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Post-Game: Players discuss big win

Eli Rogers, So. WR

(On his big catch late in game)

"There was an opportunity in front of me and I just took advantage of the opportunity. Teddy (Bridgewater) played very hard tonight and I was just felt like I had to do my job. I caught the ball."

(On expecting to get the ball in late game)

"Yeah, it's just the bond we have. Like once he sees the coverage and he knows I'm gonna run the right route. It's trust, You know? We know we're going to connect. It's just a matter of how the play plays out."

(On explaining some of things that happen in game)

"We just persevered. Came out, they made a couple of big plays. We didn't get too tight, too tense- we stayed calm. The defense came out and made some good plays and the offense came through."

(On finding out that Teddy Bridgewater wouldn't start)

"We just practiced with Will (Stein) and prepared with Will (Stein). If we needed Teddy (Bridgewater) he was ready to go and as y'all so he was ready. He came through big for us."

(On what going back to Florida would mean for a BCS game or playing Florida)

"It would be great! Whatever game we're in, we're in a BCS bowl and that's all that matters."

(On if Teddy Bridgewater took snaps in practice)

"I don't really think so. He threw in 7-on-7 but he didn't really take any snaps."

(On if offense changes with Will Stein in game)

"We he gets in the game, we just step our game up. We know that we don't really have the chemistry with him, timing and everything. So all this week, we just practiced timing and just getting to the stop where we needed to be."

(On if he expected that performance out Teddy Bridgewater)

"We definitely do. We got off the bus and me and him had a 1-on-1 talk."

(On what 'talk' was about)

"It was just very emotional. I can say that."

(On how they handled coaching rumors)

"He always preaches stay within the system. Say within the program. Don't be worried about outside media. I've said that before but it's true."

(On how much he appreciated Strong addressing rumors)

"I really appreciate it. Coach Strong is like a father figure to everyone on the team, he's such a good leader. You have listen to him. You gotta buy within his system."

(On reaction to ACC invite)

"I was very excited. We came here planning on changing the traditional and everything. This is my 2nd year and we're accepted into the ACC. So I felt very proud for the program."

(On what BCS means for program)

"It brings the city together. Just shows that Louisville football is still out here, it's still dominate and we're gonna be dominate."

Calvin Pryor, So., DB

(On Teddy Bridgewater)

"He's great. He's fighting through all the injuries. He's a playmaker, making plays on the field. Having him out there just gives you a different type of feeling."

(On defensive issues in 1st half)

"It was nothing they did. We just gave up 2 big plays for missed tackles. It was nothing they did. We knew what they we're doing the whole game. The 2nd half we just came out and stopped it."

(On mood in locker room)

"It's crazy. We ready to get home and celebrate."

(On what Charlie Strong's halftime speech was)

"I think he was really calm. It wasn't nothing major. We gave up 2 big plays off missed tackles. He was like 'We have to tackle, if we tackle, we'll win the game."

(On forcing turnovers)

"It was big. You just have to go play with toughness. You just can't teach turnovers. You have to practice it, ripping the ball out.

(On if that was point of emphasis based on QB being turnover prone)

"Yes, it was a big one. Coming into the game, I think he 13,14 interceptions. I think we just had to create some turnovers to make easier for defense."

(On if practice was any different this week)

"We had the same gameplan man. Say gameplan we had for UCONN. Just made little adjustments. But it was pretty much the same. We had two good weeks of practice."

(On if he has preference for Orange Bowl or Sugar Bowl)

"I really would like to go to the Orange Bowl. But any BCS game is big, it's on a different stage. It's better than going to the Belk Bowl."

(On playing Florida State possibly)

"Oh yeah, I would love to play Florida State. Because I stay like an hour away from there, so if we win- which I plan on winning in the BCS game. I'd go back and talk. Little bragging rights."

Damien Copeland, Jr., WR

(On how it feels after win)

"I'm more than excited man. We knew what we had to do and we got it done."

(On what Charlie Strong told them in locker room going out for 2nd half)

"He just told us to stay poised. We knew a big play was gonna come from the offense sooner or later. We knew the defense was going to continue to come out and play and that's what happened."

(On what he thought about Teddy Bridgewater)

"He's a fighter. Like I said last week I got so much respect for him. I was telling him 'We know you're hurting' but I told him I got his back"

(On how they stayed focus despite early struggles)

"The biggest thing is just staying calm, staying poised. We know what we been doing all year as an offense."

(On what it means to play Florida State or Florida)

"It means a lot. I'm ready. That's all I can say"

(On if he had a preference for Orange Bowl or Sugar Bowl)

"I'd love for it to be in the Orange Bowl because I'm 3 hours away."

(On if losses two losses in a row made this more redemption)

"Yes. It felt great. Especially coming on the road and taking it. It was total team effect, we couldn't get it down without each other."

(On Coach Strong message about coaching rumors)

"Nothing. He didn't talk much about it. He told us not to listen to all the rumors. He's right here."

(On thoughts on joining ACC)

"It's big for us. Hopefully we get in it next year- So I can play in it. But, it will be nice. I'm excited for the program."

Preston Brown, Jr., MLB

(On what was said in halftime locker room to defense)

"We were just tackling about going out and making the tackles. Because missed tackles lead to the big plays. We try to cut that down in the second half which led to a win."

(On what moment means)

"It means a lot. Coming out getting this Championship, going to the BCS, it's a lot for the team. We're all excited about it."

(On Teddy Bridgewater playing despite injuries)

"That's the toughest Quarterback in the nation. We always believe in him, he can come out and make big plays. He led us today."

(On forcing turnovers)

"Their Quarterback threw that ball that way sometimes from his recent history. So we knew that we could get some balls in the air. We got some tip balls in the air and that one he just threw to 'T.Floyd' (Terrel Floyd) there at the end."

(On how much they want a shot at 'big boys')

"You hear about all those SEC and ACC teams getting more respect than we are. Now we have a chance to prove what we can do to those types
of teams."

(On comments of 'Louisville, we are who you thought you were')

"I guess we are (who they thought we are), we got a 10th win, we're going to the BCS, so that's fine with me who we are."

(On how Coach Strong addressed rumors)

"He just told us not to listen to any thing outside. He told us what was going on in the situation. We trust Coach Strong, so we just listen to him and took it from there."

(On how much controlling possession helping defense)

"We knew we had to keep them off the field. Those big plays that led to the touchdowns, we gotta cut down on that."

Alex Kupper, Sr., OL

(On Teddy Bridgewater)

"His legacy at UofL just keeps on building and building. He's only halfway through. Just an unbelievable player, the way he fights. If you're with him, if you doing anything less, it's a shame on you. You have to fight with him and it's a honor to be protecting him."

(On how serious they took protecting him this week)

"It was our fault he got hurt in the first place. So we couldn't afford for him to get dinged up like he did in the last game. That was mission #1- to keep him protected."

(On locker room)

"It's unbelievable. Unbelievable feeling. Being here when we were 4-8 and watching the complete turn-a-round, then coming up here and getting this ball game. It's surreal."

(On how Coach Strong addressed coaching rumors)

"Coach Strong anit going nowhere. He approached us and said he's here to say, we believe him. He's like a father figure to a lot of us and when he says something-we take it to heart. He knows that and he's are coach, we love him."

(On moving from LT to LG during game)

"Not really (it was difficult). Like I say, assignments, technique, it just changes a little bit. Wherever they move me, that's where I'll play."

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