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Everything Jeff Brohm said after Louisville’s upset of Notre Dame


Syndication: The Courier-Journal Scott Utterback/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

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Louisville head coach Jeff Brohm: (Opening statement) “This was a huge victory for this team. A huge victory for this fan base. A huge victory for this university and all the leadership that does such a tremendous job of directing us in the right direction. Our fans were the twelfth man. We felt them. We felt them all week. I read Twitter (X) a little big and they were ready to go. They expected to win. They wanted to win. They came ready to win. So, I knew we needed to get them a win. They were fired up all week. They were fired up today. They were into the game. We played hard for 60 minutes. The game was close for a while. We hung in there and fed off our fans. I just think our players came out in the second half and understood what it meant not only us but to the entire town, city, and university to win. They grinded it out. They did some good things on defense, getting after the quarterback and making him feel uncomfortable, guarding receivers – we executed better in the second half. We had some big plays in the running game and were more efficient in the running game. We were more efficient in the passing game. We had the one fumble, but we are able to overcome it. Our special teams came through in the second half. I think it was a team effort. We are happy to be where we are at because it is a big win and we want to enjoy it. That is what excites us all. So of course, that is what I told the team, once you win a game like that the bar goes from here up to here. We want to enjoy it and relax and be around family and friends. Eventually we will have to get back to work and understand that people can say what they want after winning the game. But every week in college football, if you don’t come ready to play you are not going to win. We are going to have to get back to work over 24 hours. It was a great atmosphere for our team and our fans to win that game. “

(About being known for gadget plays and upsets but tonight going toe to toe with the opponent)

“It is a great win. I like big games. Our team likes big games. If you can’t get up for those then maybe this sport isn’t for you. You have to come ready to play. You have to do all the small things and you have to be aggressive. Yes, we didn’t run as many trick plays today because I thought this team was guarding us pretty well. It was hard to get yards. So we just started going to our best players. Jawhar (Jordan) and Jamari (Thrash) and let the others just feed off them. Jack was very, very efficient and took care of the ball, threw it away when he had to and extended plays with his feet. (On the) first touchdown, he scrambled outside to allow our receivers to get open. I just think his maturity level showed up. I think he executed very well. You have to give our offensive line credit, they played very hard and don’t get a lot of credit. We ran the football against a solid defense. We found ways to get yards in the passing game in the second half. Our special teams came through. The defense was outstanding.

(About the defensive line’s progression and the pressure they created)

“Quite honestly, I attribute it to coaching. I think we have been coaching better. As a former player you know you can go out and play as hard as you can but you have to have a great plan and a great package to help you win. Every week we tweak that package to guard people tighter, get our hands on people more and challenge receivers and seam routes more and allow that defensive line a little more time to get in there. At the same time, I think the blitz package has been a little more aggressive and that comes from coaching and planning. I give Coach (Ron) English and Coach (Mark) Hagen and our whole defensive staff a lot of credit. We have continued to slightly tweak things even when things are working well. The key is applying pressure to the quarterback and making him feel uncomfortable and not giving up easy completions and making them earn it. When we are able to do that allows our defense to tee off. When we get a lead, it allows our defensive line to tee off. We played hard and played quite a few guys and they did a really good job.”

(On holding Notre Dame to 44 yards on the ground)

“I couldn’t tell you for sure, but for me, yes, we were going to scheme them to stop the run. You have to do that or they’re going to run you over. They’re big up front, they’ve got a big running back, big tight ends and we were aggressive in our packages against their personnel looks. We were going to make them beat us throwing the football, make them throw it over our head. I think when we got the first interception the first drive, they probably said ‘oh, maybe we can’t throw it over their head as much.’ And then we applied more pressure. I just think that coaching matters… to this point we’ve done a good job coaching and adjusting to the team we’re playing and with that team, in my opinion, you have to stop the run. You have to put a bunch of guys up there, play downhill, stop the tight end and then get pressure on the quarterback and make their receivers in the passing game beat you. And then of course, if you can get a lead against a team that plays great defense and runs the football, we have the advantage and I think that’s what you saw in the second half. Then we were able to tee off a little bit more because we had the lead, and we were forcing them to do things that they don’t do as much. So to me that’s why it’s always important, you’ve got to be good at the passing game and the running game, because you never know when you’re going to use both.”

(Did you allow yourself to really pay attention to the atmosphere?)

“Without question, taking the field and seeing all the seats filled, that’s what college football all about and this is a great city that wants to win championships and be relevant and do a lot of fun things and we want to try to provide that. Is it always going to be perfect? No, but if you attack it head on and you step up to every challenge and when you have a setback or a failure, get right back up off your butt and do it again, these fans appreciate it. At this point, we’re 6-0 and we want to give them something to cheer about and something to want to root for and I think while we’re in a good spot now, of course, it’s a one game season, it’s a weekly battle, we’ve got to now do it again. But I know our fans love football, they love sports and they love teams that play hard and give great effort and without question we fed off the fans, they were tremendous tonight.”

(On the overall play of the offensive and defensive line)

“Well, I will start with our offensive line. First off, we have great leadership up front. Bryan Hudson for two weeks has not practiced at all, just played in the game since he is injured but he did not miss one play, that is toughness. I can sit up here and talk for 50 minutes about how tough he is. Our other offensive lineman feed off that. We have veterans from last year in Renato Brown and Michael Gonzalez. We have added some newcomers on the offensive line at both tackle positions who have done a really good job, they have gelled together. We have some backups who have not got in a whole lot but they are getting in some. They are continuing to get better, and we are going to need them at some point. We do a lot of things offensively, running the ball, throwing the ball so they have to learn a lot, they have to study. But we have different things we can go to and if they can handle it, it gives us a slight advantage, so I am proud of them. Of course, the defensive line, you have seen them a lot the past couple weeks and they have been lights out. They play hard, they play aggressive, and we play a bunch of guys. They work hard in practice. If someone came and watched them practice, Coach Hagan and his guys do a great job and they work extremely hard. Like I said, being better in the coverage and making the quarterback hold a little bit longer makes them shine even more. At this point through six games, they have done a really, really good job.”

(On the package with Evan Conley)

“We want the ability to have the quarterback run with the ball. Jack got hit a whole lot the last game, so we want to take some hits off him, and Evan is a great athlete. If I had to take it back both calls, they maxed zeroed it and blitzed us and there is probably not a whole lot of room to run. So, we have to have some different things off of that if we are seeing that and that falls on me. Evan is a really good athlete, and our other quarterbacks work hard, we are not going to be scared to put in multiple guys if we need to. Jack, in my opinion, was outstanding today. He was consistent, he took care of the football, he made great decisions, he threw it away when he had to, he was accurate. He just played a fantastic game.”

(On the play of Jawhar Jordan)

“Last week was on me, they were able to stack the box and I did not have enough answers and we wanted to try and fix that. I think our plan was better this week. Creating space with him is important because if you can create space, he is fast, he is elusive, he is quick and he can go the distance. I think we had a couple runs where there was not a whole lot of room, but he popped it in there a few times early on and they stuffed it for a little while. Then we came back in the second half and hit a couple big ones on a couple different calls we had not used yet. He is a fantastic player. Once again unselfish, we have other running backs too and he doesn’t care who is in there, he just wants to win. But he was fantastic today as well.”