“There’s going to be a lot of next man in mentality this week for our kids; we do believe in that philosophy and there’s going to be some more guys that will get playing time because of mistakes that were made. I believe in holding guys accountable and treating them fairly and helping them learn from their mistakes, and keep building our program in the right way. I love the kids on our football team and I believe that my job is part coach, part mentor, part father and part disciplinarian, all those parts are important.
“It’s a new week, new opportunity. It’s an opportunity to play a very good team on the road. It’s a new opportunity for some guys to step into a little more playing time in certain positions. It’s an opportunity for our leaders to be stronger leaders, and an opportunity for our young guys to try and play as old as possible. I think in today’s times that its really important to learn and face problems and face up for what they are, handle it and help young men become better young men.
“Louisville has a really good defense, the No. 1 defense in college football giving up only 14 points a game, 230 yards and 60 yards rushing a game. They have 13 interceptions and No. 8 (Gerod) Holliman has seven of those 13, which is tremendous for a guy to have that many picks. They have a very active “D” line- (Lorenzo) Mauldin has five sacks; their defensive tackle is along the lines of (Eddie) Goldman from FSU. (Sheldon) Rankins is a really good defensive tackle for Louisville as well.
“They’re going to pressure a lot, they mix their coverages and they have multiple fronts. Their defensive coordinator is really good, and it’s going to be a great challenge. Our offensive coaches are excited about the challenge and our players will be too. Offensively, Coach Petrino is a very good play caller. He’s got two really physical backs- different sized guys and can both run really hard. Their receivers are really quick; their leading receiver is probably the fastest player they have played thus far. Gerald Christian, the tight end, is a Dwyer kid and one of Jacoby’s high school teammates. I know him very well; he’s a really good football player and good athlete. Both quarterbacks are playing and they’re very different form each other, so well have to be ready for whichever QB steps out onto the field. They have somewhat of a veteran offensive line; there are three seniors that play and one of them is a new starter but they’re guys that have been in the program for a while.
“For us it’s week eight, we’re fighting to go on the road and play as good as we possibly can and come back home with a win. I think all of our focus has to be on what’s in front of us and not what’s behind us, learn from what we’ve done and just have more fun playing the game. We have to go out there and attack our opportunities and understand that in college football we’re limited- we don’t get that many opportunities to play the game that we love. We’ve talked about that this week and are trying to get back to that mentality. The theme of the week is hard work and we’re going to work extremely hard not just physically but mentally and emotionally. We just want to get our guys to have fun and play with passion, go on a road trip together and just go attack the opportunity that we have in front of us.”
On suspension of players:
“As a head coach you find out everything. There are not many things that go down that you don’t eventually hear about in time.”
On defense being in the right place:
“There’s a lot of times where we are in position to make plays, whether it’s a sack or were centimeters away or were in position to make a tackle, and there’s times where we have to play faster- we’re hesitating a bit at times. We’re not out of position, we’re just not making enough of plays. I think there’s always more that we can do as coaches. That’s all we talk about is what else we can do and it’s what we have to do that for our guys; we have to give them every opportunity to have success. There’s been one play against Florida State, third and 20, where we busted a coverage, but other than that we’ve had bodies on bodies in a lot of plays. With Boston College there were a lot of hats at the point of attack and you have to beat blocks; sometimes we did and sometimes we didn’t.”
On frustration after game Saturday:
“I just hate losing; I’m just like these guys I hate it and I want so badly to win and I want them to win and to taste the rewards of their hard work. We just have to go earn a victory, and I’m just competitive. I love my players, and I’ll never quit on my guys. We’ve got to go earn a win.”
On pressure on Jacoby:
“I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. Two of the last three teams have remarkable pass rushers. BC just brings it all the time; early in that game he was getting rid of the ball in rhythm and getting the ball off and as the game went on they tightened their coverage. He just wasn’t getting rid of the football. I think he’ll learn a lot from watching that, and Coach Canada has to do more things to move the pocket to help him. Just like every week we’ll reevaluate what were doing. With Bo out we probably need to find more ways to give David (Grinnage) the ball and just look at everything we’re doing as far as using our guys the right way to help them.”
On Joe Thuney's status:
“I’m really happy for Joe and I know he’s so excited. I’m happy for Joe to be back and it helps Tony (Adams) and it helps Alex Barr who has taken every rep since he left. It really helps our tackles even because Alex can pop out at tackle and can give Tyson (Chandler) a little help down there. I think that will help us in the fourth quarter on offense quote a bit. Hopefully we’ll have Bo Hines back. I haven’t heard where he is yet as far as his rehab with his ankle, but we did get healthier on the “O” line and that’s always big at this time of the year.”
On regrouping from last week:
“We’re 4-3 and we have a lot to play for. There are five games and reality of it is you have to win six to be bowl eligible. Our goal is to be a bowl eligible football team and hopefully get 15 practices to help our younger and older players. We have two in-state games that are left and they’re big games. There’s a lot to play for for these guys. Obviously when you lose three straight (games) it’s hard to smile but you don’t say the season’s over- we have a ton to play for right now. We have to get in there, work hard and have fun and get back to what we do and see where it takes us.”
On Airius Moore:
“It’s a great opportunity for Airius. Coach Hux and I have been talking about different combinations and where he wants to go with that. I’m sure practice will tell where he wants to go. Airius has played in every game this year just not a ton, so I’m excited for his opportunity if that’s where Dave goes. I don’t feel like were in a situation where we don’t know what were going to do. I just think it’s a next man up opportunity. On special teams there’s going to be a lot of new faces at certain spots where guys really have to step up for us, and maybe even play some more.”
On Lorenzo Mauldin:
“He’s special, but Vick Beasley it’s hard to say anyone is as good as him but Lorenzo’s pretty close. He’s got really a good pass rush, he’s strong and he’s thick. He’s a good football player that plays with ah high motor and he’s definitely going to be a challenge for our tackles.”
On making a bowl game regarding extra practices:
“I think they’re huge and the life experience of going to one of those games is pretty special for the guys. It’s a reward but the improvement that happens is having a second spring bowl is what it is- you rest your older players and give them a chance to recuperate and take the younger guys who have been playing scout team football all year and you let them learn your defense and offense so that when they get to spring bowl they’re not learning they already know it. It really gives a jumpstart going into the spring, but if you don’t have it you don’t have it. Last year we didn’t and we just have to use our meeting time to try and watch as much film as we can. There’s no better way to learn than by doing, and getting them out there in practice helps.”
On Grinnage and the Mackey Award:
“I think there’s a trust between our quarterback and him, which is where it all starts. David’s playing hard, and he’s so much mentally tougher than he was when I first got here. I’m proud of him for his work and for the way he has developed not just on the field but also off the field- he’s handling his business. There are great things ahead of David if he just keeps going down the same track he’s on.”