clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Charlie Strong And Jake Smith Preview Pitt

Andy Lyons - Getty Images

The C-J has the video.

Charlie Strong


--We had a week off and now we start the "real season" which is the conference season. I call it the real season because every game counts and you have to be totally focused every week. We're going to treat every game like a one week season from here on out.

--Any time you have a coaching change there's a period where you're going to struggle to find your identity and that's what you saw early with Pitt. Now they're doing what they want to do on offense which is run the ball to set up the play action. They moved the ball extremely well against Virginia Tech and then had a great chance to win the game last week against Syracuse.

--We've played fairly well on offense recently. The receivers have really competed and the offensive line has done a great job allowing us to move the ball. Defensively we've got a ways to go but we're working hard in roder to keep improving.

--If John Miller is moving around all right on Tuesday then he will at least make the trip to Pitt with the team.

--James Burgess and Daniel Brown are the only players (who have played this season) who are out with injuries other than Miller.

--Dominique Brown will only be made available if something happens to Jeremy Wright or Senorise Perry.

--The only way we can stay unbeaten is if we view every game as a one-game season.

--Ray Graham probably isn't running the ball as well as he was before he got injured, but that's true with pretty much anyone who is coming back from a knee injury.

--We've had a really tough time against Pitt, obviously getting beat badly up there two years ago and then losing at home last year. For whatever reason we haven't been as locked in when we've played them in years past, and we have to make sure that isn't the case this weekend.

--It's all about the conference race now. Getting a win in our conference opener on the road would be very big, and we can't afford to slip up.

--Likes the 11 a.m. start time because there's no down time. You get up at 6, you do your walk-thru and then before you know it it's time to start the football game.

--"Stay hungry, stay humble" is the team's theme right now.

--We feel like we've been away from home forever. I just hope we get good weather and nothing strange happens this time. Bu if we have to adapt again, we'll adapt.

--Never thought we were going to lose the Southern Miss game. We didn't handle the conditions well early, but he knew if we stayed focus and got that score before halftime that things would be different in the second half. And then the big distraction at FIU was all the players from Florida being home. You always have to adapt on the road. Sometimes you can't worry about playing your best, you just have to make sure you get the win.

--Our guys have been off our a week and they're tired of hitting each other.

--As far as the schedule is concerned, he always tells his team that he doesn't care who they play. We're going to try and win every game on our schedule regardless of who's on it.

--Likes the style of Pitt a lot more than the spread offenses they've faced up until now. Pitt is more of a "put your hand in the dirt and then try and smack you in the mouth" team. He likes that.

--Pitt is sort of in the position we were a year ago. They've had a big win over Virginia Tech, but soe disappointing losses and now they're trying to find enough wins to get to a bowl game.

--Preston Brown and Hakeem Smith are probably the two defensive leaders right now.

--It's been different going this long without a conference game. He'd prefer to play a league game in the second or third game of the season.

Jake Smith


--The bye week was definitely good for us. The season is such a grind and we had a lot of guys who needed to get their legs back under them.

--Traditionally we're not very good against Pitt and that's something we're very aware of. They're a very good defensive team and they have a smashmouth offense. We came out flat against them last year and we're definitely going to try and make up for that. Pitt's a good football team and they're going to come out ready to play and we know we're going to get their best shot.

--With regard to the 11 a.m. start time, you can't control what time slot you draw. I'm just happy we're back on national television and playing on ESPNU.

--After the last two games he's definitely ready to play a normal football game. Still, FIU's headsets were out too and it was raining just as much on Southern Miss' sidelines, so it was a level playing field for those games.

--Came to Louisville because of Coach Strong. He's a great recruiter and he's backed up everything he told me about building a program.

--When you play a team like Pitt you learn a lot about yourselves. When you play an extremely physical team like Pitt you have to be even more physical than they are if you want to win.

--We still have a lot to prove. We haven't played well the last two weeks and it's evident, we know it and you guys know it. We have to be a better team than that.

--The headsets and the rain obviously had more of an effect on Teddy than anyone. He's definitely eager to get back out there and prove himself. He's a big-time competitor.

--I think the Big East is a traditionally underrated conference because players come out of here and go to the NFL every single year. We get a lot of slack from the national media about being the sixth or seventh conference, and the treatment is kind of offensive. West Virginia goes and blows out Clemson in the Orange Bowl last year, and now they move conferences and suddenly they're a top ten team. The whole national perception isn't fair, because I don't think people see what Big East players and coaches we see on film every week.

--The Big East looks really competitive right now. To have three undefeated teams in one league at this point in the season is impressive and it's great to see.

--Jamon Brown is really honing his skills right now, and me and him as a right side are really gelling right now. But, just like any other position, we have a lot of work to do.