Nov. 14, 2009
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Louisville Head Coach Steve Kragthorpe
(Opening statement) "I thought our guys showed a lot of heart and a lot of character because they continued to fight, continued to battle and found a way to win the game. That's the bottom line. We won the game. It wasn't as pretty as what we wanted it to be, but as Herm Edwards would say, 'you play to win the game.' We found a way to get it done today. Our guys stepped up and made some plays. Chi (Josh Chichester) stepped up and made a huge play there at the end. I thought our defense played great all day long. I thought our special teams were really solid in the return game. I think Trent had more return yards than we had total yardage, but that was a great job on his part. Again, our guys stepped up, found a way to make plays at the end."
(On Chichester's touchdown catch in the final two minutes) "It's just a fade-ball in the end zone and we knew we'd have it. We had a three-man combination route and we isolated him on the single receiver side. As soon as I saw we were getting the nickel blitz, I knew we had him one-on-one. They press man-to-man, so we knew to just throw it up there and let him go get it off the glass just like a rebound. It was a great play on Josh's part. He made the same play earlier in the game, but there was offensive pass interference on that one."
(On why Trent Guy was so effective today in the return game) "We really felt like the key in the game was holding up their gunners. We felt like we had great matchups up front with their interior guys on the punt team and if we could get their gunners held up, we could really do a great job of getting the returns started. And to be honest with you, (Syracuse punter Ryan Lichtenstein) out-kicked his coverage. Trent had a lot of time to diagnose where he wanted to go and we did a good job of eliminating those gunners so he could make the moves."
(On whether he was surprised Syracuse continued to kick the ball to Trent Guy) "Yeah, I was a little bit surprised. They did do the one squib kick and we got good field position on that one. But I was a little bit surprised."
(On the keys that make Trent Guy a good kick and punt returner) "I think it's a couple of things. He does a good job of setting up blocks. Also, the biggest thing to being a good punt returns and kick returns is that you have to be willing to sink the ball in there. If you don't, then you're just running side-to-side and they'll tackle you. He does a good job of sinking that thing right down the middle of the field and hopefully getting to the kicker and making him miss."
(On the play of the Cards' rush defense) "Delone Carter is a good back and he does a good job. They've run the ball against some good football teams this year. For the most part, I thought we did a good job of stopping them when they got inside the Red Area. I thought the thing that our defense did a great job of was not giving up points. When you only allow nine points, you ought to be able to win the game."
(On the play of linebacker Chris Campa) "He's really playing good football for us. We talked about it yesterday in the team meeting and I had him stand up. He's really playing smart football for us right now too. He's a very aggressive guy and sometimes he gets a little overaggressive, but right now he's playing smart. He's flying around and making plays. I think L.D. Scott did a great job today and that allowed Chris to make a lot of plays. It was a lot like last week when he was blowing up their guard and knocking him back at the line of scrimmage and making the ball bounce laterally."
(On the impact of Chris Campa's play for the improvement of the Cards' defense) "He helps us put more speed on the field because he can really run and speed is what it's all about. We've been doing a better job in the defensive front of getting penetration and making the ball bounce laterally, so with the speed we have out there, they can go make plays."
(On the offensive struggles today) "We struggled to get into a rhythm. I thought we had some good plays. On the first drive of the game we had a couple of really good plays but penalties hurt us. We really just struggled to get into any kind of rhythm."
(On whether he considering replacing quarterback Adam Froman with Will Stein in the game) "Not really because I didn't think it was Adam's fault. If I could've placed the blame directly on Adam, then I would've made the change, but I thought Adam was making some good plays for us. I thought one of the better plays he made earlier in the game was the scramble for the first down and about a 15-yard gain that was called back for holding. I thought he was throwing the ball pretty crisply, but we just weren't making the plays we needed to make."
(On the play of Froman after the layoff with the injury) "He was a little rusty. He was seeing things pretty good, so that was good, but he was a little rusty. It takes a little time to get back into game action because you can't simulate game speed in practice, but the bottom line is he made the plays at the end of the game to get the win."
Louisville WR Trent Guy
"I hit the hole and the guys hold up (their hands) whichever way their guy runs to so it was kind of the same return. (On knee hitting ground) Initially I didn't know, I thought maybe it did but I thought I caught may balance and that is why I ran it. I ran until I hit my head on the goal post. They got the review and ended up calling it back."
(On getting kicked to) "I was (surprised) they brought their gunners in and I just knew he was going to kick it out of bounds. I think he was aiming to kick it out of bounds, but it ended up staying in the field of play and I got a big return out of it."
(Special teams play) "As far as the punt team, he sometimes outkicks his coverage. We have been watching him and he always did . our coverage knew he was going to do a great job of holding up their gunners. The punt game, we knew we would have big plays. We weren't really sure about the kickoff game. But depending on where he kicked it, he usually tries to pin you up along the sidelines. He ended up kicking it between the numbers. We had a return sideline right and we ended up getting a big return."
(On calling for fair catch) "There was a little bit of indecision, I was thinking 'should I fair catch it?' and I ended up putting my hand up and catching it at the same time. I was thinking, 'he didn't blow the whistle, so I am going to take off' but he ended up blowing the whistle. Their guys gave me some backlash on that."
(Winning a BIG EAST game) "I have been saying it all year. If we keep our faith in our coach and in our program and our teammates and come out and work hard everyday, just like any other team sometimes things don't go our way . sometimes they do. Things ended up going our way today. We went out and got a great win and we look forward to playing USF next week."
(On frustration factor) "It does get frustrating because penalties have been killing us all year. One of the things we try to limit is our penalties. We will get a big play here and then get a penalty. So it is kind of frustrating, but like I said, we are going to keep on going out and fighting and trying to work on getting better. not getting penalties and getting in the Red Zone and scoring touchdowns."
(Waiting on review) "I was praying that they weren't going to take it from me. I have had a touchdown for a return every year I have been here. I don't have one yet this year, but I am going to keep working hard and get one sooner or later."
(On last return) "It was kind of the same thing as Southern Miss. We knew we needed to make a big play. We wanted to get good field position and get a touchdown. I was surprised they kicked it to me again. I thought he was going to kick it out of bounds but he didn't. It set us up for a good return."
(On USF special teams plan) "I am sure they will (kick it to me), they have good athletes and they are very confident in their play. Until I prove to them that I can make good returns on them then they will."
(On possible bowl eligibility) "We look forward to it. We are 4-6 right now. We know if we can get these last two wins we will be bowl eligible. It is the BIG EAST, no team is a pushover. Syracuse wasn't a pushover and they showed that they weren't by their play today. We are going to go out and get together a game plan and get ready to play South Florida. We are going to take it one game at a time."
Louisville QB Adam Froman
(On strength/recovery coming into game) "Physically I felt good enough. I was a little bit slow with my mental decisions today. Couple of bad decisions early but I didn't feel as if I was all the way there. I mean it just felt good to get back out there."
(Offense difficulties) "There wasn't anything wrong with the offense. We just didn't get it done. I give a lot of credit to the Syracuse defense. Those guys play hard and they brought some stuff we had't seen on film. Kept us guessing a little bit and kept us on our toes. Eventually we figured things out in the fourth quarter and we got it done."
(On disruption of rhythm) "Their defense did a great job and brought some delayed blitzes, they had some guys who were spinning around and getting crossed up got some guys popped free here and there. Their secondary did a good job a couple times on locking guys down and making me look at my second and third reads. A little bit of everything not one thing or the other and kept us from getting that flow."
Louisville LB Chris Campa
(On frustration that the offense never really got into rhythm) "It was a little frustrating, but that's where we have to take responsibility on the defense to keep giving the offense more opportunities. So every time they go three and out, we want to give them another opportunity."
(On whether he's been playing better the past few games) "I think I have. I think I've played hard all season, but I think I've been playing better, maybe it was the coffee I drank this morning."
(On Trent Guy) "He came up big. Special teams was a big part of this game. They came up big, we needed to give the offense good field position, made it a little easier. They were struggling and it made it a little easier for them to score."
(On Robinson's interception) "That was big. I was ready to get off the field. I was happy. I really didn't see it when it first happened, but when I looked at replay, it looked good. They tried to overturn it, but coach K stepped on the field and wouldn't get off the field."
(On Coach Kragthorpe giving credit to L.D. Scott for helping free him up) "I was talking to L.D. in the locker room and he was getting a lot of double teams, a lot of smash blocks and that helped me out. I know they take a lot of double teams to help free me up, the tackles I give credit to them as well."
"If they take on double teams and it causes them to free me up, then I know I've got to make the plays. Just like you said before, it gives a lot of credit to me and I give a lot of credit to the defensive line."
(On Syracuse's Delone Carter) "I gave him credit at the end of the game. He was a hard, tough runner, he ran straight downfield and was breaking a lot of hard tackles. I tried to strip him a few times, he held the ball tight, strong back. He was tough."
(On the last two weeks following the Cincinnati game) "We had to take more responsibility on our shoulders. Our offense was struggling, so Coach Guy he's called some great games as well. He's been scouting out the teams well, we've been executing his calls and his schemes. He put it in our heads that we have to take more responsibility, put the game on our shoulders and that's what we have to do to get more opportunities for our offense."
Louisville WR Josh Chichester
(On the touchdown - that counted) "I'm glad that I stayed in and brought it down for our team."
(On jump ball situations, how many times does someone get flagged) "Tonight it was every time they threw the ball my way. Normally it's either been out of bounds or I come down with it. Today - two flags. So, today 100 per cent."
(On his confidence in that situation) "I'm very confident that I'm going to come down with it. It just happened to be my day today."
(On the first touchdown that was called back) "I felt that I just boxed him out, using my basketball skills. Gave him my back, they said I pushed off. But I didn't think I pushed off at all."
(On what he did differently the second time) "I tried to keep my hands away from him that time so they couldn't call that. When I turned around I saw a flag on the ground I was like "It can't be happening again." I'm glad it was on him that time."
(On Trent Guy) "He was spectacular today. Coach told us all week that special teams was going a big part of the game today. Trent Guy showed that."
Syracuse Head Coach Doug Marone
(Opening Statement) "Obviously it is disappointing to see the way the game unfolded for us. It was a tremendous effort. Our defense .but obviously we gave up some big yards on special teams. One of the things that gets overlooked a lot when you have a depleted roster with a lot of players hurt is special teams. Just putting players on the field, using starters to make some plays, but we didn't make the plays. They did. Obviously we're disappointed with the execution of being on time. You run the ball well, but at the end of the day you don't score enough points to win the game."
(On special teams issues) "On the PAT, we snapped the ball and Dalton gets hurts on the previous play before. Max comes in, takes the snap, and it's a good snap. But it just goes through Rob's hand. I think it's one of those things you don't take for granted. I think we do in sports. When you kick the winning field goal, everyone gives credit to the kicker, but at the same time the snapper and the holder go through the same anxiety. It was just a missed play."
(On the punt to Trent Guy) "We were trying to play field position. We thought we could get it back there, and be able to get the ball back. When you try and go ahead and kick it out of bounds, sometimes you flub the kick. I feel like we have players on the field who have to make that play. It's part of their responsibility. Just like it is for everyone on a football team, and they're responsible to go down there and make the play. And, at times, we got knocked out of our lanes. It's just people not executing well. I'm going to go back to the same point. We don't have a lot of players on this team. That's not going to be a problem in the future. When you have depth issues, it's going to affect special teams before it affects anything else."
(On not being able to cover last punt) "Normally when you look and you just watch people return kicks, whether it's us with Mike Jones getting a nice return on our last kick. Most of the time, it's people being out of their lanes or not being able to cover their zones. I look at it as it's never as much the scheme as it's people getting knocked out of their zones and not executing well."
(On the quarterback draw to get Louisville in position) "The quarterback draw prior to that was a 3-yard loss, and I think it wasn't so much the quarterback draw, I think he saw that no one was open, and we got width and the quarterback runs the ball and makes the play. I think it all goes back to the same situation that you look at the defensive stats. They did a great job. At the end of the day they get great field position, they're able to make a play at the quarterback position, and they're able to make a play in the end zone and win the game. We weren't able to and we weren't able to execute our extra point."
(On defending a 6-9 guy with a 6-1 guy) "There's ways to go and there's way to put your hands and where to go up, but if it's executed properly if you're an offensive coach you're going to think you should be able to get it and if you're a defensive coach this is where you need to be in position; working the hip or working them out. You know, obviously I'm an offensive coach so the position goes to the receiver down there. He has a lot of rules down there that help him. You still need to be able to execute that or we could all go out an get 6-9 guys and put them in the red zone."
(On why it's so difficult for them to score) "I just think we're not able to make plays. I think that we've had situations on the field where we had the ability to make plays, but they wound up in negative plays for us with a sac or a scramble. We have things going down the field, but we're not able to get the ball down the field on a consistent basis to make plays. We have to find playmakers."
Syracuse C Jim McKenzie
(On gut reaction to how the game ended and how it got away) "Its heart breaking you know, they pulled it out at the end and it's unfortunate for us, but its part of football and you have to play all four quarters and all 60 minutes."
(On why this one got away) "We are going to have to watch the film and look over it, but we just have to keep working. We did well; we played hard and gave great effort, I'm real proud of my teammates but in the end there was just one too many mistakes."
(On Mike Jones kick return and Greg Paulus first down at the end of the game) "We thought it was going to be Northwestern all over again. We are thinking we are going to drive down there and score a field goal, touchdown, or whatever it takes to win the game, and that's all you have to think, that's how the game is played."
(On Andrew Robinson bizarre interception) "I saw a lot of crazy things on the football field and that was one of them. The guy made a play if it's an interception then it's an interception, you just have to live with the play and move on and keep working."
(On what the next two games mean) "Every game is an opportunity to bring out some pride for the Syracuse Orange, show support for the fans, and to show that the program is on its way back up."
Syracuse RB Delone Carter
(On reaction to letting one get away) "It hurts that's all I can say really. We had this game, we had it in the bag but it slipped away from us."
(On what cost you all the game) "We didn't get out fast enough, we didn't get in the endzone fast enough, and we didn't take their momentum away early in the game."
(On what happened to the offense early in the game) "We just didn't score every time we moved the ball. We saw that we could move the ball on them very well. We got down there but we couldn't execute in the red zone."
(On rushing the ball early on) "I knew we were going to run the ball early on. I felt like we did a good job of that but when we got down in the red zone something just went wrong."
On his performance over the past three games) "I stopped pressing it and let things happen. I stopped trying to do too much and just took what God has given me and try to make something out of it."
(On what the next two games will show about this team) "You will never see any quit in us and we are going to go out and play for ourselves and play for our pride."