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Satterfield Weekly Press Conference Quotes

LOUISVILLE – September 13, 2022

(Opening Statement)

“Well, I feel like it’s been a while since we played Central Florida, but obviously, it was a great win for us. I said this after the game, I’m proud of our guys, the way that they bounced back. There were a lot of bad things in that first game (at Syracuse), but they didn’t let it affect them in the second one. We learned from it. We came back, had a great week of practice, and went down there (to UCF). We didn’t play perfect by any means. I felt like there were several plays that we left on the field that we could have done better after going back and watching the film, but nevertheless, in the second half, the defense came out and really just shut them down and kept them out of the endzone. They missed a field goal, and we had a couple of field goals to win it. Again, great win for us and now we got Florida State coming in. We’re excited about this opportunity. We know they’ve done great the first two games, big win against LSU and they’ve been playing well. I think (quarterback) Jordan Travis is playing very poised and throwing the ball good. They have some excellent running backs. Offensive line seems to be better this year, they’re a year older. They got some transfer wide receivers, big wide receivers.  I think one of them (Johnny Wilson) is 6’7” and 230 (pounds).  Even their slot receiver is kind of a muscle-bound slot receiver. So, they’ve got physical players out there, and defensively, they got some experience back. Both safeties, I think are really good players. Both the (defensive) tackles are really big, they’re over 330 (pounds) and 318 (pounds) there on the inside. They’ve got an impact transfer, a defensive end for them, #5 (Jared Verse). Very good player who impacted the game, had a blocked field goal against LSU, had a couple of sacks. He’s an impact player. You look at the special teams, it really probably won them the game against LSU. Two muffed punts, LSU had, and then a blocked field goal and a blocked extra point. Huge part of the game. Again, we’re excited about playing at home. We haven’t been here, feels like in a long time and we’re glad to be playing here in a normal week as far as time goes and not having that short week. We’re looking forward to it, so with that, I’ll just open it up for questions.” 

(Friday night games have always been a cool thing around here, do you like those kind of games here in Cardinal Stadium and that kind of excitement?)

“I like the excitement and the energy you feel from Friday night games. If I had to pick, I would pick Saturday nights, but I do think there is something special about it (Friday night). Usually if you’re playing on a Friday night, there is not a lot of college games being played throughout the country and you’re usually on national television, which I think is positive. For me, I think of high school football on Friday nights and college football on Saturday but we don’t really have control of that. We like the energy that will be out there and hopefully we will have a great crowd here on Friday night.”

(Your team improved from the first week to the second, what are some areas of improvement you feel like your team needs for this next week?)

“We need to get a lot better at playing more disciplined football, which includes the penalties. We have not been good in the red zone offensively, especially with three or four red zone penalties that have knocked us out of that. When you get long yardage from penalties in the red zone, it’s hard to overcome. Last week, defensively, we jumped offsides two times – one on fourth down giving them the first down and the other on third down when they threw an interception, and we were offsides. We have to play a lot cleaner football. Whenever you get in these close games, you don’t want to beat yourself. It very easily could have happened last game and certainly happened in the first game with turning the ball over and penalties. We just have to play cleaner football. That’s just more focus every day in practice and continuing to focus throughout the game and not having those things happen to us.”

(Coach, we have seen a lot of Tiyon (Evans), saw a little bit of Jalen (Mitchell), and Jawhar (Jordan), but we haven’t seen Trevion (Cooley) yet, just curious, what is his status is on potentially carrying the rock?)

“I think we’ll probably see (Trevion) Cooley this week. I think he’ll be back, and he’s practiced well yesterday, practice hard. I think he’ll be there. I think you’ll see probably more (Jawhar) Jordan as well. I think he maybe had three carries last week. We’re trying to get him a few more carries as well. So, I do think Cooley will get an opportunity, which he hadn’t really in the first couple of games so I do think he will be back out.”

(Now, with a regular week, you’re able to give them a day off. They come back, and they come back off a win. What’s been the demeanor of this team in practice? Especially on defense, where there has to be more confidence.)

“I thought yesterday, defensively they had a really good day. There’s still high intensity flying around. We’re in full pads yesterday. I think the energy level was way better in this last contest, which we’ve got to continue to bring in. I think that’s what we want in practice. And we did that yesterday, particularly on the defensive side. The offensive side wasn’t quite as good as the defensive side yesterday, but again, just having that energy flying around. I think the sideline was way better in this in the second game compared to the first, with more focus, guys pulling for each other, all of those types of things. We got to continue this week and then feed off our crowd. I think the one thing the last two games, it’s been a great home field advantage for both of those teams. Anybody that was in both of those stadiums, Syracuse was really loud and disrupted our offense, same thing with this past weekend. It was a great environment, definitely an advantage for the home teams there. I think it’s why Central Florida’s record has been the way it’s been the last six years there. We’ve got to use that for our advantage here as well. To have a hostile environment, hostile crowd, disrupt the other team. It only takes a few plays and all of a sudden now they’re knocking off the sticks. What Florida State does really well, they’ve been staying on sticks. I think they’re one of the better teams on third down. They’re averaging a third and five. If you’re averaging third and five, you get an opportunity to pick up a lot of first downs, so hopefully we can knock them off the sticks a little bit and hopefully the crowd here will help that out.”

(In the offseason, you talked about the defensive backs and secondary help. The other night, Brownlee and Riley were in the middle of it, it seemed like everything. Can you just speak to what they have brought to this team, especially those two?)

“Yeah, it’s neat. We’re watching Florida State and (Jarvis) Brownlee was playing against us last year, very aggressive. I don’t know how many tackles he had against us last year, but quite a few. He did it the other night, some great plays, particularly in the boundary. They were trying to attack in the boundary there. They hit one pass on him, but other than that, I thought he did excellent. And he gets the interception, he’s got a club on his hand, and he still gets an interception in the game, which is tremendous. Quincy (Riley) made some great plays as well, had the interception on the offsides play, then almost had another interception in the game. I mentioned him in camp, how he probably has the best hands in the secondary back there, making those interceptions. But yeah, they’ve been great additions and it gives us more depth. We’re able to move (Kei’Trel) Clark around and put him in corner and put him in nickel. Chandler Jones, the same way. So, it just gives us a little more flexibility in the back end there. I think we have to continue to use all those guys in those positions and move them around, utilize their strengths, and put them in position to be able to make plays, and it gives a lot more versatility.”

(What is the balance of wanting him (Malik Cunningham) to run, get those yards, and be himself but still develop him into more of a pocket passer?)

“Well, he’s got to throw the ball better. There’s no question when we had some plays the other night we could have hit and extended some drives. He was excellent in the run game, did a great job with that and had some big plays. The long touchdown run really got us into the game there and kind of broke the game open, but we do have to throw the ball better there’s no question about that. I think utilizing our receivers more, getting (Dee) Wiggins more involved, Ahmari (Huggins-Bruce) and (Tyler Hudson) getting some opportunities and some touches. Getting some other guys involved, like (Marshon) Ford. We tried to get Ford the ball last week in Central Florida and I think we did a few times, but really trying to spread that ball out, Braden Smith as well. So, there is opportunities out there we just have to take advantage of them. Malik (Cunningham) has to continue to work and hopefully it will happen this week that we’ll be able to open it up and get the pass game going.”

(You talked a little about their defense, but could you kind of speak to how big they are up front? And then (Jared) Verse in the first two games has made a ton of plays and he’s not the biggest guy but he kind of plays off of everyone.)

“The two defensive tackles that we played against last year and even the backups that come in are solid. They’re 330 (lbs) something and 320 (lbs), what they do is create a great push right there. It’s hard for your interior linemen to get off on the backers, and then their backers can run, #15 (Tatum Bethune) and #4 (Kalen DeLoach), they can run and so they allow those linebackers to run free and go make those plays on those running backs and that’s where they’re very effective. What #5 (Jared Verse) has been able to do is cause havoc off the edge. He took LSU’s tackle back in the backfield on the very first play of the game, just straight back in the backfield and then I think he had a couple of sacks other than that, and then the blocked kick. He just plays with a lot of effort and he has a lot of talent. It’s a great pickup from Albany, where he came from. He’s an impact player, similar to what they had last year when they had #11 (Jermaine Johnson) that came in from Georgia that ended up being the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. This guy (Verse) is very good, he’s a very good player.”

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