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Louisville football press conference notes

Charlie Strong

--There was no confrontation, verbal or physical, between he and former offensive coordinator Mike Sanford. "We're both professionals."

--Sanford is still on staff, they just need to find a new position for him.

--Going into conference play, it all counts now. Each game counts.

--He's happy with the switch to Shawn Watson calling the plays. Thought we had great rhythm and tempo on Saturday.

--The missed field goals in the first half were big. The momentum of the game could have been completely different. Chris Philpott has got to get his confidence back. Those are kicks that cannot be missed.

--Hoping to have Will Stein at at least 90% by Saturday. He could play now, but there's no point in throwing him out there if he's not healthy enough.

--Victor Anderson has an ankle injury, but will practice this week. 

--DeVante Parker has a high ankle injury, and will likely not play on Saturday.

--John Miller will try to practice this week.

--(On guys like Floyd and Mount starting over Bushell and Daniel Brown) You have to work to earn your playing time. Having started the last game means nothing, and some guys don't understand that. If you don't play well, if you don't practice well, if you don't go hard, there's a chance that you won't play at all next time.

--Will never blame the officials, but there were two or three questionable calls. There was one play where they called us for holding, and I know there wasn't a hold because none of our guys blocked anybody. Then the next play was the obvious facemask on Teddy that they didn't call. Also thought the kick-catch interference call was poor. They blocked us into the returner, and it still wasn't close enough to be a penalty.

--Officiating's never going to cost us a game. We just have to play better.

--There's no reason for guys not to play with energy. There's no reason for guys not to play with passion. Good things will happen if you play hard enough. I think some of our guys played with fear on Saturday just because of the way North Carolina looked.

--It's a new season for these guys. They've been taught, they've got some experience; it's time to go play now.

--Mike Sanford did a tremendous job, but it's all about being a good fit. Our program at this time needed a change going forward.

--When guys practice well, it tends to carry over. Marcus Smith had a great week of practice and then he goes out there and gets three sacks.

--It's really fun to watch Dexter Heyman right now. He's really grown up and is leading this defense.

--Anybody can win this conference, and that's the message our players have to understand right now.

--Has not met with Mike Sanford since last week. They will meet soon and he will be back this week.

--When Will Stein is healthy, he will play. Both quarterbacks will play.

--Josh Bellamy is fine. If he caught that ball (on the play where he injured his shoulder) he'd be feeling even better.

--Scoring is all about rhythm, and that's one of Cincinnati's biggest strengths. Zack Collaros takes a lot of chances, but he's a tremendous quarterback. 

--North Carolina was offsides on the 4th and 1 play where Louisville was penalized for illegal substitution, but the official wasn't watching because he was looking at the guy running onto the field. Dominique Brown should have gone ahead and ran the play even after he noticed we only had ten guys on the field. Still, that should have never happened.

--We have to start playing better at home now that conference play is here. "We have to fix that problem."

--Sanford was not suspended this week, he just took the week to think about his new role on the staff.

--If there had been another field goal opportunity, on Saturday, he would have had someone other than Philpott kick it.

--Has been on two teams that had midseason staff shakeups, and neither time was the team affected.The players don't even really notice stuff like that.


William Savoy

--Marcus had a great week of practice.

--We're definitely going to look at last year's game against Cincinnati to look at what went wrong and help the young guys understand what we need to do. We might run same of the schemes.

--If you want to play, it starts with practice. Coach definitely got some guys' attention on Saturday.

--As a defense we don't really pay any attention to that. I don't really know anything about all of that.

--Conference play is where it counts, and we're 0-0 right now.

--A lot of the younger guys are buying in now. If we can get everybody to buy in, we cannot be beat.

--Wasn't awed by North Carolina at all. Their line was big, but Pitt's line is that big too.

--Cincinnati has a pretty big offense. They can run, but they don't do anything we haven't seen before.

--If there's anybody that believes in this team it's coach Strong. They believe we can win and we owe it to them to buy in right now.

--We have to start believing we can be a top team, because we can.

--Had to move inside last week because Randy Salmon was hurt. Not really my thing, but I'll take one for the team. I don't care if I don't make any plays as long as we win.

--All we can do as a defense is worry about or side of the ball. Can't worry about the offense. We know they're trying just as hard as we are and we trust them.