From the locker room: Cards down Rutgers
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From the locker room: Cards down Rutgers

The University of Louisville rallied to beat Rutgers 20-17 on Thursday night and will play in a BCS Bowl game as the Big East Conference representative. Here are a few quotes from after the game in Piscataway, N.J.

U OF L HEAD COACH CHARLIE STRONG

"All season long, this football team has been a very resilient football team. They have come back from a lot of times that we have been down. You look at the first half of this game; we were down 14-3. We talked about this, even before the game started, I said, ‘we are going to make plays and they are going to make plays, but it is one play at a time.' Even if we do give up big plays, let's make sure that we keep our head into the game and we stay focused. Let's make sure we concentrate. That's what this team was able to do this evening. "

MORE CHARLIE STRONG

"We started this game with Will Stein and any time we needed to get under center, Will Stein came in the game and any time we needed to throw it, Teddy (Bridgewater) would get in. You look at Teddy, with what he had to fight through with his wrist injury and his ankle, (you saw) how much this team depends on him and his leadership ability. We didn't know at the beginning if he would even play or not. He came up to me midway through the first quarter. I said to warm him up. I gave our medical staff a game ball because they were able to get Teddy (to play). Around the clock from Sunday to today, even today, they were giving him medical treatment and making sure we got him to the game. We knew that if we got him to the game, we would have a chance to win this football game. It speaks a lot."

MORE CHARLIE STRONG

You look at our football team. We were picked to win it early. I didn't know if we were good enough to win it. I thought, when they picked us, I thought ‘wow, what are they thinking about? We have a young football team.' We watched this team be picked and then finish the way that they did. We dropped two the last couple of weeks. But for us to go on the road and win the championship, it's so special. It's special for this program. It's special for the University. It's special for our fans and for the city of Louisville. It's just special. I'm just so happy for us to get to a 10-win season, go win us a conference title and get us to a BCS bowl."

STRONG ON QUARTERBCK SITUATION

"We didn't know how much Teddy was going to play. But we figured at the start of the game that Stein was there and he was functional, which he was. Two years ago, he was the quarterback and he was able to come in after (Justin) Burke got knocked out of the game. We were going to play Stein the whole game if we had to.

STRONG ON HALFTIME SPEECH

"I didn't beat us up. I said, ‘we have one game. We have 30 minutes of football left. We have not played well. We've given up two big plays on defense. Offensively, we're not blocking and we can't run the ball. We're not protecting the quarterback. Just protect Teddy and give us a chance to throw the ball.' We had 30 minutes of football left. We've been in this situation before. Last week, we were down 10-0. We were only down 11 points (today). We've been down 14 points. (I told them) to keep fighting, keep battling and someone is going to make a play sooner or later."

STRONG ON U OF L DEFENSE

"Defensively, we were able to make plays at the right time. You look at the key interception that we were able to get. Then, we scored and within 15-20 seconds we were able to get another score because we kicked off and they fumbled it. There was a defensive player that made the hit and then Teddy throws to DeVante (Parker). I was just pleased with the way the defense was able to play.

U OF L QUARTERBACK WILL STEIN

"We overcame a lot of obstacles tonight. We didn't care what the score was, we were going to win this all game."

U OF L QUARTERBACK Teddy Bridgewater

"The plan was just to use me if needed. This means a lot. I am just proud to be a part of this team. I am glad for the coaches and players who gave their all tonight."

MORE TEDDY BRIDGEWATER

"This is what we set for at the beginning of the season. Our No. 1 goal was to win the Big East and make it to a BCS game. We're just proud and we're enjoying this moment."

Rutgers COACH KYLE FLOOD

"They have a tremendous playmaker at the quarterback position. We just weren't able to match him in the end."

"I think any time you have a great player, he makes your team better. I think it's significant. You see some of those throws that he made, I don't know if there is anybody else in our league that could make those throws.