Michael Bush accepting his role"> Michael Bush accepting his role">

Player of the Game Q & A

Following the 30-20 win over Syracuse, ITV named J.R. Russell the Player of the Game and allowed visitors to the site to submit questions to the talented receiver. On Wednesday, Russell answered those questions. <P> <B>EXTRA: <a href="http://louisville.theinsiders.com/2/180208.html">Michael Bush accepting his role</b></a><img src="http://media.theinsiders.com/media/site_logo/premium.gif">

You could say it was his coming out game. Against Syracuse, junior wide receiver J.R. Russell made one spectacular catch after another, including a 40 yard touchdown reception that gave Louisville an early 7-0 lead.

He set new career bests with 6 receptions and 133 receiving yards. His 22.2 yards per catch is also the team high through two games. Russell has now caught atleast one pass in 13 consecutive contests, dating back to last years September 13 game at Colorado State.

Due to impressive outing against Syracuse, Inside theVille named Russell the Player of the Game and allowed visitors to the site to submit questions on either the ITV message board or via email. We selected some of the best and most frequently asked questions and poised them to J.R. following Wednesday's practice.

Stefan put it up there and I had one-on-one coverage. I told Stefan, just put it up there and I'll make the plays for him.

When my number is called, I just try to make plays to get us out of a hole. All of our receivers can do it, but my number was called that day and I was able to make the plays.

QueenofCards: Coach Paul Petrino has said that with this group of receivers, any one of you could step up and be the go to guy each week…so far that has come true. If you could anticipate who the next guy to step up would, who would you think it would be?

Russell: A team like UTEP, from what we have seen on film, they play a lot of man coverage, so this week it could be everybody. All of us will have single coverage this week, so it's just a matter of where the play is designed to go.

catapultuofl: Even after you made a couple nice catches, it seemed that the guy defending you kept talking…care to share what he was saying?

Russell: Well, they are a Big East team and they were talking a lot, but I didn't need to say anything back to them, because I was killing him all game. All I had to do was to make the catches and then look at him. He could talk all he wanted, but he saw the result of the play, so I let my play do the talking. In my head I was excited, but coach has told us that we don't want to do anything to get personal foul penalties, so we celebrate within the rules.

BYUCardinal: Talk about the play where you took what appeared to be an interception and turned into a reception.

Russell: A lot of times people say that it is the quarterback's fault for an interception, but I think that as a receiver, if you can get to the ball, even if you can't catch, don't let them get it. That's what I'll always try to do. I told Stefan that if he put it up there, I would go get it and wouldn't let them pick it off.

Evanllyone: How do you take advantage of your height over the smaller defensive backs?

Russell: I know I have the height and I have a pretty nice vertical, so if Stefan can put it up there, I can go up there and get it.

Evanllyone (part 2): Are there certain times with this offense, when they will run a play for you because of your height advantage?

Russell: Definitely, especially on a third and long situation.

Sideburns176: Would you say the Syracuse game was the biggest game of your career so far?

Russell: So far, at least statistics wise, it was. I still have a lot of things to work on, so I know I can get better.

LuvCards: Do you enjoy the blocking aspect of your position?

Russell: Out of all of the statistics, that's the one thing that we take pride in the most…we want to all be a complete player. Coach wants us to block and do all the little things that it takes to win the game. If we don't block, then the running backs might get tackled…you have to play the game full speed. We take pride in being complete players, which is catching the ball, running with the ball and blocking.


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