Charlie Strong spoke with reporters during the Big East Conference teleconference Monday morning, then during his weekly press conference at the Louisville football complex. Here are updates from the Cards coach:
Charlie Strong expects a strong challenge from South Florida this Saturday
On the win at Pittsburgh
“It was a good conference win for us on the road at Pittsburgh. The last two seasons they’ve had our number so it’s good to go into an environment in Pittsburgh and our team to play so well. Probably a big play for us was right before halftime we got the field goal and then coming out the start of the second half Teddy [Bridgewater] connected with DeVante Parker for a big throw and catch. It was great to see our offensive line block as well as they did and Senorise [Perry] had four touchdowns, the big one was at the end of the game when he was able to break away for a 59 yard touchdown. We have to continue to win and on the road it’s always important to play well. Now we’re able to come home for three conference games."
On South Florida
“South Florida is an outstanding football team. They haven’t played as well as they’re capable of playing. I look at that team and I think about us a year ago. We were 2-4 and had Rutgers coming here. Now they’re 2-4 and coming on the road against us. We cannot have a letdown because it’s a very competitive league and you have to be prepared every week.”
“We know South Florida is going to be another challenge for us. They are extremely talented and a team that has a lot of seniors. We can’t lose our focus..we have to execute and finish. Each game in this league is going to be very competitive. We have to take one game at a time and can’t worry about what is in front of us.”
“The talent is there it’s all about them playing together. The quarterback [BJ Daniels] is extremely talented. He runs and throws the ball very well. It’s all about them coming together and playing together for that football team.”
On Senorise Perry’s improvement
“Both of our running backs Senorise and Jeremy [Wright] both run behind their pads. Senorise has enough speed when he gets in the open field he can run away from defenders. But our offensive line is doing a great job blocking. You look at those four touchdowns, I was telling Senorise he didn’t even get touched when he ran into the end zone because we’re moving people at the point of attack and our backs are finding open seams and hitting them.”
On what Perry does well
“He is so fast that if he gets a step on someone he can out run them. Plus, he runs behind his pads and he can through defenders. But him and Jeremy Wright are playing so well for us.
“Coach Carter reminds him at practice all the time because he fakes when he doesn’t need to. He fakes himself back into a defender. He’s one of those guys that can get from point A to point B so quickly. You look at that 59 yard run and the seam wasn’t really there, he followed the blocker then all of the sudden the crease was there he hit it and was down the sideline. I told him he should thank the offensive line because on three of those touchdowns he was never touched at the point of attack because we moved defenders out of the way with the line opening holes.”
Senorise Perry was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week
On perception of Big East
“If you look there are three teams in this league undefeated, not only ourselves, but also Cincinnati and Rutgers. This is a very competitive league. Cincinnati and Rutgers both beat Virginia Tech, and we beat North Carolina. We’re very competitive inside and outside the league. I think [people] have taken notice around the country. This is exactly what this conference needed. I said at the league meeting that some team had to step up and make the country take notice and now we have three teams that are undefeated.”
On one loss teams ranked ahead of unbeaten Big East teams in BCS standings
“A lot of times you look at those marquee matchups and it has to do with the conferences and the perception about different conferences. That’s why you see the six one loss teams ahead of us. The schools within this conference just need to continue to play better and at the end of the day we’ll see where we end up.”
On the play of Louisville's offensive linemen
“We’ve got seven or eight linemen and we kind of move them around. Game by game it’s whoever is going to be there and Coach Borbs gets them prepared to play. And our system is not that complicated. Guys just have to know to get a hat on a defender and move them out of the way.”
On John Miller and Kamran Joyer injuries
“Yesterday [John Miller] did not practice so we’ll see where we are tomorrow with him. The same with Kamran Joyer. I think we took him down to see what kind of tests we get back on him.”
On the running game
“It’s so critical to our offense. If you look at our offense we are a play-action, boot-leg team and we try to get the ball down field. In order for Teddy to have the game he’s having right now is that we have to be able to run the football.”
On Daniel Brown's injury
“We don’t expect him back right now because he’s still nursing through that [knee injury].”
On mid-season evaluation
“Right now we’re 6-0 so we like the position we’re in, but we have six more games left to play. We can’t get full of ourselves because we still have games. We have to make sure we take care of our business. We have to become a consistent football team and we’re not very consistent right now. That’s what it’s all about…just becoming consistent and executing in all three phases of the game --- offense, defense and special teams.”
Strong was pleased with the play of FR LB Keith Brown against Pittsburgh
“We have to run around on defense. [Lorenzo] Mauldin played very well up front. Brandon Dunn probably had the best game that he’s had the whole season. Our front seven played well, but our secondary has to get better.”
“Defensively we have to get better. We can play about four good series then we give up a big play we shouldn’t give up. That happened to us Saturday. We were playing well then we give up two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. We shouldn’t have given up those touchdowns and our players understand they have to play better.”
On place-kicker John Wallace
“The thing about Wallace is he has a strong enough leg. You really don’t know what his distance is because some days in practice he will hit one that wows you, and then he’ll miss a short one. Every time he’s been in the game he’s made the kicks for us. The think you like about him is nothing bothers him.”
On third down conversions
“It puts so much pressure on the defense. It breaks you’re momentum on defense when the offense converts on third down. You want to get off the field on third down. It’s the only thing we talk about [on defense].”
On Alex Kupper
“He is our best offensive lineman. He can play tackle, guard or center. He’s not the big physicial looking guy, but he is so smart and knows what he has to do to make a block. He just competes. He’s smart and plays hard and competes every snap. If he had to play center we wouldn’t miss a beat.”
Senorise Perry was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 101 yards and four touchdowns in UofL's 45-35 win over Pittsburgh Saturday afternoon.
Perry is the leading scorer in the BIG EAST this season with an average of 9.0 points per game. Through six games, Perry has rushed for a team-high 559 yards and is averaging a team-best 5.8 yards a carry.
Louisville is 3-1 all-time against South Florida at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. USF won the last meeting in Louisville 24-21 in overtime during the 2010 season.
After 35 days without a home game, the Cardinals return home for three big home games beginning with a Homecoming visit from USF on Saturday, Oct. 20.
The Cardinals are 3-0 at home this season, as they opened the year with three consecutive wins over Ken- tucky (32-14), Missouri State (35-7) and North Carolina (39-34).
The Cardinals have been solid on offense in the first three games, scoring more than 30 points in all three games. The Cardinals are averaging 467.7 yards of to- tal offense at home this season led by sophomore quar- terback Teddy Bridgewater, who has thrown for 855 yards and five scores, and is completing 81.8 percent of his throws at home.
The Cardinals are looking to go 2-0 in the BIG EAST for the just the second time in school history and the first since 2006 when they opened league play at 3-0 before falling to Rutgers.
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