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Louisville-Pittsburgh Postgame Quotes


Nov. 12, 2011

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Louisville Head Coach Charlie Strong

(Opening Statement)
"Poor execution. Great example today of poor preparation. If you look at this football team right now, we're nowhere what we should be. If for some reason we think we have all the answers give them proper preparation and we're going to win three games and we come out here today don't play well, we don't play well at home. That just stems from the way we practiced and the way prepared all week. Like in the pregame today I saw this coming - the complacency. A lot of times they hear so much, get a big pat on the back like in the West Virginia win. We can't handle it right now, this football team cannot handle winning and today was a great example.

If you look at it defensively, we allowed them to take the ball on the first drive, execute, go down and score. Offensively we were never really able to get into a rhythm today at all. And in the special teams, we get a stop in the fourth quarter and get the ball, fumble and they were able to get the ball back and go in and score. We have a long way to go, still a lot of work. We've got some games still out there, we still have to get better, that's the only way this football can do anything. We're not very good right now, we have to get better."

(Was the Pitt defense doing anything to disrupt the offense?)
"The plays were there, we just didn't make the plays. We just didn't execute. We're just lackadaisical. Guys aren't running routes right. We weren't running the ball, we weren't blocking. We get two chop blocks. We've never had chop blocks the whole season."

(You didn't feel like they practiced well last week, was there was lack of focus?)
"You could just tell by the way we practiced. I said no cheating or we start practicing all over again and on Wednesday we started over again. It just comes from the football team not being very mature. We just can't handle wining."

(On whether he thought it would be different this time when playing the week after a big win)
"You would have thought it would be. It's just that complacency sets in. The guys have heard all week about how well they played. Those guys are feeling like they did play well so they're going to be lackadaisical."

(You go through all this and you still have a shot in the fourth quarter...)
"I think back in the fourth quarter we had a stop so we're down seven. So we make them punt the ball and end up not fielding the ball, so we fumble there. On the third down, they run a quarterback draw for a touchdown. We come back and score and get the onside kick. What we wanted to do was get the ball and jump ball and keep the ball throwing, but we weren't able to get it off."

(On the player's reaction - do they get the message you're sending?)
"It all goes back to your leadership, if you don't have enough of the guys you are leaders within the program getting the message, it's going to continue to come from the coaches. That's the only way the message is going to be delivered. Each coach needs to know that with his position group. It's the only way it's going to happen - and he has to deliver the message."

(On Teddy's game and the offensive continuity)
"It's not only Teddy's game, it's the whole offense. We weren't able to run the football the way we wanted to with the blocking. We didn't do a good job of getting open with the receivers. Their defense did a good job of covering us and we just weren't able to get away from them. When that happens, the quarterback has nowhere to throw the ball and he ends up running a lot because of the coverage that they play. We should have been able to make plays with our wide receivers.

(Did they control the line of scrimmage?)
"They did, they ran the ball on defense, so they controlled it there. They won so they controlled it."

(With the BIG EAST on the line, big crowd and senior day at hand, why wouldn't the team be focused today?)
"I wish I had that answer. They had everything going for them, you'd think they'd come out here and play. As coaches, we just have to do a better. We saw that in practice and now we're coming into this game and in warmups, guys are dropping balls and going through the motions so I get them off the field. We were hoping that we would get their attention and they would come back and play. We had to get focused."

(Was this an off-day for Teddy Bridgewater?)
"Not so much Teddy, an off-day by the offense. The plays are there to be made so the running backs holes are open, they need to go hit it, the receivers need to get out of coverage and to go get open so that we can make those throws. One time I think we had Chichester open and he dropped one. We had some routes out there ... even the one where we had Michaelee in that crossing route, there's one guy to beat. That would have been a big one there."

Hakeem Smith, So., S

(On coach taking them in early for warm-ups)
"He told us we need to step it up. He saw it from the beginning of the game that we weren't focused and we need to turn it up like we usually do."

(On his thoughts if they were prepared)
"You could tell a little bit. It has been like that all week - lack of focus around game time. We just didn't turn it up."

(If West Virginia win caused lack of focus)
"I don't blame that, we got a little complacent. There was complacency in the team, but other than that, not everybody was complacent. It didn't rub off on anybody."

(On senior day and a packed crowd and not being focused)
"We just didn't show any emotion like in previous games. No focus and no emotions, everybody was just going through the motions. We just weren't prepared.

(On if they have to help shade Josh Bellamy's side of the field)
"Not really, we just had a safety over there to help him. He adjusted real fast though."

(On missing Adrian Bushell)
"It was a key player we missed. We needed him. Josh Bellamy stepped in and played great but we could still have used him."

Josh Bellamy, Sr., WR

(On expecting to play as much at corner today)
"I practiced all week. Coach (Vance) Bedford told me I would be playing a lot.

(On big play in early third quarter)
"No, that was on me, a blown coverage. Coach Bedford told me to stay on my man because they run a lot of trick plays, so that was my fault."

(On when he found out he was starting)
"I think it was on Thursday."

(On if he had played defense before)
"I played defense in high school. Coach Strong actually recruited me at Florida. He wanted me to play safety. He asked me to play defense last week, so I have been practicing with the offense and defense the last two weeks."

(On coach bringing them in early from warm-ups)
"He told us to focus up, he had seen a lot of fake emotion ... A lot of people are not ready to play so he brought us in and sat everybody down to get our heads right."

(On the future of this team)
"We just need to go out and play like we know how to play. We need to go out and win the next two and hopefully things will fall the way we want them to."

(On being disappointed by team not being prepared to play)
"No, not really disappointed, it just hurt. We go out there and not get the win when you know we are supposed to get the win. That team wasn't better than us at all. We just let it slip away."

Teddy Bridgewater, Fr., QB

(On how frustrating the loss was)
"It's very frustrating. We took a step back."

(On how the team prepared)
"Like the coach said, he just feels like we didn't have a good week of practice."

(On what the coach said)
"It was the same thing he saw in practice, fake energy and stuff like that."

(On if he was worried before the game)
"No, I wasn't worried at all. I have confidence in them. We always go out and give it our all."

(On missed opportunities)
"It all starts with me. I have to continue just to humble myself. I need to remain a student of the game and each week just come back and try to learn."

(On how he evaluates himself)
"I just feel I left key plays out there. I left guys wide open. I didn't get guys into the right place. So I just feel like I need to come back, humble myself, and become a better player."

(On where they go from here)
"We just have to bounce back. We just have to come back and work hard."

(On if he can be a leader for this team)
"Oh yes. I just need to pick guys head's up and let them know that this can't determine the rest of our season."

(On the penalty problems this week)
"It was probably just natural instincts on some of those plays with the blocks. We just have to eliminate them."

(On the final play)
"I was just supposed to lob it up and look for something in the end zone."

(On why they burned the timeouts late in the game)
"You just have to trust yourself and trust what is being called. I got the signal from the sideline but it was just bad communication from me in the huddle."

(On if they should be better at this point in the season)
"Yes, you know we just have to play better football."

Dominique Brown, So., RB

(On what Coach Strong said)
"He pretty much said we had the same tendencies as when we came off our big rivalry game against UK. We came out that way against Marshall and he said he pretty much saw the same thing."

(On if they will bounce back)
"Yes sir. Speaking from an offensive standpoint, I'm sure we will bounce back. They are going to be more on us. It is going to be a hard practice but we are going to have to do it."

(On if it is easier to focus in road games)
"I mean pretty much since the new coaches got here we haven't been that good at home. I think pretty much we are a better road team."

(On if he got hurt today)
"It was my groin. I will be alright though."

William Savoy, Sr., DE
(On why this was the worst loss)
"Mainly because we saw it coming into practice. We weren't ready for practice. I think our team has a lack a maturity. We win three straight and we think we have it but you still have to keep playing and practicing. We didn't practice this week and that's why we lost."

(On if he felt a lack of passion before the game)
"Definitely. That's why coach brought us in. He saw it too."

(On the similarities between this and the Marshall game)
"It's the same thing. A big win at West Virginia, it is the exact same. It's a lack of maturity. We don't know how to handle a big win. So I hope the young guys learn that it doesn't have to be like this. You have to practice."

(On what Strong means when he says fake emotion)
"He calls it fake juices. You can get a sense that you aren't really into it. You aren't at 100. You just fake it till you make it. I mean it's easy to see. He knows when we are in it and when we are not. They have been around us all the time so they can see that."

(On the next two games)
"I believe we are going to learn from this mistake. We are going to go out and win those. I'm confident in my team that we will bounce back."

(On how disappointing the loss was)
"Like I said, the preparation. So I could kind of see it coming there. But yea that's why it is disappointing."

Pittsburgh Head Coach Todd Graham

(Opening statement)
"I'm awful proud of our guys. We came out here and got our first road win. I have to start by telling you how proud I am of the defense. We turned the football over and they came out and forced a three and out. That was special. We relaxed at the end and let them have a cheap one. They are a very good football team; a very well-coached football team. I thought there were two really good defenses going at it. Very, very proud of our offense and how we moved the ball. We didn't score the amount of points we'd like to, but we did what we had to do to win the football game. I'm really proud of Tino (Sunseri). To be honest with you, he actually called that last play. I was really pleased with his performance taking care of the football. He was very efficient. In the first half, he was 8-of-11 and he had thrown two balls away and had one dropped. He was almost perfect in the first half. He took a couple of sacks there early. I liked that he responded differently. I was really proud of him. He showed great heart putting that ball in the end zone. I was also proud of (Carl) Fleming. He was third team a couple of weeks ago and he got a big interception today. The defense up front was very impressive. Everybody on defense could have gotten a game ball. We did a great job of getting after the quarterback. I thought we did a pretty good job on our third down defense. I am very, very pleased. This win helps us and keeps our hopes alive of being conference champions. Obviously we are going into our biggest game of the year, the Backyard Brawl with West Virginia. I'm excited and pleased with our guys today. We did a great job. "

(On penalties)
"We had zero penalties today. That was the first thing I told the players when we came in. That's how you measure your discipline as a football team and that was huge for us. Our guys are very, very disciplined. We took care of the ball for the most part except for one play when we were trying to make a cut before the handoff. I thought we did a good job of taking care of the football. Devin Street has been stellar. He's just been awesome. He did a great job. I thought Mike (Shanahan) played well too. Hubie (Graham) was clutch on a real critical third down play. I thought we played well as a team and I'm really proud of our football team."

(On Louisville's muffed punt return)
"Actually, it hit off the guy's pads and he caught it in the air. You can't advance the ball on a muffed kick. You can get possession of it, but you can't advance it."

(On punter Matt Yoklic's shanked punt)
"I don't know. It looked pretty bad. It almost hit me. He just shanked it. It was a six yard punt. That obviously put our defense in a bad situation. Really, other than that, and us getting soft at the end, we played shutout football. Guys are playing really good on defense. I think we have improved each week and this week was very impressive. This was a very good football team we were playing against. They had won three in a row and to come in here and get a win like that was big. I really never felt like the game wasn't in hand. I thought our guys were in control. They are a very disciplined, well coached football team. That freshman quarterback is going to be special. He really is."

(On Mike Shanahan)
"Shanahan made a big time play. We had a special play we were putting in with Mark (Giubilato) to take a shot. We underthrew it and Mike made a great play as a defender. Obviously he made some key catches. He got some tough yards and made a big touchdown catch as well. We were very efficient. We did what we had to do to win. I thought our staff did a good job of adjusting throughout the game. I really felt like we kind of stopped ourselves on offense and that's the best defense in the league we were facing today. There are a lot of positives to take away from a win like this."

Antwaun Reed, Sr., CB

(On three interceptions in the last two games)
"The defense is picking up. It starts at practice. The coaches and players are putting more emphasis on catching the ball more and doing more ball drills, just attacking the ball in practice. We are not letting the scout team catch anything in practice, so we just keep attacking the ball."

(On stopping Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater on the option)
"I did what I could do to help my team. Our coach's motto is if you go under, you better make the play. That was in the back of my head, so I just went and attacked it. Any way I can help my team, that's what I try to do."

(On momentum after third down stops)
"I just keep playing, I don't even think about it."

(On confidence level of the defense)
"We are just trying to get better every week. We are trying to improve upon our mistakes. Anything we can do to get better; more film study or anything. We just want to get better."

(On what the defense needs to work on)
"We just need to finish more and keep playing hard. We need to stay disciplined."

Aaron McDonald, So., DE

(On defenses performance)
"I thought we did pretty good, we let them leak out a couple of times, but I felt like we did pretty good for the most part."

(On third down sack after U of L fumble)
"I was rushing. I thought he was going to go down the middle and he ended up breaking out and I just chased him down. I worked to the ball well and ended up getting him."

(On individual success this year, nine sacks)
"I came in just wanting to work hard. If it happened, it happened. I just play hard."

(On building on defensive performance)
"We have been getting better every week on defense. We just keep getting better and better."

(On Louisville's early success running the ball)
"We just stuck together and kept doing what we were supposed to do and ended up coming out with a good performance."



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