I'm very proud of our win last week. It was a good job to go on the road in a hostile environment against a good team and get a win. I thought our defense played extremely well. Offensively, we played real well in the first half and then did enough in the second half to get the win. And then our special teams played well. We've got a bye week, we're woking hard on the practice field, and certainly going to take advantage of all the time we get to work hard to prepare for a very good Florida State team.
How different is your recruiting approach at Louisville from what it was at Arkansas?
Well we're gonna go back to when I was here before and really hit hard in the states of Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and then recruiting hard, obviously, here in the state of Kentucky. And then we do have everyone assigned to different places across the country. Last year I think we signed guys from 11 different states. So it's definitely been a good place to recruit to, we just feel like we have to get guys on campus.
How much different has it been from Arkansas?
You know, I don't like to compare things. I just know this: that we go out, and we have a very good reputation in Florida and Georgia and Alabama. Kids have come here and been very successful, both on and off the field in getting their degree.
How did you feel about the play of Kenny Thomas at tackle?
He did a good job. He's been working hard at that position for about a month now, and I thought he did a good. He did a good job in pass pro, he missed a couple of things in the run game, but overall I thought he did a good job.
On having true freshman at the three spots (QB, both OTs) on offense that are supposed to be the hardest to play
Yeah, they are, but we're just worrying about working hard and trying to get better on the practice field. We don't think a lot about it right now. We kind of feel like we know what we are, and where we need to improve. So we're really focusing hard on our technique and fundamentals in practice and getting better on the practice field.
Does it make you feel better about the future?
Yeah, I mean it's nice to have the young guys and to try to build, but right now our important thing is to win every game that we play. You know, prepare hard, learn how to practice the way we need to practice, know what you're supposed to do in the meeting rooms. We need to feed off the defense because the defense is playing so well. You know, the other day it kind of felt like in the 4th quarter we were playing the old 4-corner style of basketball, just trying to work the clock, but that's what we needed to do to win the game.
Did you come out of that game ok injury wise?
Yeah, we're in good shape.
On Lamar Jackson's recruitment and competing with Florida
Yeah I was nervous about it, going down to the end there, because it was close. We had a good relationship with him. Our wide receiver coach, Lamar Thomas, had been recruiting him for a very long time. We had a very good relationship with his mother, who was able to really get to know us and understand that he would have an opportunity to play early. He really liked it when he came up here on his visit. He felt comfortable with the players on our team and the atmosphere and culture here at Louisville. So it all played out and I was really happy that he stuck to his commitment.
On his initial impression of Jackson during the recruiting process
Initially, we were not going to recruit a quarterback in this class. We felt like we had enough guys here. And then the first time that I watched the video and I knew that he had a real interest in coming here, it was something where you, you know, you change your mind. You make the decision that you're going to take this guy right here because he has a chance to be a great player. So he basically changed our philosophy and how we were approaching recruiting last year.
On the bye week
Yeah it's a pretty good time for us, being between two very difficult road teams, I think, is a pretty good time to have a bye. But we always try to spend half of it going back to camp, I guess you would say, where we go back to working hard on our technique and our fundamentals and getting back to some of the drills that we haven't done for a while. You know, going against each other. And then we spend the other half of it getting some extra preparation for our next opponent. It always seems to work out pretty well for us.
How much did the NC State win help this team's morale?
Well they've all been extremely coachable and been working very, very hard in practice. We had a very good early schedule, and basically came down to one possession in the three games that we didn't find a way to win. So it was good to see them continue to work hard and have that pay off. It was a really good win for our momentum and for our attitude and the understanding that when you do work hard, good things will happen.
On preparing for Florida State
You really just prepare for it like any other game. The good thing for us is that we have extra time to work on what they do, understanding what their different looks are, what they do in the run game, the pass game, on third downs. You really just work hard on the situations of the game, get better on that. And then you really just work on yourselves and getting better as football players.