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Charlie Strong press conference notes

We're still playing a little catch up after the long weekend, so here are the notes from Charlie Strong's weekly press conference yesterday:

--Thursday's game was a tale of two halves. Will Stein and the offense played very well in the first half, but there was no rhythm or tempo in the second half.

--Played very well defensively, but rush defense has to improve. Can't let a guy run for over 100 yards like Murray State did on Thursday.

--Thought Vic Anderson and Jeremy Wright would both have big games, and that didn't happen. Rush offense has to improve dramatically.

--Florida International and Louisville are very similar teams. FIU's playing with a lot of confidence after last season and Thursday night's big win.

--T.Y. Hilton is an extremely dangerous player and we have to figure out a way to contain him.

--FIU's offense is centered around its quarterback, and he's very good.

--The Panther defense is fun to watch. They play very hard.

--No concerns with Will Stein's ankle. He'll be ready to play on Friday night.

--Josh Bellamy's hamstring injury is a bit more severe, and he's day-to-day. Hopefully he'll be able to go on Friday.

--Was really proud of the way Preston Brown played. Dexter Heyman also played very well and would have had an even bigger game if he hadn't missed three or four tackles. That was a game where we really needed our linebackers to play well and they did.

--Yardage after the catch is going to be very important when it comes to containing FIU's T.Y. Hilton. Can't let him make a catch and then break a play for 60 or 70 yards.

--This team has to learn how to finish after it gets a lead. You can't mess around with the lead, especially if you're a young team. The older guys have to make the younger guys play with a sense of urgency once a lead is gained.

--Thought Alex Kupper and Jake Smith played very well on the offensive line. Thought the offensive line played very well overall.

--The penalties were very frustrating and really disrupted the offense's tempo.

--Teddy Bridgewater will be fine. The interception wasn't entirely his fault. The receiver has to help him out there.

--Would have liked to have gotten Teddy more snaps in the second half, but the way the team was playing didn't allow for that.

--Thought the secondary did a very good job of covering guys against Murray. This was a challenge for them and they responded. They'll have another challenge this week with FIU and Hilton.

--We're going to play man coverage on Hilton. Not going to change what we've been doing.

--Anthony Conner and true freshman Andrew Johnson will again start at corner on Friday.

--Will Stein missed a few throws, but he plays with a lot of confidence because he knows the offense so well. Was very pleased with the way Stein played. He's very fun to watch.

--We have outstanding fans. Knows there's a lot going on in Louisville on Thursdays - his daughter had a volleyball game and couldn't get to the Murray game until the 2nd quarter - but he was very pleased with the amount of people in the stands.

--Doesn't like taking away from the high school crowds by playing on Friday night, but likes that it gives the team a chance to play in front of a national television audience. There will be a lot of people watching on ESPN this week because it's the only game on.

--Freshman B.J. Dubose played very well on Thursday. Another freshman, Jamon Brown, also played a little bit on the line.

--Hoping to see a dramatic improvement in the running game from week one to week two.

--Is not worried at all about the team looking ahead to Kentucky. This team isn't good enough to look ahead. There has been no mention at all of Kentucky. The team knows they didn't play as well as they should have on Thursday, and they don't want that to happen. That's all they're thinking about.