UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE FOOTBALL
COACH BOBBY PETRINO PRESS CONFERENCE – KENT STATE (Sept. 18, 2017)
COACH PETRINO: "We certainly got beat by a good football team. When you watch the video, you, first and foremost, have to give credit to Clemson. They came in and played well and they executed well. Offensively, we did not execute the way we are used to executing particularly in the first half and to start out the game. We had a few things there that normally we would make the play, but our timing wasn't right, our decisions just weren't the same thing we had been doing all year long. You credit some of that to Clemson, obviously. But some of it is that I'm not sure we had the confidence we need to win a game like that. In my history, I have found that when you don't truly believe that you're going to win, and don't truly believe that you're going to beat them, that things that normally don't happen, happen. Like you don't get the ball out on time, you slip, and plays you normally make, if you don't really believe it and you're playing a good team, you don't make those plays. So, we have to believe we are going to get in the game and win the game, first and foremost.
Defensively, I thought we played good in the first half. We were doing some really good things. We had an opportunity there where if we could get some points on the board, it would be a good close game. Offensively, we weren't able to convert third down, so our defense was on the field too much. They beat us up pretty good in the second half. We missed some tackles and that is what really showed up on the big runs is the missed tackles, some at the point of attack and some just beyond the line of scrimmage. So, we have to do a better job of cleaning that up, but it was in both in traffic and once they cleared the line of scrimmage. We have a lot of work to do. We have to get back on the practice field. We will watch this video this afternoon, put it beyond us, and go out of the field and practice this evening and get ready for our next game. It ought to be a good week for us I think, because we will be able to get some of our younger guys in and compete during the week for playing time, then hopefully they will do a good enough job this week in practice that we will feel comfortable with them playing in the game on Saturday. We are not where I thought we were, as a football team. But it's a long season ahead of us, there are a lot of games ahead of us and a lot of work to do. The most important thing for us is to get better from this point on."
(On lack of belief in players)
COACH PETRINO: "No, I felt like we practiced well. I felt like the kids were ready to go. But just from years past, thinking back like when we lost to Alabama one year, we did things just like we did the other night, where we didn't execute like we normally do. I don't know why that would be because we have played them so close and so tight in all the games that we've had."
(On Lamar Jackson's excitement prior to game)
COACH PETRINO: "He did a good job in warm-ups. But, he threw some balls really hard early in the game and he missed a couple, early in the game, that he usually doesn't miss. I spoke to him yesterday, sat him down in my office, and we talked about a lot of things yesterday. He just felt like he was trying to hurry things and push things—was pressing a little bit early in the game to make a play."
(On his belief in the team following the game)
COACH PETRINO: "I like this team. I think we've got good guys. I think we've got good talent. We've got to go out and get back on the field and win and play. You look back at last season, that same week, we beat Florida State, Florida State comes back and finishes the year strong and plays in the Orange Bowl. We've got to concentrate on one day of practice and one game."
(On comparing team to Clemson)
COACH PETRINO: "It's a game. It's one game and we're not as good as Clemson in that game, there's no question about that. They got after us, beat us very handedly. So, what we need to do is come back and regroup and move forward."
(On lifting team back up after tough loss)
COACH PETRINO: "It may take a while to lift them back up because the first thing we're going to do is work really hard and go back to work—find out where we're at. The thing that you need to do is earn the right to win on the practice field and that's what we got to do."
(On playing opportunities for young players)
COACH PETRINO: "I think it's important for us to continue developing depth. Like (freshman right guard) Cole Bentley hasn't been in a game yet. We've played three really good games, three Power 5 teams, most other teams in the country haven't. We're going to continue to do that in our conference—that's what our conference is going to be doing in the next years ahead of us is open the season with tough games, big matchups. So that is what it is, but what it doesn't allow you to do is get guys in and play and get out there and make mistakes and learn from it and grow from it. So, that's the advantage of playing a game like that early. So, we've got guys like (freshman cornerback) Russ Yeast needs to get out there and play a lot. Cole Bentley needs to get out there and play a lot. (Freshman tight end) Kemari Averett needs to get out there and play, and get used to the speed of the game. Guys that are talented and can help us as the year goes on. I think it's really important to bring those guys along, and we need Kemari to really learn how to play the game at this type of level. He's got the unbelievable talent to do it and now he needs to get those reps and work at it."
(On boosting team confidence)
COACH PETRINO: "Everybody is different. Every player that you coach is different. Every team is a little bit different. My little brother used to get on me all the time about, 'Sometimes you're gonna have to give this offense confidence,' and I'd say 'Well, I'll give you confidence when you play well." Isn't that how you get confidence? You go out and you play well. You do things right and you get confidence. I'm not going to run around and pat them on the back today—probably a little bit different from that. But, we are going to go out there and throw the ball and catch it, and get our timing where it needs to be, and block the fronts, run hard, then, build that confidence. We had good confidence the first two games of the year, and we just got beat up the other night."
(On setting the tone after a loss)
COACH PETRINO: "It's all a little different. I haven't talked to the team yet."
(On expecting the team to be down)
COACH PETRINO: "Well, there's no question, they were down after the game. So, what we do today is they need to be honest with themselves, and we all need to be honest with ourselves. We need to watch the video, take it to heart, see how I can get better, see why I didn't execute at the level I'm used to executing at, and just be brutally honest with yourself. Then, we'll watch the video and we'll have a team meeting, and then going to take it, and as (former coach) John L. (Smith) used to say it, 'Tear off the rearview mirror," and go forward, and just look forward and look at getting better."
(On coaching performance)
COACH PETRINO: "Yeah, you do that laying in bed at night after the game. Every play- what could I do different? Could I make this call different? Should we have done better on third down? Should we have prepared better for this look? You're constantly replaying it, watching it on video, and seeing what we could have done, should have done, and obviously, any time you get beat it's hard. There's no question about it. You always figure you could do something to help you win the game that you didn't do. You just got to get back to work, back to the video. I always go back to what I really believe in. When you lose a game, you go back to what you really truly believe in, and get better at that."
(On defensive players running to the ball)
COACH PETRINO: "Yeah, it wasn't really as much as I thought it was. I watched every single play and I graded every single play, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. I was disappointed in the game when I didn't see guys flying to the ball and getting there, but then they were over here covering the screen and the bubble and the other things that, as you're watching the game, you really don't see. You just know they didn't show up over there to help. So (redshirt senior safety) Chucky's (Williams) all by himself, and where's the help? But they were running the RPO, to the other side of the field. So, it didn't really come down to- I don't feel like anybody quit. I feel like we continued to play hard. Did we wear out? Yes. We didn't make the same tackles in the fourth quarter that we made in the first quarter. And that's when you're on the field too much, and that's what good offenses do to you. They beat you up a little bit and then you don't make those tackles. Just like I felt we use to do all the time."
(On what he believes in as a coach)
COACH PETRINO: "It's a lot of things."
(On performance of senior running back Malik Williams)
COACH PETRINO: "Yeah. I do. I really like Malik running the ball. There's no question about that. Malik made a mistake early in the game, in one of our first eights and went in the wrong direction, so that took him out of the game for a while. It limited some of the things he got to do for a while. And that's a hard one as a coach to live with because we script our first eight, we practice it, do a walkthrough with it, so we don't expect to have an assignment error."
(On getting redshirt freshman quarterback Jawon Pass into game)
COACH PETRINO: "Yeah, I would love to get him in the game. There's no question about that. He needs to be able to get out there and play right now. He's played in the spring game, and then the scrimmage and mock games that we've had. So, he needs to get out there and play, execute the offense, throw the ball, see the protections, make sure they're set right, you know, just get the game-type experience that he needs."
(On how Pass looks in practice)
COACH PETRINO: "He's looking good. I really liked him. I think he's throwing the ball a lot better than he did a year ago. He has a great understanding of the offense—he's always been a really good learner and good listener. He listens as you're coaching Lamar and pays attention every rep out there on the practice field. And that's not easy to do. A lot of guys can't do that- they daydream, or somebody talks to them- but he always knows the call, always watches and sees, so he does a good job mentally with the preparation but you just don't get as many reps as you need. So, it'll be good- we'll practice a little extra tonight with young guys, so he'll get a lot more reps there, too."
(On the status of junior cornerback Jaire Alexander)
COACH PETRINO: "He did really well today in his workouts and is improving. They're very encouraged on how he worked out today. I was very positive."
(On defensive line and replacing DeAngelo Brown)
COACH PETRINO: "I mean, DeAngelo is a big guy to replace, just because of his strength, and experience, and his size. We're having to do some different things with the guys that are replacing him, but they've been doing a good job. D's really improving- he's getting faster, more active every game that he plays in. He's getting a better understanding of blocking schemes, so I've been really encouraged with his development, and now he's got to just keep going and going."
(On defensive changes)
COACH PETRINO: "We've got a lot of things to work on. We've got technique to work on. We've got a lot of coverage to tighten up. We didn't play with a lot of confidence in the secondary the other night. We gave them free access and let them come off the ball and gave them some easy completions. So, we've got to tighten up the coverage and challenge them. Make them work harder.
SOPHOMORE DEFENSIVE LINEMAN G.G. ROBINSON
(On the disappointment in the locker room after the game)
(On Coach Petrino's comment about the lack of confidence while playing Clemson)
(On the difficulty of moving on from the loss and whether or not he lost sleep over it)
(On whether or not the 24-hour rule is actually followed after a loss)
(On whether or not there were any surprises with Clemson's run game)
(On what he personally feels that he needs to work on)
(On whether there are any strength or technique issues to work on)
(On rotating multiple players up front)
(On what Henry Famurewa (junior DL) has done well so far)
SENIOR TIGHT END CHARLES STANDBERRY
(On his confidence level after the Clemson game)
(On the team's confidence level after the Clemson game)
(On the chop block penalty)
(On if he thought his touchdown catch was being thrown to him)
(On if he sensed Lamar Jackson was too hyped for the game)
(On why the offense could not get going)
(On if that was because the game was so hyped up)
(On how he dealt with the loss)
(On how the team will recover from the loss)
(On if the 24-hour rule is easier or harder as you get older)