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Charlie Strong Press Conference Highlights

The C-J has the full video. 


--Played well in all three phases of the game against UConn on Saturday. Very proud of the way his team prepared and focused.

--We held a team that had been running the ball very well to under 100 yards and six three-and-outs.

--Adrian Bushell gave us a huge boost on special teams, but he would have also returned the second kick for a score if he would have just followed his blockers.

--We're nowhere near where we should be right now. We're not really a good football team, and we know that.

--What we can't do as a program right now is to listen to all the bowl talk and the outside influences. South Florida is an outstanding team that's very good on defense. They're going to be a huge test.

--Tough to prepare for the USF offense right now since we don't know who's going to be playing quarterback.

--Knows we're right in the thick of the BCS bowl discussion, but doesn't want to address it because we're too young to handle all that stuff. Knows that some of the veterans are aware of it, but trusts them to keep the younger guys focused on the task at hand.

--Always told the team that they had the talent and could be great if they worked hard. Still, he's surprised at the position they're in right now.

--B.J. Daniels is a really good football player and you always want to face the best so you hope he can go. We'll prepare like we're going to have to face B.J. Daniels.

--The players get out of school on Tuesday, so we'll have some additional time to work on a short week. What hurts is the coaches miss that extra day to gameplan.

--We've played 10 straight weeks (since the bye before the UK game) so the guys are in a rhythm and totally locked in. Thinks that's an advantage, and is glad we haven't had a bye week since that could allow the guys to listen to some of those outside influences.

--Adrian Bushell is so talented, but he's his own worst enemy. He's probably the fastest player on the team. Obviously was huge on special teams, but he's also a guy who has really made plays on defense.

--The amazing thing about our players is they've answered the call every time we've asked someone to switch positions. Mentions Alex Kupper, Jake Smith, Jamon Brown, Chris White and Lorenzo Mauldin. Guy at ESPN told them we've had 14 guys who have played multiple positions. We definitely have a depth problem. We're talented, but obviously this shows that we're young.

--Roy Philon is battling a back issue, but he will play.

--We'll rotate a lot of guys on the defensive line since USF is so big and so many of our guys are banged up there.

--Adrian Bushell being his own worst enemy has to do with him not buying into the program. We have a system here, and we're not going to change. It doesn't matter how talented the player is. I once told him, "I'm not bigger than this program and a player will never be bigger than this program." He has so much talent, now it's up to him to buy into this program and take things to the next level. He can be as good as he wants to be.

--B.J. Butler will likely be a game time decision.

--Lenny Lyles was an icon. He was one of those players that didn't need the spotlight. This summer they brought back a bunch of former players. He brought Lenny downstairs to show him a mural he has featuring Lyles. Lenny saw it and was shocked. Asked Strong, "why'd you put me up there?" I said: "You deserve to be up there because of what you did for this program. He was a special person."

--Lyles was a role model for athletes here also because of what he did after leaving the program.

--Let the team know yesterday that we've never won at South Florida. Our average loss down there is more than 21 points. Some of the worst losses in program history have happened in Tampa.

--There have been a lot of firsts for the program this season, and this team needs to understand that. We haven't had back-to-back winning seasons since 2006, and this team has the opportunity to change that on Friday.

--Darius Ashley is going through a program right now, and he still comes by and checks in with coach Strong. When he gets himself right we'll talk about his status.

--Tells the guys who are natives from Florida that they're going to be having all sorts of people trying to hit them up for tickets. We can't allow that sort of stuff to happen. Your focus has to be on the game. I know you're from Florida and you want to play well in Florida, but this is about the program, it's not about you individually. We need everyone locked in on Friday.

--Both teams have a lot at stake here with them being one win away from bowl eligibility.

--He and Skip Holtz talk a lot. They were at South Carolina together and built a really solid relationship there. They're really good friends.

--Wishes he could call him and check on the status of B.J. Daniels.

--The USF front seven is very good, but we have to be able to run the football to keep the passing game out of the long-yardage situations. This is a huge test for our offensive line.