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Charlie Strong On The South Florida Win And Louisville's Bowl Prospects


Presser notes (video on C-J):

--Very proud of this team and how it gelled and improved week-by-week. Didn't know if it would win another game after the Marshall loss, but they really stepped up and started controlling their own destiny.

--Team was off on Monday and Tuesday, will work out on Wednesday and Thursday and then get a practice in on Friday. After that they're going to wait and see how the bowl situation plays out before figuring out the next step in preparation.

--The bowl game, whichever one it is, is just icing on the cake for this football program.

--Can't thank the fans who supported this team all year enough. The ovation at the basketball game on Friday was amazing.

--Extremely happy for the players and coaches who worked so hard all year to put this team in this position.

--He was blowing leaves during the Syracuse/Cincinnati game on Saturday. Not sure if he'll watch the UConn/Cincinnati game this week because he's sure he'll hear about it. Got about 50 text messages from players after the West Virginia game on Friday saying "one down, one to go."

--It was amazing to watch Teddy Bridgewater on Friday against South Florida. The touchdown pass he made to Devante at the end of the first half was tremendous. Not sure he's ever been around a young player as poised as Teddy. He knows he's nowhere near where he should be and he works extremely hard every week to improve.

--This team was 2-4, so they won't be disappointed with any bowl game. If Cincinnati wins and goes to the BCS, our guys can't be mad because they had the opportunity to control their own destiny and didn't get it done.

--Will Stein does a lot of the talking in the locker room, and guys really listen to him. He's always talking to Teddy and Teddy's always eager to hear his thoughts. It's remarkable the way he's handled this whole (quarterback) situation. He just wants to win. He doesn't care what his role is, he's happy if the team wins. It's fun to watch him. In other programs, a veteran QB losing his spot to a freshman could be a real issue, but on this team he's been an extreme asset. It speaks volumes about his character and exactly who it is.

--"Give me all Will Steins and I'll go win a championship."

--Always good for recruiting when you win a big game in Florida.

--Very happy to see Urban Meyer back in college football. "He's a football coach and that's what he needs to do."

--A lot of the leaders on this team are guys who grew up in the community. These guys grew up around the program and know how much it means to the people in this city.

--Senorise Perry's fumble recovery and kickoff return were two huge momentum-changing plays. Senorise has been huge all year on special teams.

--When he thinks about the season turnaround, he thinks about the offensive line. Everything changed when the offensive line got healthy and started performing better.

--It's also amazing how well the defensive line has performed with all the injuries to the unit. Both line coaches deserve a lot of praise.

--Can't say enough about the veterans on this team that bought into the program after the coaching switch two years ago.

--Devante makes catches that no one else on the team can make. He is so athletic. Stein says all the time, "just throw the ball up to Devante."

--Devante doesn't say anything. The only thing he does is work. You can't get him to say anything. He could really be something special if he continues to develop.

--Genuinely believed that Kentucky and West Virginia were better teams heading into those games and that's why he said they were. When you lay it out there like that, the guys hear it, get angry and want to prove you wrong.

--This team probably isn't ready for the BCS, but if we make it we'll have the guys ready to play.

--Knows if they make the BCS everyone will say they don't deserve it, but that would just be motivation for our guys.

--Not surprised by what Tim Tebow is doing in the NFL. "He's a winner. That's what he's always been." He's one of those guys who just has a knack for being a leader and being a winner.

--Saw Michael Bush and Harry Douglas throwing the "L" sign up, and that helps the program. There's a lot of excitement back around the program and that's great.

--Bilal Powell texted him after the win to send congratulations.

--Bowls are going to be interested in Louisville because of our fan support. Knows a lot of bowls want Louisville because of how well our fans travel.

--If they do make a bowl game in Florida, they may have to open a practice or two because of the number of recruits in the area. Doesn't want to do that because it will be a zoo with all the players they have on the team from Florida, but they would probably have to for recruiting purposes.

--Recruiting a quarterback is hard right now because everyone sees that Teddy Bridgewater is a freshman starter. Thankfully, we already have a young man committed.

--Told Rocco (Gasparro) after the South Florida game that he wanted them to walk out on the court at the basketball game that night. "When we were 2-4, they couldn't go anywhere."

--The ovation from the crowd at the basketball game was outstanding. We have unbelievable fans.

--"This city needs a winner, with the support it gives. We need to create a consistent winner in this city, and that's what we're going to have to do. That has to happen here."