we expect around here. You can’t predict games like these. It all just comes and we are thankful to have this type of success.”

(On spreading the ball to the receivers)
“It’s basically our offense. Our system is designed for a lot of guys to get touches and Coach Watson calls a great game every week.”

(On being 9-0 for the first time in program history and if the team was aware of the record)
“It’s something special just to be the first to ever do it. It’s just great to be a part of history. Going into this week, we were aware and we were trying to make history. We didn’t want to press or anything so we just went out and played Cardinal football.”

(On Andrell Smith’s two-touchdown game)
“It’s just built in our offense. The wide receivers did a great job of just playing with detail today.”

Jeremy Wright, Running Back
(On getting the run game back on track)
‘’Our offensive lineman got to their blocks and we had some stuff on the field that has been showing up in practice. We got it done like the offensive coordinator has wanted us to.”

(On Coach Strong showing a video containing lack of respect from the national media to motivate the team)
“He showed us a couple of clips on our highlight tape that I wasn’t happy with at all. It’s definitely motivation to go out and show people who we really are.”

(On why the team should be involved in the national conversation)
“We’ve worked for it. We can’t really talk about it. We have to go out and show it every week. We are just trying to get better every week.”

(On being 9-0)
“It does mean a lot, but at the same time, that’s not our goal. We are just trying to keep winning games and keep getting better for next week.”

(On Ryan Hubbell’s long touchdown catch)
“I had no doubt in him. I felt if he was going to catch that ball, he knew what he had to do to help us win.”

Ryan Hubbell, Tight End
(On Coach Strong saying he knew during this week’s preparation that Hubbell would have an opportunity for a scoring play like he had on his 72-yarder)
“We knew it was going to be there. The play worked like we thought it would and I ended up being wide open.”

(On his run after the catch and whether he was looking behind him)
“I looked back a couple times, probably more then I should have, but I made it in so it all worked out.”

(On whether his touchdown, which evened the score at 14-14, changed the momentum in the game)
“Yeah, I definitely think it did. After that play, everybody started to pick it up a little, and we didn’t go down from there.”

(On whether he thinks about dropping a pass when he’s that wide open)
“Yeah for a little bit, but in the end you have to just trust your instinct.”

(On his thoughts on the 9-0 Cardinals)
“Yeah, we have a lot of momentum right now. You can tell in the locker room because everybody is upbeat. We’re all going out to practice and having great practices every week and I think that’s because of our record.”

Adrian Bushell, Cornerback
(On what needed to be adjusted after the slow start from the defense)
“We had to tackle and we had to fill our gaps up front. After that, they really couldn’t do anything.”

(On whether those defensive adjustments are what is needed each week)
“It is. It doesn’t really sound like much, but it’s everything. It’s a lot of little things like wrapping up on tackles and filling a lot of gaps.”

(On whether the team was sluggish to open the game)
“I felt like we started a little sluggish. We had a lot of missed tackles. They got 150 yards on plays where we missed tackles, so if we could eliminate something like that, then we could of held them to maybe under 50 yards.”

(On whether the Cardinals being left out of national title contention bothers the team)
“It kind of gets under our skin a little bit, but coach Strong is doing a good job of keeping us focused, and who knows where we can be at the end of the season.”


Temple coach Steve Addazio

(Opening statement)
“I told our football team in the locker room that I really thought we came out hard, I thought we prepared, and I thought our team had a really strong desire to come out here and really embrace this game. I was really proud of them. A week ago it looked like we lost our stinger a little bit but I didn’t think we lost our stinger today. What we did do today really simply was, we were right there in the middle of that game. We let up a 90 yard drive right before halftime and that happened, it was real and it didn’t need to happen, but it did. This is where we need to develop and take our next step as a football program. We let up a 90 yard drive that made it a two touchdown game instead of a one touchdown game.”

“In that first half we really felt good about what we were doing. We were playing hard, we were playing physical. I know on offense we were kind of knocking them off the football and making some big plays. We didn’t score enough points in that first half and I certainly thought we had an opportunity to. That drive before the half was unfortunate and it was a hard thing to have happen. The more important thing is that we got the ball and came back in the fourth quarter. We are on the plus side of the field and getting ready to convert a first down but we put the ball on the ground. That was a back breaker right there. We followed that up with another fumble. We had two turnovers in the third period.”

“There are no talent issues really. We had some breakdown in coverage on defense and that led to a couple scores. Those are young guy mistakes that we have to find a way to alleviate. For us to turn the ball over like that in third quarter, that’s not a talent issue. It has to do with the fact that we have to carry the ball high and tight. That is points right there. What happens is, you get momentum going against you, you have a young football team and it gets away from you a little bit. The reality of it is this young football team battled. Change some of those things. Correct them and learn how to take that next step and you have the opportunity against a good team to be right where you want to be and that is battling in the fourth quarter.”

“Our kids didn’t back down. I love that look in their eye. I really wanted to see how they would come out for this game after last weekend. They came out just with tremendous fire. I said to them in the locker room we are going to go back, we are going to watch some tape and we are going to see some things that we just didn’t need to let happen. How fragile it is when you play hard and you let a series of about four or five things happen. When you are young sometimes what happens is you feel like there is a mountain to climb and it kind of rolls back at you a little bit. Where we are is we have to keep fighting and correcting those little things. I’m excited to get back to work, I’m excited to keep developing, and I’m excited for this team that appears to really like football. That is how you build. You build towards the future. It will be nice to get a few guys back. We are pretty depleted right now from a physical standpoint. It is a shame because that also piggy backs us a little in the second half.”

(On the team’s miscues and what they did to the team)
“It absolutely did not take any life out of our team. It is an unfortunate thing. We had a bad snap. We had a freshman move from right guard to center. The kid played his heart out today. I was so impressed with how he played. It was just a critical play by a true freshman who is going to be one heck of a football player for our program. He is going to be one of the great ones who comes through here. You know, am I going to go over there and chastise him? Absolutely not. Yeah, it was tough, Montel Harris had a big run and first down. We are probably right about at the 40 yard line there to then we snap it and lose 17 yards. That is where we are. That is the youth factor that seems to catch up with us a little bit. I understand that, but I also understand that one day that same guy won’t snap that ball over his head. And those blocks he made that game that were springing Montel, he will continue to make those. I know that and that is what I am excited about right now even in the face of losing the game today.”

(On Chris Coyer’s two fumbles and on future quarterback plans)
“I wanted to play all three quarterbacks at the end. I thought it was really important at that point. The game was away from us and I said to myself,’ I’m going to play all three of these guys.’ I want to do that because I have a forward thinking mind all the time right now. In terms of Chris, he played pretty well today, and then he puts these balls on the ground. No one feels worse than he does about that right now. He is crushed. He really competed awfully hard today. We have to carry that ball high and tight. We have to learn from that. Chris right now gives us the best opportunity right now as we sit today. Tomorrow, the next day, I have to evaluate all of those things. You have to pull yourself apart from those two fumbles because they were really crushing fumbles. We are going to find the right combinations. I’m committed to doing that. We are just going to keep scrapping.”

Matt Brown, Running back
(On the opening kickoff return for a TD)
“It was just a long time coming for me. I’ve been waiting to pop one and get one back and it finally came and it came at the right time. It gave us an adrenaline rush, [it gave us] a spark, and I just feel it just came at the right time, and I’m just trying to put together some more and help my offense get good field position.

(On overcoming an ankle injury)
“I’m not over it, but I battle with it. It’s a battle - it’s like having a baby. Sometimes it will swell up on you. It’s a constant battle with it. When the season’s over, I have time to fully recuperate but right now we’re in a battle.”

(On returning the opening kickoff for a TD)
“[I saw] green grass. I was trying to get as much of it as possible. Fortunately, I was able to, and provided a spark for my team so we’re just going to keep building off of that.”

(On building together as a team)
“You can’t let it get the best of you - played three good teams, two of them ranked. We’ve just got to keep playing. You can’t give up. Like Martin Luther King said, ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of trial and controversy.’ That’s what I try to live by and I try to push my team to do the same thing.”

Chris Coyer, Quarterback
(On the team’s turnovers)
“I just wasn’t holding the ball tight enough and got it poked out. It wasn’t a big hit - I just wasn’t holding the ball tight enough.

(On the first turnover)
“I could’ve pulled it out too early. I’m not really sure exactly what happened. I didn’t get a whole out of the ball in my hand but it definitely could have been me pulling out early, I’m not really sure. I’ll have to look at the tape and see.”

(On working with a converted freshman center)
“He’s been working as a center since the start of camp, which, of course, is never easy for a true freshman to look forward to - to slide over and start at center, especially in a game like this one. But he’s a fighter and he plays hard.”

Montel Harris, Running back
(On the loss)
“We’re disappointed about the loss. We’ve just got to watch the film and see what mistakes we made and try to get it fixed for next week.”

(On the turnovers throughout the game)
“The turnovers definitely killed us. They had a great offense, so we couldn’t afford to make any mistakes on offense and the turnovers cost us some momentum and they were able to capitalize on the mistakes we made.”

(On staying positive after their loss)
“We stay positive, because when we go back and look at the film, it was only a couple of plays that could have made the game a different game - if we could’ve only made those plays. That’s how we stay positive.”


 

 

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