Strong looks ahead to Big East opener

Louisville coach Charlie Strong talked about his team's loss at UNC, this week's game at Cincy, the situation regarding offensive coordinator Mike Sanford and the Cardinals offensive woes, and more on Monday's Big East teleconference.

Opening Statement

"At North Carolina our players played better than the week before against Marshall," Strong said. "They were really challenged. It was good they went in and played that game so well. It's all about us. What I mean by that is we hurt ourselves.

"We had penalties once again that negated drives and put us in bad situations. We have to be able to play smarter. We're not a very disciplined team right now. We have to continue to improve. We had some injuries but that can't stop you from playing well. We have to get the injured guys back healthy because we're going into our first tough conference game on the road at Cincinnati.

"Cincinnati is a really good football team. Their quarterback is outstanding. They've got Pead at running back and (good) wide receivers. They return 11 starters on defense. So it's going to be a challenge. It's all about focus and emotion for our guys."

On Mike Sanford's Status

"I have not met with Mike this morning. I'm going to meet with him. Once we finish the meeting we'll decide his role.

"Any decision I make I want to make in the best interests of the program. It's like being in a business people are reassigned to a different position."

On Eliminating Penalties

"The thing we do in practice is each coach handles it and he runs his players after practice. We have to be a smarter football team. We can't get penalties because either you're allowing the (other offense) to continue a drive or you're stopping your own offense from moving the football. It's all about discipline and that's what we're not right now. We're not a very good disciplined football team."

On Inability to Score Points Recently

"We have to be able to run the football. That's what we're not able to do, run the football. That's causing us to be one dimensional so now we have to throw it. Now when we get back and throw it (defenses) are able to sack us. Defensively, we're trying to blitz so we can get the ball back for the offense so then we're giving up big plays and they're scoring. That means we're getting behind the clock so we've got to play catch up. We have to be balanced with our run and pass and have to be able to open up holes for our backs to run through. We can't sustain drives and when we get it there (redzone) we have to make the field goals. We missed two field goals in the North Carolina game that would have put us up 6-0 at half."

On Who is to Blame for Running Problems

"It's a combination of (factors). With the offensive line is just holding your block, maintain the block and stay on the block and then it's the back making the proper cut. We have to be able to run harder."

On Big East Conference Future

"What's been great about this conference is that it's been so competitive and anyone can win this conference at any time. I just love the conference and there are outstanding coaches who do a good job preparing their team each week. This is a really good conference and I know it's going to break up but the competitiveness in this conference has been great.

"I can't be worried about that because I know they're (President James Ramsey and AD Tom Jurich) going to make the right decision and put us in the best situation for this university."


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