What Scott Satterfield, Bryan Brown, Louisville Players Said After 20-14 Win at UCF
ORLANDO, Fla. – Coming off of their disappointing season-opener, Louisville was able to bounce right back, rallying to take down 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. Coach (Gus) Malzahn, I think he does a great job with their program. Their kids play hard, they’re a talented football team, they play fast. My second time going against them, two really, really highly contested games. They do a great job. Having said that, I also can’t be any more proud of our players. Coming off of an unbelievably disappointing week last week, on a short week, back-to-back road games, you get back at four in the morning on Saturday night and have to travel on Thursday, down here to Central Florida – another hostile environment. For them to come back and to play the way they did – a lot of negative talk last week. About our offense, about our defense. For them to battle back and to come up strong against a really fine football team in Central Florida, and to win it the way we did, I thought it was great. It was tough, it was hard fought, our defense played outstanding. First half was a battle back and forth. I think the difference in the first half, we had the turnover (Tiyon Evans’ fumble) when we actually were having some good plays and some momentum. We’re down 14-7, then defensively, the second half was just lights out. We were able to move the ball enough and score, and proud of JT (James Turner) for knocking down the two field goals there at the end, too. Then it came down to our defense. We went for it on fourth down because I really believed in our defense. We get a first down right there, the ball game is over. We didn’t, and then defense held them out. That’s a great win. It’s a great team win. Looking forward to this coming up game next week against Florida State.
(On what this win meant with the emphasis on finishing games)
That’s what I loved about the locker room. I told the guys that “my why,” why I coach, is to see the joy on their face. Because they put so much hard work in this offseason. We talked about it all the time, and we did such a poor job in the first game. Then for them to hear all the bad talk all week long, it would have been really easy to lay it down. But they were very focused and intent on coming down here and playing a really good game, and they did that. The way we finished it in the fourth quarter was tremendous. It’s really a lot of guys, and there’s not just one guy on defense. It was a team effort on defense. We’re getting pressures on the quarterback, we’re playing tight man-to-man coverage, it was all the guys. That’s what you want to see: a good team, defensive win.
(On the defense)
Well today, we tackled a lot better. They’re talented. (John Rhys) Plumlee, he’s as fast as guys you’ll play at quarterback. We knew that things were going to go through him. Number four (Ryan O’Keefe) is an outstanding receiver, they tried to do things to dial him up. Number zero (Johnny Richardson), he’s very talented. We’re playing man coverage, and they hit a few balls on us far as down the sideline. I thought they kept trying to attack, out guys had a couple P.I.’s, but we just hung in there and kept battling. Because we knew over time, that we should win that battle. (Jarvis) Brownlee had an unbelievable pick in the end endzone, looked like to me that he just kind of took it from the receiver when the receiver went up. That was an incredible 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 think the first game, we didn’t let him play his game enough, and I think tonight we did. 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. This week we were like, “Malik, we’re gonna have to ride you,” and he said, “coach, that’s what I want.” There was a lot for him to put on his shoulders, and every time he came to the sideline, he was like, “Coach, I got it. Let’s go.” He runs hard, he played tough. He was a difference as far as just the tough, gritty yards that we needed to get. Then a tremendous run on the long touchdown run down the left sideline. He did get a great block by T-Huddy (Tyler Hudson) on the sideline over there that, obviously, made him get into the end zone. That was one of the big 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. Once he gets out in space, he’s hard to tackle. We were just trying to keep him hemmed up in there. Early on, he had a couple of key draws and he got in some space there, and got some big runs. Second quarter, we started to say, “Listen, let’s attack the edges. Let’s keep them kind of hemmed in right there, and now just converge on him.” Our guys did a good job. I also thought the tight coverage, he had to hold it a little bit longer. On some tight coverage, we were able to get home and get some pressure on him. I think that’s the difference as well.
(On why the tackling was so different)
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To me, it was really a mindset. You had to make your mind up to go take that extra step and wrap up. Last week, we were one step short from getting there. We’re lunging and we’re throwing a shoulder. Take the extra step, get your arms around, and if you miss that tackle, then we have to live with it. Then the next guy will come and try to make it. I think that was the difference, and just the mindset of “hey, I’ll take one more step and try to get my arms wrapped around.” We missed a few tonight, but nothing 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 a little bit more – let’s try the edge, let’s see if we can kind of go out here, and hem them inside. That seemed to work a lot better. The big part of their game is the zone read with the running back, and we were attacking that edge on that side, and trying to take the ball out of the quarterback’s hands. I think that made a big difference. They hit a few screens early in the game on us, the quick throws, that’s why we had to tighten up the coverage out there. Just try to 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. Backs against the wall, you lost a conference game the first week on the road, did not play well, a lot of anticipation coming in. A lot of confidence from our guys coming into the season, and it’s really easy to get down on yourself. It’s real east to just kind of feel sorry for yourself, not have a good week and that type of thing, which no one did. I think they were 31-2 in the last six years, somewhere around there. They don’t lose here. To come down here and to be able to do that – this team just came off a Florida win in a bowl game. This is a good football team with a lot of guys back. It’s a huge win. It’s a huge win. You go into the Florida State game, you’re sitting on 0-2, that’s not going to be good at all. But to have some confidence to know, “hey, we played well, in the way we wanted, and now we gotta go have a great week.” The good thing is, we get a normal week even though it’s Friday night. We get a normal seven day turnaround, not a short week, it’s gonna be big for us as well. And we get to stay at home and get to play in Cardinal Stadium. That’s another huge news thing for us.
(On the ratio of yardage to points in the game)
I mean, obviously you want to score more points. I think Syracuse defensively did a great job last week. I thought they did a great job of holding us out of the end zone. We got in the red zone, didn’t score. We missed a field goal tonight down there. The name of the game is to score points. We got to find ways to get in the end zone. You don’t want to settle for field goals. But again, I think this is a good defense. We did move the ball better tonight. I don’t know what our yards was, but we moved the ball better. We got some other guys involved in the offense as well. That’s what we got to keep doing, and hopefully we can find a way in the endzone.
Defensive Coordinator Bryan Brown
Running Back Tiyon Evans
Quarterback Malik Cunningham, Safety Kenderick Duncan
(Photo of Scott Satterfield: Mike Watters – USA TODAY Sports)
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