Quotes: Charlie Strong, Randy Edsell

UofL's Charlie Strong and UConn's Randy Edsell discuss the Cardinals 26-0 win over the Huskies.

Charlie Strong

(Opening Statement)
It is an important conference win for us. Our team went out and played well on defense. Offensively, we were not consistent enough. We were really outstanding on special teams. We got the turnover that was able to lead to a touchdown. We get Beaumont loose on one but get a penalty and then we were able to break loose in the second half. Defensively, it was an overall effort and our best effort. They put in a great game. We didn't know who the starting quarterback was until we found out on Thursday. But that didn't change our plan. We had already put our plan in. And our whole plan was to go in and stop the run. We knew UConn is a very physical football team, so we challenged our team to go in and play physical. I told our offense that Bilal Powell was not going to come out of the game until he got his 1000th yard and he got his 1000th yard. But it was just an overall team effort. Our guys played really well.

(What did he tell the team before game)
It was going to be a 15 round fight today. We were going to see who is going to be left standing at the end of those 15 rounds. But we needed to go out there and play physical. Connecticut has always had a reputation for going out and being a very physical team. We feel we are a physical team and we can run the football well. And we need to go stop the run.

(Penalties in the first half)
I said there are guys out there that officiate this game. And the reason they are out there is so you can't hold and you can't chop block and you can't jump offside. There is a reason they are out there. We had to eliminate the foolish penalties. Those penalties stop drives. If you look at it, we were moving the ball when Cameron Graham gets a penalty and then we get a chop block penalty and then we get a procedure penalty. All of that is stopping our drive. We need to be consistent on offense.

(On being best defensive performance)
Up to this point, yes. It was our second shutout but it was a conference game. So it was really good defensive performance from our guys. We had to go in and stop the run. We couldn't let Jordan Todman get loose in the running game. It was really key for us to go in and stop the run.

(On Johnny Patrick's comeback from injury)
Johnny Patrick needs to play like that all the time. He is talented and he needs to play well. He is a senior and I expect him to play like that.

(How did team stop UConn)
It just comes out that we have to stop the run. We were going to load the box and if we had to put eight up there, we were going to put eight up there. We cannot allow him to get going running the ball because you go into every game with the notion of making a team one dimensional. So, how are you going to make them one dimensional? By stopping the run.

(Starting Brandon Dunn)
(Greg) Scruggs had been nursing a little injury, so we just made the decision that Brandon Dunn was going to go out and get the start today. He played pretty well for a freshman starting in his first game. This is his first start in a conference game.

(Disappointed that there were 4 FGs instead of TDs?)
Not really. We got a score and we were playing well enough on defense where we just couldn't give up a touchdown. We were up 13-0 and we just said we can't let them score because we are playing well enough on defense. And you don't know what is going to happen in each game. We have been playing well on offense and our defense was the one that was struggling. And today we played well on defense and the offense was not so much struggling, but we got our field goals. Josh Philpott, you have to give him credit. He missed two last week and bounced back this week and knocked down four today.

(Talking to kickers about bouncing back after misses)
Kickers are a little different. You can't say much to them. It is a mental approach. You don't want to say much to them. I think he understood. Coach Carter runs our special teams, and does a great job running special teams. He was able to talk to him. No other coach can talk to him the way Coach Carter can.

(Improvement in stopping the run)
They are a very big offensive line but we are small so we are going to have to move a lot. So that was what we were able to do. We can't allow them to come up and stay in one spot. If you stay in one spot, they are going to mash you and they are going to know you back. So we had a lot of movement today and we were able to get off and run. Because when you are scoring you have to have speed and quickness and that is what we were able to do.

(Beaumont's punt return)
Just looking at it, we thought we were going to get the middle return. We got it the first time with them and the second time, guys on the punt return team did a good job of walling guys off. Beaumont was able to get it to the punter and just beat him one on one. For him, this is his second touchdown. For a guy who didn't have any at all, he has two already.

(Slogan of `Take Another Step')
It is a big step. Because we are in the conference - it is a good conference. And what you talk about to the team is that you can control your own destiny. From here out, you play every team that is left on the schedule. Cincinnati beat you but Cincinnati got beat last night. You have a chance to go play each team. So it is up to us on how far we can go. But this was a big step to take.

(Beaumont recovery from injury)
Beaumont is special because he is so driven. He works so hard. And when he came back I didn't figure it would be as quick as this. I was thinking probably more this week that he would be back. He was relentless in the training room. They gave him some kind of device to take home. He took home a device home with him so he could sit at home with whatever (the device was) on his leg. So he could get it nursed back. The way he put in the time, he wore our trainer, Kyle, out. He was there at 7 a.m. and did everything he needed to do, go to class, come back. He is just special. And then he comes back and after the first day of practice he started running around. And all the guys started looking at him and that is why I will always say: "Just give me 10 Beaumonts and I will be fine."

(About Bilal Powell's 1,000th yard)
Because he was so close (to 1000 yards), and he plays so well, I think that Bilal Powell is the best running back in the country. I believe that. So it was so important because he only needed 102 yards. I said, `We got to get him his 1,000 today,' and I told the offensive line that we are going to get him his 1,000.

Randy Edsell

(Opening Statement)
"We got our butts kicked today pretty good. In all three phases, especially special teams - missing a field goal when they were down, they get a touchdown and we go down and were unable to finish the drive off. We missed the field goal and put another drive together and there was nothing there and we had two drives. We did a pretty good job and we came away with nothing. We fumbled the punt return, and again that is just a young man that should have fair caught the ball. They were kicking into the wind and the ball was spinning away from him. Instead of trying to go up and make a play just go up and fair catch the ball. And there we go, we gave them the short field and they score again, which makes it tough. Offensively we had four possessions in the first half and we lost one because of the punt return. In two drives we did some good things and came away with nothing. We only had 20 something plays there and a total of 45 plays. We didn't get it done. Then on defense we had the opportunity to get it done at times to stop them on third down and we weren't able to stop them on third down. They were 8 of 15 (in third down conversions). We zoned pressured and we man pressured, we played zone and we just couldn't make the plays when we needed to. Then the punt return in the second half, we just didn't cover it very good on that. Defensively they were out there fighting their tail off. They were on the field way too much, like 37 minutes. But then again it is our own fault for being out there that long since we didn't make plays on third down.

Overall, you look at it, it doesn't matter, we lost. On Powell, we did a decent job on him but it doesn't matter we lost. The only way we are going to get out of this is we have to work hard. That is just what I told the kids after the game. We have to go back to work, there is no magic potion. Basically we just have to keep working hard and getting better. That's all I need to know that we can do and that is what we are going to continue to do - work hard and get better."

(On his team's effort)
"When you say effort, that is hard to say right after the game when you can't watch the team film. Am I disappointed about the lack of execution? Yes. But I didn't see anybody quit out there. But there is a difference and again I have to watch the film and grade the effort but I didn't see anybody quit out there. Did I see guys not execute their assignments and do what they are not suppose to do? I saw that. And could we have played better? Most definitely. Until I see they film I can't tell you if there was a lack of effort."

(On the ability of growth from his team)
"You see some guys do that but again, just some of the little things, in terms of you know the one time they get the long pass a guy comes in motion and the DB has to step up and take the guy, he stays back and two of our guys bump into each other. It's those little things and like I said some of those things we have been doing for seven or eight weeks now, in terms of the bye week. Some of the guys are making the same mistakes. And if there were other people we could put in we would put them in. All we are going to continue to do is keep working and we've got to get better. These are the guys we got we have to continue to coach them and get better."

(On the defense)
"We did look a little slow, there is not doubt about it we did look slow. We had some defensive lineman that were free to the quarterback and couldn't make a play. I made the comment at halftime, we look slow. They had the days off and things along those lines in terms of how we got better during the bye but I can't explain that one. Maybe they are that much more athletic. They do have some athletes and they are a very athletic team. So maybe their athletes made us look bad. There were times when we had chances to make plays but we didn't make them."

(On Mike Box)
"He did start off well early on. The first two drives he was good and then he threw that pick, he kind of panicked a little bit and just didn't set his feet. He had a chance to step up and run the ball or just set your feet and he kind of threw it off his back foot. But he did some good things, running the ball but then again that's his first game and his inexperience showed up a little bit. But I think he does have tools and does have ability."

(On his commitment to Box next Friday)
"We have to see where he is at from a health standpoint for that game. We have to wait until tomorrow to get any kind of update and I would think it's probably going to be a day-to-day type of situation."


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