Strong faces press at Governor's Cup event

SIMPSONVILLE, Ky. – Let the college football season begin. The unofficial mark to the start of the season around these parts is the mid-summer Governor's Cup Luncheon sponsored by Kroger. It happened on Thursday at The Cardinal Club and Cardinal Authority was there for all the festivities.

Louisville coach Charlie Strong and Kentucky coach Joker Phillips addressed the media in attendance, talking about the season and the rivalry.

Strong, whose team is predicted by some to win the Big East Conference, said the Cardinals need consistency and leaders. He also downplayed any outside expectations, noting he tells the players not to worry about it.

"A lot of time when people think you are too good, they think you can just roll the ball out," Strong said. "We're not good enough to just roll the ball out.

"I always talk about the only measuring stick is the games you have played. Look as last season, the Marshall game, FIU game or the Pittsburgh game, those were bad losses. So anytime guys start thinking about how good they are, I say timeout guys lets look at this game. That happened because of preparation."

Louisville started last season 2-4 and won five of its final six games, losing in the Belk Bowl to North Carolina State. Strong said his message to this year's team would be to worry about now and forget about the past.

"I don't know why they would get complacent," he said. "We really haven't done anything. . . . Two years ago, someone told me, ‘Coach just get me one or two wins and we'll be happy'. I never heard that before. We're never just going to try and get one or two wins. We are going to try and get you as many as we can."

And the first opportunity will come against Kentucky. UK coach Joker Phillips also addressed the media before Strong at the luncheon.

The Cardinals broke a four-game losing streak to UK last season and are favored to win this year's edition of the rivalry. The teams meet Sept. 2 in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.

"You would like to be a confident team, but can you control that confidence where you don't get cocky and you don't get arrogant and still realize that you still work to do," Strong said. "We still have work to do."

In his third season at U of L, Strong warned there's still some youth. "We're two years into it, going into third season and we still have a young football team," he said. "We have nine seniors and when only have nine seniors then you are short on leadership, and that has to come from coaching staff.

"We just have to go to work."

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