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Everything Scott Satterfield said after Louisville’s win over Syracuse

Louisville v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Opening Statement:

“First of all it was very exciting to get a win. We have been through so much within the last couple of weeks and to come out here and play like we did particularly defensively, what an awesome performance by our defensive guys. Our defensive staff did a tremendous job this week. Defensively, we didn’t know how we were going to come out and play tonight but based off what they did this week I thought they were going to play well. To come out and shut a team out, I think it was our first shut out to a Power Five team since ’04, it was just a tremendous job by those guys. Credit turnovers, great on third downs and I think their first third down they got was the very last one in the fourth quarter. I can’t say enough good things about the guys. Offensively, solid performance, obviously the turnovers were not good tonight but we were able to move the football. We moved it up and down the field. We only punted it there a few times. But James Turner was great at field goals tonight, he’s been solid all year. The kickoff team created two turnovers and two fumbles they were able to get on. They were flying down the field. Dorian Jones and Jordan Watkins, those guys were flying down causing turnovers and we were able to get those balls back and that’s a big part of the game. Overall, great performance by our whole team and our coaches. With so much adversity we’ve had to go through I am really proud of all these guys.”

(Talking about defense and what they did this past week in order to get them ready for tonight’s game)

That’s the first thing, we had all of our guys back. For a full week on the defensive side of the ball we haven’t had that in a few weeks and it was great to get them all back out there. There were a couple of things but number one, our staff did a great job of coming up with a really good plan of what they needed to do to stop Syracuse. We made practice fun. There was a lot of competitions that we were doing throughout the week on defense trying to create turnovers, trying to get tackles for loss and trying to get sacks. We had certain quotas we had to meet with that. If they met them, the coaches had to do up-downs and pushups right then on the spot during practice. The kids were fired up, it was a lot of good fun, a lot of good energy and that’s what they had tonight. They came out tonight and played with a lot of great energy and that’s the way this game is meant to be played and should be played.”

(Talking about playing a lot of the young guys and his thoughts on their game)

“Particularly, when you get down toward the end of a season you have to get these guys in. We mentioned it earlier that we’ve had so many guys out throughout the last few games so they have been able to play a little bit and then you get into a game and you want to play them a little more. But there were some big plays tonight. Jordan Watkins made some great third down catches tonight and stripped a fumble on kickoff team. He’s a really good football player and I love the way he plays. Jalen Mitchell scored a touchdown tonight, his first tonight and had some great catches. There were a lot of firsts I thought from a lot of guys. We got to play all three quarterbacks they threw the football and completed some balls. Defensively we got to play a lot of guys also on that side of the ball. So the more you can play the better your team becomes and inspires them throughout the week in practice to put that kind of effort in. It’s fun to watch them go out there beat them and make plays. Marshon Ford didn’t play tonight so the tight ends had to pick up the slack from them so you got to see a couple more guys get out there making plays and catching the football.”

(About the decision to keep Malik in the game and let him fight through his turnovers)

“He makes a lot of plays, there’s no denying some of the things he is able to do. The touchdown pass to Tutu Atwell in the corner was a great throw and the third down scramble to get a first down. I think he had a couple of those tonight, a few draws. He does a lot of good things, we obviously have to clean up some of the bad things. We are continuing to work through that and he knows that, that’s something we talk about every week to get that cleaned up. But he does make a lot of plays with his legs and his arm. We are going to continue to work on that and work in progress.“

(About playing the young guys, if it bodes well for the future)

“You want to have full power when you go into play your games but you also have to develop some young players. As you move forward throughout your program, the more guys that you can play and you feel good about playing then it’s just going to help your team and it also helps practice throughout the week. These guys feel comfortable at what they are going to do once they get into the football game. I think we have some good young football players. I think they are going to continue to get better and better as they continue throughout the rest of this season. It also propels them as you go into the off season to be that much more hungry to go work in the weight room, to work indoor during the winter time and to do all the things that are going to make them better players.”

(How much do you think the team needed a night like tonight, given the fact everything you guys have kind of gone through in these last two to three weeks?)

“I can’t think of anything better than what they got tonight. To come out and play the way they did and to get a big win. We’ve battled in so many aspects, not just on the field. We’ve battled off the field too with a lot of different things that a lot of people don’t even know about. It’s very rewarding for our guys to go out and get this kind of win. To get a shutout and to win 30-0 is incredible. They’re hard to come by. We know winning is tough in college football, no matter who you are and no matter how talented you are. It’s tough, and you’ve got to battle to get these wins. We needed it the worst way.”

(On Malik Cunningham turning the ball over more this year compared to last and talk about the other quarterbacks who saw snaps tonight)

“I think some of it comes down to decision making. I think some of it has been on fourth downs we’re trying to fit the ball in tight spots. Tonight, right there at the end, right before the drive and we don’t have any timeouts. We’re trying to take a shot down the sideline and the safety comes over and makes a good play. So sometimes the decision to try to fit the ball in there. Obviously, you don’t like it. We tried to throw a post to Tutu (Atwell) tonight and he got pressured. He got hit right as he’s throwing the ball so the ball was a little bit behind. I thought it was a great play by the corner. Had we had better protection, I think he’s going to put it out there and Tutu was probably going to score. So, it’s not all Cunningham (Malik Cunningham). I think, if you’re just watching the game you may say the quarterback is turning the football over, that’s really not the case. Some of them are him and solely him, but there are some that you go back and look at and their other players. His protection, or it’s a drop or it’s a tipped ball or something like that. So it takes a whole team sometimes when those things happen, but we’re going to continue to work on it and clean him up. On the other quarterbacks, we feel good about them. I mean we could play them. They’re not much off, as if you hadn’t put them in a game. I think those guys that came in did a really nice job tonight.”

(You’ve talked about how big it was to get this win. What was the locker room like I mean it had to be a lot of fun and just kind of maybe some frustration leaving some of the guys?)

“A lot of fun and a lot of frustration leaving… It was awesome. It’s awesome to see them dancing, celebrating, and having fun as it should be when you win like that. To go out and do that. So they should celebrate and they should be rewarded with that celebration in the locker room. Hopefully it propels us to come back out and be ready to go for next week.”

(Thoughts on Marvin Dallas - a guy who just had thumb surgery a couple weeks ago. Gets a big fumble recovery with basically one hand, just kind of your thoughts and what he went through and getting him back out on the field.)

“No question, it was awesome to see him out there. He was really coming on big time on our special teams, particularly on the kickoff team which is flying down the field. He gets hurt at the Florida State game and it’s a pretty gruesome injury on his thumb. It’s an exposed wound on his thumb and some things were messed up and he had to have surgery. So, he has the surgery and he comes back and it’s all casted up. He wanted to play, but he was not able to play. He finally felt really good this week and was able to put him out there. Man, did he make some big plays. It was great to see.

And on that note, I do want to mention one thing about Tutu Atwell. Here’s a guy who’s missed the last few weeks and in a week. Really in the last two weeks, you guys have seen so many guys opt out and decide they are going to the NFL. All these things that basically guys are saying hey I’m done playing with my teammates and I’m moving on. Here’s a guy who couldn’t wait to get back on the field. Who all of last week, this week, was saying ‘Coach I’m ready.’ Physically he wasn’t but mentally he could not wait to get out there and then tonight was able to play a little bit. We didn’t play him much. We held him out, didn’t want him to get touched really, for that reason. But he wanted to go out there and play, and he goes and gets a touchdown. So, I think what he did tonight speaks volumes about our program and what we want to be. The kind of players like that. He’s a super-talented player and a great human being. He has a great family that helped lead him in the right direction. I really wanted to say that before we get off this thing tonight. He’s exactly what we want in this program.”