Houston Head Coach Art Briles talks Louisville

"With this week's game, we're very excited about playing Louisville. I was talking to our SID a little while ago, and this is the highest-ranked team coming into our stadium since 1998 when UCLA came here. It's a tremendous chance for us to finish off this season on a great note, and I'm excited about the opportunity to play them and get our guys on the field with them. As a team, Louisville is without a doubt playing as well as anyone in the nation, maybe with the exception of USC. These people (Louisville) are really playing well and they're three points away from not being No. 8 in the nation, but from being No. 2 or No. 3 in the nation. It's a great challenge and a great opportunity for us.

"As far as the game last week (at UAB), we didn't play great, but we didn't that bad, either. We just played a team that was, in their situation, perhaps a little more defined with what was going on at the time than maybe we were. I thought our focus was really good, I just didn't think our finish was good. We had four first downs inside their 20-yard line and came away with only seven points. And that's totally unacceptable. We held the ball, which allowed our defense to really have another good outing. We had 87 snaps, compared to 56 for them. The snaps are good, but you have to score points when you have the football. We're not playing keep-away, we're playing to score and win games. It was another frustrating evening. That's part of it and that's why we do it. But we'll rebound and we will make a solid and determined effort on Saturday (against Louisville). That's a guarantee."

In playing a team (Louisville) which will not be in Conference USA next year, is there any different mindset at all to make sure they know what they will be missing (in leaving to another conference)?
"Honestly, no. Not from our standpoint as a team. We're going out to try to execute and win the football game, and we realize that when the ball is snapped, all of the hype leading up the game is gone. Then it comes down to execution, field position and scoring. What they do, I could care less, honestly. Anybody is where they are at. All I care about is the University of Houston. It doesn't matter to me what they do."

What makes Louisville's offense so difficult? They use two quarterbacks, multiple running backs. What makes it so difficult to prepare for?
"They're personnel, without a doubt. They have a good scheme. It (scheme) is simple but very effective, high percentage. They have two quarterbacks - (Stefan) LeFors took every snap against Memphis, in a dog-fight game. They have used their other quarterback throughout the season. He's (LeFors) a great operator and a great kid, and they play with his abilities well. They have a great offensive line, they have outstanding receivers and three (running) backs from 225 to 245 pounds that they can pound you with a little bit. The difference in this year's team and last year's team is their defense, without a doubt. Louisville is a good defensive football team. Last year they were kind of hit-and-miss, but this year they've been consistent. These guys can play. They are really good defensively, and that's why they are where they are this year. Last year they were great on offense also, but this year they are really good on both sides of the ball."

Do you have to change your offensive philosophy at all for this game?
"That's an intelligent question. My intelligence level has dropped considerably over the past two or three months, so I'm not sure how to answer that. If you wanted me to answer it like I should I would say yes. This is a deal where if we have two dollars in our pocket before the game, they won't be there when the game is over. Do you know what I am saying? We are not saving anything for this game. We're not worried about 7:30 on Saturday night, we're worried about 4:00pm on Saturday. We'll see what happens."

How does Louisville compare to Miami?
"Personnel-wise, not that far off. Without a doubt they have the athletes. And I have to be careful because we play Miami two years...In a matter that won't make them (Miami) get after us in a couple years, what Louisville tries to do to you schematically is totally different on both sides of the ball than what Miami tries to do to you. If Miami can win 17-10, they are going to shake hands and go home and be happy. If they throw the ball for 183 yards and rush for 212 yards. Defensively, they (Miami) are the same way. They use their soundness, talent and ability to win. Whereas, Louisville, in my opinion, just as good of personnel with different philosophies."


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