Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield:
(Opening Statement): “First off, I am proud of our guys. James Madison has a good football team, we knew that coming in. We knew it was going to be a four quarter, tight game. They came out and tried to occupy the ball, melt the clock down and trying to run that clock to limit our plays offensively. They did a pretty good job of that in the first half. They really didn’t try to throw the football much at all. Coming in, it was a great job by our offense to get down there and get some points right before halftime. That was huge, I thought. Come out in the second half and go down and do some good stuff offensively. Defensively, we really had a great second half. We shut down the running game and they tried to throw the football a little bit and really did a great job in the secondary to stop the pass in the second half as well. It was one of those gritty, hard-fought games and I am proud of the way our guys played. I think it’s been great to win four in a row. We got to the halfway point and everyone was talking about how daunting the last six games are. Our guys have just been taking it one day at a time and one game at a time and taking care of business. I am really proud of them for that. It doesn’t get any easier, we have Clemson next week. I am looking forward to that game and get back to practice. I do want to say something about our crowd. Our student section was phenomenal tonight across the way. The band was right beside them and there was a ton of noise coming from that section. I was really proud of our students coming out and supporting this team – coming off a big win, beating Wake Forest, the No. 10 team in the country. Three in a row, trying to get to four in a row and getting bowl eligible. I really appreciate our students for coming out and being loud tonight. Proud of our team and looking forward to getting back in here tomorrow.”
(About the slow start to being bowl eligible)
“It is huge. Obviously, we are all fighting for postseason play and trying to continue to work for our football team. I know how crazy bowl season has become now with players not playing and all that. We will be working with somebody. We will be working with a lot of players, so I am looking forward to December. We also bring a lot of recruits in during December, so it is always good to be practicing and let them come around the building and hang around with our guys. That part is great. But we still have a lot of work to do, that is what I told them tonight in the locker room. We are not finished yet. We want to continue to become a really good football team. We have some little things we need to work on to become a really good football team and continue to get better. Shoot, we still have three more weeks in the regular season and so let’s go have a great week of practice, that is the biggest thing.”
(On what was the biggest adjustment in the second half)
“We just stuck to it. James Madison is good, they have a good defense, one of the top defenses in the country. I don’t care who they play, they have a good scheme, they play hard. They were blitzing every other play if not every play and there were a lot of pressures coming and our guys kept battling. I think the biggest difference was we kept sticking to the gameplan and we started to pop some runs on them and then mixed in some of the throws. T Huddy (Tyler Hudson) had a great game tonight, (Marshon) Ford had some big catches. I thought Malik (Cunningham) sat in there with some pressure that were coming quite often and he made some nice throws. I am really proud of our offensive line and tight ends blocking in the run game. These guys have given 385 yards total in the whole year and we rushed for 244 yards and had two backs over 100 yards, that is big. We just kept sticking with it, our offensive line played great tonight and our tight ends blocked really well. It was not just blocking a normal box, there were eight or nine guys in the box. On Tiyon’s (Evans) run, everyone was within six yards of the line of scrimmage. I know once he broke it, I was like, ‘Oh, he is gone’ because nobody was back there. Just really proud of the guys opening up those holes and (Jawhar) Jordan ran so hard tonight, breaking tackles, the forward lean and really getting those extra yards. Really proud of both of those guys in the backfield.
(On why they hustled off the field postgame)
“It was some chippy-ness going on the field in the second half. You saw what happened with Malik getting thrown up on the wall of the stadium. I have never seen anything like that. Our players were going to protect him over on their sideline and that was a bad scene. I was worried about our guys coming off the bench going over there, maybe somebody gets a flag or they get thrown out and then they can’t play next week. I did not want any extra-curricular activities at the end of the game so I thought it was the best to get off the field quickly and get our guys in the locker room so nothing crazy would happen.
(On whether you needed to tell your guys to stay composed)
“We told our guys just to keep their cool. We have too much invested in this. We have a whole team, these guys are mature and they get fired up and want to protect their guys, which is healthy and normal. So yeah, we said relax, calm down and we will handle it and let your play do the talking. I was proud of Malik staying in there and throwing the touchdown pass to Amari (Huggins-Bruce), really nice throw to the back of the endzone. That means more than going over there and talking or trying to run your mouth in the opponent. I was proud of our guys at how they kept their cool and finished off the game.
(On whether they prepared for both quarterbacks for James Madison)
“Yes we did.”
(About if he was surprised by JMU’s play calling)
“Not really, you never know what somebody is going to do. You just have to fit in. What it looked like to me was that they were trying to run the football, shorten the game, let the clock run. Limit the amount of plays we run offensively. They did a pretty good job of that in the first half. But the second half we wore them down defensively and stopped the run.”
(About one or two things were emphasized to the team after that loss to Boston College)
“I don’t think there was just one thing we tried to emphasize. We were just tired of losing close games. I think we just came out each day and got specific on what we were running on defense and what we were running on offense. Offensively, get the ball in the hands of playmakers, get real specific on what we were trying to do. Let’s keep it simple. We know our kids play fast and don’t beat ourselves. And I think we’ve done a much better job of that over the last four games. Again, I just give a lot of credit to our staff and our players for believing. And continue to work. We’re sitting here 6-3 but how many people thought that after the Boston College game. I just give a lot of credit to our guys in this building.”
(About noticing this team playing a lot more free after Boston College with that chip on their shoulder and importance of having this winning confidence going to play at Clemson)
“We are still having fun. And that allows you to play loose. That’s the way practice has been. Flying around in practice, which is coming from the players which is awesome. We want a play-led team. We want the guys internally to come every day to get better and compete in practice and have fun with it. But, the real fun is when you come out here and make plays on the field. Our guys have been doing that. And that’s where the fun comes in. We’ve got a lot of confidence leaving at halftime. We’re sitting there at 10-10, let’s go get the second half. We knew it was going to be a four quarter battle. That’s why they play four quarters and not two. Our guys came out and finished. We did it against Pitt, we did it against Wake. That’s what we’ve been doing and that’s what we have to continue to do. There’s going to be some big time battles. You mentioned Clemson, and that’s a tough place to go win. I mean, they have 38 wins in a row at home so it’s hard to go win down there. It’s a great environment, they have a lot of people, it’s loud, it’s crazy and chaotic. We’ve been in tough environments with our backs against the wall a lot. So let’s have a great week of practice and go down there and have a great football game.”
James Madison head coach Curt Cignetti (Opening Statement):
“Okay look. This is a pretty simple synopsis. With two minutes to go in the half we’re up three points, and the last 32 minutes we were physically dominated. And that’s it - period. They pushed us around, we couldn’t run the ball. When we had an opportunity we couldn’t take advantage of it. There are a lot of guys in the locker room hurting because they’re not used to losing. This team has lost three in a row after a hot 5-0 start. So, they’re hurting and we’ve got to find ways to rebound in our last few Sun Belt games. We’ve got a lot of guys injured, we’ve got a lot of guys playing, but we’ve got depth issues. When you play a team like Louisville this late in the season, those really show up. You go in without all your bullets and we’re scrambling to get guys on special teams during the game. We had some guys go down today too. Our guys played really hard, they’re really disappointed. We had the lead there at the end of the half, but went in tied. They played big boy ball on us in the second half. We’re not used to not being able to match up like that but that’s where it’s at. And that’s part of making this move, it takes a little time to build quality depth. People won’t like to hear that, I don’t give a shit. That’s the freakin’ truth.”
(On his message to the team)
“I told them I know there’s a lot of disappointed guys in here and they’re hurt in a lot of ways. You guys played really hard and understand this – the same thing I just told you – with two minutes to go in the half, we’re up two points, but the next 32 minutes, they dominated us. We’ve got to regroup and find a way to bounce back against our in-state rival (Old Dominion).”
(On if any lingering issues with quarterback Todd Centeio)
(On positives he saw in today’s game)
“We’re up three points getting ready to go in the locker room, you know what I mean? We were eating clock on offense, running the ball, keeping it out of their hands. I’m a little surprised that they came out and pushed us around the way they did, but they did.”
(On if depth issues were part of reason for second half)
“I can’t say that was the absolute reason why without being able to watch the tape. But we didn’t get a first down on offense in the second half for a long time, and we gave up some huge runs on defense. … Usually when (there are big gaps), you’re getting blocked pretty well.”
Louisville Player Quotes vs JMU
( About the middle seeming like they were treading water there. What happened in the second half, that allowed us to break it open)
Malik Cunningham: “We just had to settle in on the offense. We knew the team was big and going to come out hard, they’re a well-coached team. I feel like we were well-coached too, they were just fast, and we needed to settle in.”
(About Tyler Hudson getting his first touchdown today, you guys targeted him”
Malik Cunningham: “Since the first game, he’s shown how much how he’s like another running back, I could count on him with chances. I told him last night, today, and every day that he was going to get his first one today. Hudson would just play it off. He was trying to score the first one before half but couldn’t. I told him it would come back to him at the end of the day.”
(For Tiyon, they were the number one rushing defense coming into today, why were you guys able to have so much success with the run game)
Tiyon Evans - “I contribute it to the preparation we’ve been doing all week. Coming out, we knew these guys were a good team, and with them not being in our conference we didn’t want to push this game to the side. We just came out and executed, trying to do the same thing every week.”
(About the 71-yard touchdown run)
Tiyon Evans - “A lot of the time I notice that I rush myself, so before that play, I told myself to be patient and let my blocks develop. That’s what I did and my offensive line executed their job, and boom they gave me a good hole to hit and it was up to me to do the rest.”
(About people would have predicted the Cards would be 6-3 after the slow start at the beginning of the season. Why do you think you guys have been able to turn it around and get on a roll?
Momo Sanogo - “We never lost belief in ourselves. We’ve believed in ourselves all year, regardless of whoever else does. We know people are going to continue to doubt us but we’re going to keep believing in ourselves.”
(About becoming bowl eligible after going 2-3 to start the season)
Momo Sanogo - “It’s always a great feeling to go bowling but that’s not where we want to stop. We’re looking to build on this momentum and finish out the rest of the season and be in Miami in December.”
(About stretching to get in the end zone, how frustrating was it to have so many catches and yards but not touchdowns since you’ve been here)
Tyler Hudson: ”It’s a little frustrating, but at the end of the day it’s a team game. It is what it is, I scored 27 touchdowns before I got here and now at 30, I’m fine.”
(For Hudson: What’s the longest time you’ve gone without having any touchdowns)
Tyler Hudson: This is the first time it has ever happened. I scored all the way up to little league to now. So, it is frustrating.
(About him dropping down to his knees and throwing his hands up in the air. Was that just a relief moment, what was going through your mind)
Tyler Hudson: Yeah, that was just a relief. I’ve been telling Braden that it has been about 70 weeks now, if I get in that end zone, I am thanking God. I’m not doing any dances and none of that, I’m thanking him because it’s been a long time coming.