What Scott Satterfield, Bryan Brown, Louisville Players Said After 20-14 Win at UCF
ORLANDO FLA. – After a disappointing season-opener, Louisville was able bounce back and defeated UCF.
Here’s what head coach Scott Satterfield, defensive coordinator Bryan Brown, running back Tiyon Evans, Quarterback Malik Cunningham and safety Kenderick Duncan had to say following the win:
Head Coach Scott Satterfield
First of all, just want to give some kudos to Central Florida. I think Coach (Gus Malzahn) does a great job with their team. Their kids are hard working, they’re a great football team, and they play fast. They were my second opponent. It was two very close games. They do a fantastic job. I can’t be more proud of our players, despite that. After an awful week last week, which included back-to-back road matches, you have to get back at 4 AM on Saturday and then travel down to Central Florida on Thursday – another hostile environment. It was a lot of negative talk last Wednesday that caused them to return and play the way they did. Concerning our defense and our offense. It was amazing for them to fight back against a very good football team in Central Florida and win it the way they did. It was hard, it was hard fought, but our defense played outstanding. The first half was a battle back-and-forth. The difference in the first period was that we had the turnover (Tiyon’s fumble), when we were actually making some good plays and gaining momentum. We’re down 14-7, then defensively, the second half was just lights out. We were able move the ball enough to score and we are proud of JT (James Turner), who also scored the two field goals at the end. It was then down to our defense. Because I believed in our defense, we went for it on fourth down. The ball game is over when we get a first down. We didn’t and defense held them out. It’s a great win. It’s a great win for the team. We look forward to next week’s game against Florida State.
(On what this win meant with the emphasis on finishing games)
That’s what I loved about the locker room. I explained to the guys that my “why” is to see their joy. Because they worked so hard in the offseason. We talked about it constantly, and we did such an awful job in the first match. It would have been easy to just let them hear all the negative talk for the rest of the week. They were focused and determined to play a good game and came down here with a clear mind. It was amazing how we ended it in the fourth quarter. It’s a lot of guys and not just one defense player. It was a team effort in defense. We’re putting pressure on the quarterback, and we’re tightening man-to-man coverage. It was all the guys. This is what you want to see: a winning team and a defensive win.
(On the defense)
Well today, we tackled a lot better. They’re talented. (John Rhys Plumlee) He’s as fast and agile as the quarterbacks. We knew things were going through him. Number four (Ryan O’Keefe), is an outstanding receiver. They tried to dial him up. Number zero (Johnny Richardson) is very talented. We are playing man coverage and they hit quite a few balls on our sidelines. They kept trying to attack me, but our guys had a few P.I. We just kept fighting and fought. We knew that we would win this battle. (Jarvis Brownlee) Brownlee made an incredible pick in the end zone. It looked to me like he took it from the receiver when he went up. It was an amazing play. Just a great team effort there to get that when
(On what was different about Malik Cunningham tonight)
I’ll take the blame on that. I believe that we didn’t allow him to play his game enough in the first game. I think we did tonight. Go back and you watch the (film from) Central Florida last year, I think he had 99 yards rushing last year against them, and played really well. We were like, “Malik! We’re gonna need to ride you,” and he said “coach, that is what I want.” He had a lot on his shoulders and he kept coming to the sideline to say, “Coach, it’s mine.” Let’s go.” He ran hard and was tough. He made a huge difference in gaining the tough, gritty yards we needed. Then, a great run on the long touchdown run down to the left sideline. He did manage to block T-Huddy (Tyler Hudson), on the sideline that allowed him to get into the endzone. This was one of the major differences in the game.
(On if there was anything he saw on tape that made them comfortable with attacking Plumlee)
The thought was to try to get him before and gets started, because if he gets out in space, he’s gonna be hard to tackle. We went back and I looked at the game when he started at Ole Miss against LSU, and rushed for 220 yards against those guys, who were pretty good on defense that year at LSU. He’s difficult to tackle once he moves out of space. We were trying to keep him in the ring. He had a few key draws early on and he was able to get some space and run some big runs. We started to say “Listen, let’s attack the edges.” In the second quarter. Let’s keep them a little bit hemmed in, and then let’s just converge on him. They did a great job. I thought he needed to keep it tighter because of the tight coverage. We were able to get back home with some pressure because of the tight coverage. That’s what I believe is the difference.
(On why the tackling was so different)
To me, it was really a mindset. You had to decide to take the extra step and wrap up. We were just one step away from getting there last week. We are stooping and throwing a shoulder. You can take it a step further, extend your arms and make a tackle. If you miss the tackle, we will have to accept it. The next guy will try to make it. That was what I believe made the difference. It was just the mindset of “hey I’ll take one step more and try to wrap my arms around.” We missed a few tonight but not like last week.
(On the defensive adjustments after UCF’s first two drives)
Early on in the game, we were bringing more pressure up through the middle, and then Plumlee and the guys were getting more outside. We made an adjustment to bring more pressure. Let’s try the edge. Let’s see if it’s possible to kind of go out there and hem them in. This worked a lot better. Their zone read with the runningback is the most important part of their game. We were focusing on that side and trying to take it out of the hands of the quarterback. It made a huge difference. We had to tighten our coverage because they hit us on a few screens in the first half. You can take some of those quick throws away.
(On how big the win is)
It’d be hard for me just to explain how big it is. You lost a conference match the first week on the Road. There was a lot of anticipation. There was a lot of confidence among our guys going into the season. It’s easy to feel down about yourself. It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself and not have a great week. I think they were 31-2 in the last six years, somewhere around there. They never lose here. This team just won a bowl game in Florida and was able to come down here. This is a great football team with many guys back. It’s a huge win. It’s a huge victory. It’s a huge win. If you go to the Florida State game, it’s 0-2. That’s not going be good. To feel confident and to know that we played well, in a way we wanted, and now it’s time to have a great week. Even though it’s Friday night, we have a normal week. We get a seven-day turnaround. It’s not a short week. It’s going to be big for us. We get to stay home and play in Cardinal Stadium. This is another great news for us.
(On the ratio of yardage to points in the game)
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I mean, obviously you want to score more points. I thought Syracuse did a fantastic job defensively last week. They did a great job keeping us out of the endzone. We were in the red zone but didn’t score. We missed a field goal down there tonight. The game’s purpose is to score points. We have to find ways to get to the end zone. You don’t want the field goals. This is a solid defense. We moved the ball better tonight. Although I don’t know the exact yards, we moved the ball more efficiently. We also had other players involved in the offense. We have to keep doing that, and hopefully we can get into the endzone.
Defensive Coordinator Bryan Brown
(On the increased tackling effort)
I’ve been seeing people say, “hey, I thought you said you had a great defense?” It’s true. It was something I learned in spring ball and fall camp. Last week, we missed some tackles. There were a few misfits. I think it was first-game jitters. Tonight, the guys came out to play and they were a lot of fun. They handled the situation well and executed it to perfection. After the first drive, we settled down. The guys were excellent. They played hard and I’m proud of them.
(On the total defensive effort)
It was all the guys. You couldn’t tell that we lost the game when we left Syracuse. The next day, guys came out and practiced their skills. They were flying all week and it was clear in their eyes that they were eager to play. They were eager to get rid of that bad taste in their mouths. It was gratifying to see the guys celebrating in the locker room, despite being in a hostile environment.
(On the push from the defensive front)
With Jermayne (Lole) going down for the year, I think the guys just took it upon themselves and said, “hey man, we got to step up. We have to step up. One of our brothers is down.” They played their part. He also lost his dad yesterday, which was another thing. He had to fly home this afternoon. He is also playing for the guys, I think. The guys gave everything they had and came out with a collective effort. You win the games up front, especially up front. If you have the ability to push hard, you can get into the backfield and get some sacks. That will help the secondary DBs to be able get a little tighter. They did it tonight. It’s a great accomplishment.
(On the energy level in the second half and the message at halftime)
I think once we settled down after that first drive, once we got used to the tempo, they were fine from that point on. I think they were still geeked out and understood the stakes in the locker room. We played a decent first half, but not a great second. We had some things in our bags that we didn’t want to give out, so we started to hit the guys with them during the second half. They couldn’t adapt to that. We were just excited to get out there and have fun. It didn’t matter what situation it was, whether the offense wins or loses, the game was still enjoyable. Let’s get out there and do good. Trust was our thing. Trust him brother, he’s going to be where he needs to be. I believe the men trusted each other and were open to collaborating.
(On the pressure they were able to get from the outside)
We came outside early on, and saw we should have had a sack on one of those. We said, “hey, whenever they get on certain hashes let’s go from that side and get some pressure off of the edge.” We’ll then move to the second half and get our sacks in there, since we didn’t run any middle pressures in that first half. We wanted to mix it all up and keep them balanced. Gus said that we did a good job. It was amazing. It was so much fun to see the guys have fun and celebrate on the football field. Nothing is more satisfying than watching our children play hard.
(On the two late fourth quarter stops)
Anytime you can get fourth quarter stops – you think about last year how many games we lost in the fourth quarter. All offseason, we preached this. After Brownlee’s touchdown, I spoke to the guys from the sideline and asked them to calm down. Then, I said, “hey, we have to go back and make another stop in order to win the football game.” The guys were confident that it was possible. I think Coach Satterfield has created situations like this. All spring ball and fall camp, four down scenarios or two minute scenarios. It gives them the confidence to go out and do it.
Running Back Tiyon Evans
Quarterback Malik Cunningham, Safety Kenderick DuncanFacebook – @LouisvilleReportTwitter – @UofLReportInstagram – @louisville_report]Twitter Deputy Editor Matthew McGavic@Matt_Matt_Matt_.
Running Back Tiyon Evans
Quarterback Malik Cunningham, Safety Kenderick Duncan
(Photo of Scott Satterfield: Mike Watters – USA TODAY Sports)
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The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.