Strong sees improvement, wants more

Charlie Strong was encouraged with his team's performance in Saturday's 35-28 road loss to Oregon State. Still, the Louisville coach wants to focus on making improvements during the bye-week before the Cardinals travel to Arkansas State.

Thoughts on Oregon State loss

"I thought our kids played well in a tough environment. We played hard enough, but you'd still like to get away with a victory. We were given so many opportunities we just did not take advantage of those opportunities. We had two [chances] early that we didn't get any scores."

"But we were able to battle back. We were down 35-14 and our players kept playing hard. We had it twice late to tie the score and just couldn't convert on third down. They just have to understand when we get in a game like that we have to come away with a win."

"Offensively I thought it was one of our best performances. Special teams-wise I didn't think we were very good and I didn't think we were very good on defense – they scored five straight times. We have a lot of room to improve and it's all about fundamentals. Defensively, it's assignment football, getting lined up on defense. Offensively, it's coverage and front recognition. And on special teams it's keeping the ball in front of you. Those are the things we can work on this week and get better."

Bye-week plans

"What we'll do, we have some injuries that we need to get healed up during this week and get some guys back for Arkansas State," Strong said. "It's coming at a really good time for us. We have two losses and have time to reflect...We'll practice fundamentals and technique and we'll give them a chance [this weekend] to go home and watch their high school team play."

Froman improving

"The reason Froman played as well as he played was our offensive line played well. Our offensive line gave good pass protection and they were able to come off the ball and move the Oregon State defenders off the ball. What you liked was Froman was able to manage the game well, find the open receivers and he moved out of the pocket and made plays with his feet."

Keys to defensive improvement

"Every player has to understand it [takes] all three phases to go on the road and beat a good football team. Defensively, it's assignment football, it's formation adjustments, it's about tackling and getting off of blocks. All the fundamentals and techniques of defense is what we have to work on this week. We have a good team and the guys are beginning to listen. With success they will understand even more what we're trying to get accomplished here."

Coaches hit recruiting trail

"We'll go out on the road recruiting this week. Recruiting is such an integral part of your program and is something you have to do everyday. We will take advantage of the open week and we'll get a chance to go out and watch some of the guys we're recruiting play. We have a long way to go before signing day. The ones that say they're coming you've just got to stay on top of them and make sure they stay interested. Kids want to go to a program where they can win and go play."

Progress Report

"We still have a long ways to go. We've played three games, we're 1-2. It's putting together a 60 minute game in all three phases and that's what we haven't been able to do. Saturday, the offense played well. Against Eastern Kentucky, the defense played well. If you look at the second half of the Kentucky game the defense played well. But we've got to get all three phases coming together and that's what we have to work on and stress that it takes a complete game in order for you to win. Every phase has to play together."

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