Koach Speak: Press conference highlights

Does the UofL coach think his team will finish the season strong? Is Kragthorpe looking to make a change at quarterback? How does he plan to eliminate his team's mistakes and turnovers? InsideTheVille.com has highlights from Steve Kragthorpe's press conference Monday afternoon.

On the team: "I still feel good about this team. I feel good about our chances for this game. Obviously because of the way that we've played the last two weeks we're not in the Big East race..mathematically. But there's still a lot of season to play for. We want to take our team to a bowl game. We want to win these last three games of the season. And in order to win the last three games we have to win the first one against Cincinnati this weekend."

How he thinks his team will finish out the season: "We're going to fight. I'm convinced that this team is comprised of fighters and I like their attitude, the way they've worked and the way they continued to battle in the Pitt game. On the sideline you can see that – you can see the look in their eyes and that they're trying to make plays. They're frustrated but they're frustrated in a good way because they want to play well. This team is going to fight for the next three weeks and hopefully that (translates) into us winning football games and putting this team in a bowl game. Obviously that's our goal."

The situation at quarterback: "The quarterback situation is that Hunter Cantwell is the starting quarterback and Matt Simms is the backup quarterback. At that point in time during the game the other day we felt like we wanted to try to provide a little bit of a spark for our team and put Matt in the game and let Hunter take a step back and settle down. Hunter is our starting quarterback and barring something unforeseen he will remain our starting quarterback. I'm not going to put anybody in for next year because next year isn't here. I feel like Hunter Cantwell gives us the best chance to win the football game and I don't care about next year."

On the play of Matt Simms vs. Pittsburgh: "I thought he did some good things in the game. I thought he was in good command of what he was trying to do from a schematic standpoint. I thought the look in his eyes was great. I thought his communication with me and his teammates was very good. He was seeing things well. So I thought for his first opportunity he played pretty good."

"He's got to make some throws that he missed. He's got to make a couple reads that maybe he missed. But I thought from a standpoint of operating the offense and not big-eyed at all – not intimidated at all by the situation – I thought he did a nice job."

On correcting mistakes: "Certainly the things that we've got to get corrected are correctable but we've got to get them corrected and we can't repeat making those mistakes."

On eliminating turnovers: "We emphasize it every day. We talk about it every day in terms of making sure we're taking good care of the football and catching the football and not deflecting it in the air. We work the punt return situation every day. The biggest thing is we just continue to talk about it every day – secure the ball, make sure we have possession of the football. We have to emphasize that we're concentrating on the fundamental details before anything else."


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