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Bobby Petrino Press Conference
Sept. 28, 2015

(Opening Statement)
“Like I said after the game, it was a good win for us. It was what we were supposed to do, come out and take care of our business. I enjoyed watching the film yesterday because what you saw was executing what we practiced. Guys going out working the schemes that we practiced, playing hard, enjoying it, having fun. Even the touchdown pass to (James) Quick was something that we practiced, the exact way he ran the route, exactly how Lamar (Jackson) hit him in stride against that blitz so that was the fun thing about watching the video was watching our players execute the things we worked on practicing and the fact they went out there and played hard and played fast and enjoyed it. We were able to get a lot of guys in the game, got some experience for certain players. Now we have got to have a great week in practice. Go on the road and play at North Carolina State, a football team that looks very good on video. They are playing really good defense, they are pretty much the same group of guys we played against last year. Big, physical, the same corners, the same safeties and they have done a nice job defensively really shutting people down running the football and limiting them making big plays. Offensively they are really running the ball. They have some really good running backs they are rotating in and making plays. Same quarterback that we know of from a year ago that is big and can throw the ball. He doesn’t seem to running it as much as he did a year ago but they haven’t had to have him run the ball much. So their offensive line has pretty much controlled the fronts they have played against and they have executed and did the things they want to do. We do have to cover kicks and punts real well because they have threats back there returning their punts and kickoffs which is good for us because we feel that we are punting the ball real well and covering it and we are excited to cover kicks. With that I will just open up for questions.

(On the different paths each team has faced and whether it affects the game at all)
“Yeah, you never know how that all plays out. Whether you play the early, hard schedule and feel like you are more prepared or you play the schedule like they had and you get more guys experience and grow confidence as you go. I guess we are about to find out but they are playing well and they have experience at most of their positions. We have been all over the play, kind of up and down and now we are trying to really settle into what we want to do and get some continuity, particularly on offense. We have been playing good defense but offensively we need to get some continuity and a rhythm which I thought we started to do the other night.

(On anything different he sees from NC State since they played last year)
“Yeah I mean their quarterback is making good decisions, he hasn’t thrown an interception, might be I don’t know if it was since our game but I know he has 170-something passes without an interception. So they have been taking care of the football, they have been running it physically and playing good defense. I think it is going to be one of those games that comes down to being able to execute and make plays in the fourth quarter.

(On what he would like to see out of the offense in terms of running and passing)
“Yeah I think to be able to mix it up with the continuity of gaining yards when you run the ball and protecting when we pass the ball so it is not like scramble around and make plays. It is stay in the pocket, go through progressions, hit the guys that are open. Even the other night we had some plays called in the progressions there but something happened on protection and all of a sudden you are running and leaving the pocket and making it more of a helter-skelter type game. We would like to be more in sync, protection is exactly the way we want it, everyone is exactly where they need to be in their routes, and the ball comes out on time. That’s kind of missing right now from our offense, I thought we did a nice job with the quarterback runs. Some of the reads and things we were doing there but we still don’t have the power running that we are accustomed to. Being able to block the front, hand the ball to the runner, break tackles and make plays so we have to continue to work and get better at that.”

(On any update on Jeremy Smith’s injury)
“Yeah Jeremy is supposed to be able to go. Actually he was available in the second half but because of the score, I made the decision to hold him out and get him ready for next week.”

(On the decision to start him the other night and whether he will start again this week)
“Yeah we are going to have to work that out in practice but I felt like he had the best week of practice. I felt like we needed some more physical running, a little more punch coming downhill and then unfortunately he went down early in the game so we didn’t get the looks with Jeremy that we wanted.”

(On whether the running problems have been from the backs or the offensive line)
“It just all works together, that is the one thing about offense, it truly is all 11 guys doing their job on every play. That’s what gives you a chance to execute and make plays and consistency of all 11 guys doing that. There are times that it looks like the hole is there and we don’t make the right cut. There are times when we miss a block or we don’t step with the correct foot so it is just the timing of everybody exactly what they are supposed to, getting their hands where they belong, getting push and locks and finishing blocks and runs. I have been happy with the way receivers been in position, making blocks and hustling down field. I think they have been working hard and getting in the right position. We just have to get in the secondary more with our running backs.”

(On how you prevent the older guys from getting discouraged with a freshman starting)
“They see them in practice and the players really do understand you earn the right to play on the practice field. I tell them all the time that your resume is the video, so we watch all the video from practice. We see the guys working hard, we see plays they are capable of making, we see decisions they are capable of making and it’s the players who determine who gets the reps and who plays in the game by how hard and how well they practice.”


(On seeing a freshman starting at quarterback, how does an upperclassman react to that)
“I think what you do is stick in there, keep competing hard. We practiced Sunday night, last night, guys got reps that didn’t play in the game. They took it very serious and they worked as hard as they possibly could and you understand that you are one snap away from being in there. You just have to prepare hard and be ready to go.”

(On whether you are ready to stick with Lamar through his freshman mistakes)
“We are going to get rid of those freshman mistakes, they are gone, right? I mean that is what we want to do, we want to get rid of them and let us go execute and do the things he is capable of doing. Like I have said from day one, he is a guy that is very, very talented, has really unbelievable instincts. He can see things and react to things that sometimes other guys can’t and he just has to continue to operate the game better, operate within the scheme and the game better, trust his protection better at times. He can make the throws and I keep going back to the touchdown throw to Quick but there is an unblocked guy coming free there and he just stands right there, snaps his wrist and hits him in stride and it ends up being a touchdown. That is kind of the progression and he needs to continue to get better.”

(On having Reggie Bonnafon in on short yardage situations and will that continue)
“We will just keep working on it and see where we are at. Reggie did a real nice job with it and some of the runs you do, I like better from under the center and not having worry about certain things and I think it worked out pretty good the other night but we have to just continue to see where we go with it.”

(On a learning curve for Lamar in terms of running the ball)
“Well it is the kind that we really have to start because he hasn’t learned anything about that yet. You know he has been running believing that he is going to make every play and we have to understand that I get as much as I can, get the first downs and I take care of myself. He believes a lot in his ability to cut-back and make huge plays, and we he does that and scores touchdowns or runs for 73 yards you know you like it. I think it is that second and third cut-back that isn’t going to happen at this level of football. It is going to be faster even next Saturday with the players he goes against will be faster than what he say this past Saturday.”

(On the dynamics of having Reggie and Lamar on the field together)
“I like the speed that is out there and the ability of two good playmakers. It is something that I think can help us as we go on, that is why you saw Corvin Lamb get some carries the other night. The ability to get more speed on the field, make bigger plays and one of the things that is one of our goals as we go forward in this conference is to be the fastest team in the conference. We are going to recruit to speed and we are going to try to get the guys on the field that will make plays because they are faster than the other guys.”

 

(On where there are in terms of achieving that goal)
“You know sometimes playing fast is not just your 40 time so I like our team speed. I like offensively our receivers and that and I don’t think we are playing as fast as we can at receiver because of they are young and inexperienced. Sometimes they question what they see and what they should do on their routes but they will continue to play faster and get faster as the year goes on. We always talk playing fast is not just your 40 time, it is also knowing exactly what you are going to do and knowing exactly what the other side of the ball is going to do so we have some improvement to do on the last two parts of it.”

(On the root of the problem with penalties this year)
“It is kind have been all over the board. We played a really clean first game, didn’t have many penalties and I think we did a good job there. We had some holding penalties which were caused by not being in position with our feet and not doing a good job of where you want your hands to be. We got a couple of penalties the other night that we run-pass option and we threw the ball and the rule says how he can be down the field when the ball leaves the quarterback’s hand. There has always been, like anytime I have been on the other side of it, it is, ‘how do you not call that, he is down-field’ and the answer always is that it is really hard to see where the lineman is and when the ball leaves the quarterbacks hand. They usually went on not calling it, now they called it. So is that a reaction to one of the games we saw earlier on TV because I didn’t get any report saying that they were changing the rule or they were going to call it different or anything, but they did.”

(On how to control the game against NC State)
“First down, we have to stop the run on first down. Defensively we have t do a really good job of stopping the run on first down, we have to get them into third and long. Offensively we have to move the ball, convert third downs and get the lead. Again, we are going to be a much better defense, we are going to get more sacks and more turnovers when we are playing with the lead. Something we have to do a great job of is be better offensively in the first quarter and the first half.”

(On what has helped Jacoby Brissett become such an effective quarterback)
“Some of it is running the ball real well, that always plays into your completion percentage and being in situations where you are not playing from behind and your are not having to throw the ball on third and long. So those have helped him but he is making good decision and I thought last year, that as the year went on he got better and better with each game. Now he is in the same offense for the second year in a row so he is more precise with his decision making and he can throw the ball.”

(On how it has been having Corvin Lamb come back and contribute)
“I cheer for him all the time because to come off the knee injury and last year he was out there and giving us everything he had on special teams, making all kinds of plays. Then he was just covering a punt, non-contact injury, and then he had to go right back into all the rehab. He did it with a smile and a positive attitude and then as the practices were going on in the fall he would come out real good but then the next day it wasn’t his knee, it was the reaction to favoring the knee. It was a hamstring here or tendinitis on the other leg so he never could get into two days in a row of full-speed practice or showing his speed but here the last couple of week he has started to get faster, show his speed, cut with more confidence and I feel like he is a guy that can really go the distance if we get him out in the open.”

(On whether looking at NC State film early was unusual for him)
“Yeah, I felt like we were playing Samford that I wanted to watch some video on North Carolina State to see what could carry over, what could we work for the Samford game that can give us an advantage on looks and things that North Carolina State does on defense. I had confidence in our players that we could go out and play and beat Samford like we should so we were working a little bit ahead.”

(On whether he wouldn’t do that unless he was playing an FCS team)
“Yes sir”

(On what he thought of the changes at offensive line)
“It was fun to watch how hard the kids played and how physical they tried to play. We didn’t do everything right, we made some errors but the competition and the effort was much better than what we have been getting. So what we have to do is continue to grade effort in practice and see who wants to be the best guys in practice to play in the game. I did like the moves that we made, I think Lukayus McNeil is a guy that has a great future ahead of him. He is big, he is physical, he really likes to play. There is one play he came out and cut the linebacker and then jumped off the ground and sprinted down the field. He was in position to make another block but Brandon ran out of bounds or downed right on our sideline. To see that effort and then his teammates see that effort when they watch the video I think is great because one of the things I think players really do is feed off of each other. When they watch each other on video give great effort then they try as hard as they can to do that.”

(On how some of the seniors responded to the changes on the offensive line)
“He just keeps working hard and understand there are opportunities there, you just have to keep working hard.”

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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