COACH PETRINO: “After watching the video, it’s a lot of what I talked about after the
game. They (Alabama) are a very, very good football team in all three phases.
Offensively, they controlled the line of scrimmage, their quarterback made some great
throws. They had some really good catches that they made, their receivers were fast.
Defensively, their front four were very dominant players. They had speed at linebacker.
Even the ball that (junior wide receiver) Seth Dawkins caught and ran down – looked like
it was going to be a touchdown – their linebacker caught him from behind. They’re very
experienced, so they were difficult to knock off the line of scrimmage. Special teams
wise, we gave up some big returns. A couple of them we had guys right there to make
tackles, and we weren’t able to make the tackles. We need to do a better job of tackling
in space on special teams.

“As far as our offense goes, we have to establish a running game. We’re looking for an
identity. We went into the game thinking we had that. They (Alabama) did a good job of
shutting it down, using different pressures to shut it down. Also, we’ve got to find out
who out who our running back really is. I thought (junior running back) Trey (Smith) did
some good things out there, but he actually got injured and didn’t finish the second half,
so we’ll have to see what his status is. It was exciting to see (freshman running back)
Hassan (Hall) get in and see his speed on kickoff return. You try to get through the first
game and try not to have too many freshmen out there, but we’re going to have to get
him in. Javian Hawkins (freshman running back) was in a situation where he wasn’t
available for the game. He had gotten injured. He put a smile on my face at halftime
when he came up to me at halftime and said, ‘Coach, I can go. I’m OK, I can go.’ That
just shows a great mindset and toughness. I don’t think most true freshmen would come
up to the head coach at halftime and tell them that, so I was really happy to hear that. I
know he has a lot of confidence, and it’ll be good to have him back.

“We’ve got to be able to protect the quarterback. They mixed coverages up. They did a
good job with a few blitzes, where (redshirt sophomore quarterback) Jawon (Pass)
thought it was a different coverage with the pressure that they brought, confused him a
little bit. I thought he did a good job of competing, standing in the pocket, getting hit,
completing passes. Then he does what all quarterbacks have done at some point in
their career, a lot of times it’s early, and when you’re young and inexperienced, you get
your eyes down. You see some flashes and then you get your eyes down. We actually
had an open guy down the middle for a touchdown on one play, and they brought a line
game and he felt it, got his eyes down and didn’t see the touchdown. It was his No. 1
guy in his progression, so it was just inexperience. Like I said, there’s not been a
quarterback that I’ve ever been around, or watched, that at some point in their career
doesn’t get their eyes down on the rush and doesn’t see what’s going on down on the
field. I know he’s going to learn a lot from it, and a lot of the speed that we’ll see won’t quite be what we just saw, so hopefully that will make a lot of difference for him. I was
really happy that he stayed in there, finished, and competed. I was not going to take him
out. I wanted him to stay in there and get better, work through it, and see his
competitive spirit. That’s what we were talking about on the sideline. He said, ‘I’m going
to keep working on it, keep going.’ So, I was impressed with his mindset.

“Defensively, we did a lot of good things as far as running to the football. We got some
good pressure on the quarterback early. We can’t give up the big plays, that hurt us.
The big play throws for touchdowns hurt us a lot. I did like a lot of things I saw from our
defense, and I did like the sideline on both sides, offense and defense. The kids were
into it. They were listening, they were communicating, they made adjustments and went
out on the field and did what we talked about. All of that will carry over and help us get
better, but we have to do a better job of pressuring the quarterback without bringing
pressure in the four-man pass rush. There were times after we got tired on the
defensive front, we didn’t have the rush we needed to help the secondary out. It all has
to work together. You need tight coverage and good pass rush, and they didn’t always
work together every play. The attitude is good and the willingness is there, and I know
we’ll keep improving and getting better.

“I’m looking forward to this week. I’m looking forward to opening up the stadium. I’m
hoping we have a big crowd, and everybody has a lot of fun. We do have to have a
great week of practice. This is an important week of practice for us. We need to focus
and concentrate and get better technically and scheme wise, and not make the
mistakes that we made.”

(On what is meant by Pass’ eyes being down)
COACH PETRINO: “What happens with a quarterback is when you drop back to pass
the ball, you’ve got to keep your eyes up and see the secondary. Every pass play, what
we do is we have somebody that we hold and then somebody that we key. So, like on a
simple curl play, he’ll come back and he’ll try to hold the linebacker by keeping his eyes
straight ahead for three steps, and then the last two steps he’ll look at the flat curl
defender and key him. If he’s in the curl, he’ll throw it to the guy in the flat. If he’s in the
flat, then he’ll throw it to the curl. When you’re experiencing some pressure and you get
hit and they’re bringing guys different places, which they did a lot of, there’s a time when
all of a sudden that pass rush comes and a different colored jersey flashes in front of
you, and your eyes go down to the pass rush. So, I don’t hold anybody, and I don’t key
anybody. Basically, I start playing blind. That has happened to every quarterback I’ve
ever coached. The No. 1 thing they have to do is understand it, and then get over it. I
know that he’ll see it, and he’ll know it, and he’ll say I can’t believe I missed a touchdown right down the middle, but it’s hard to see it when you’re looking at the pass rush.”

(On the loss of redshirt junior linebacker Jon Greenard to injury)

COACH PETRINO: “That was a good loss. He’s been a young man that’s really tried to
be the leader in a number of ways – by example, playing hard, taking more pride in
running full speed to the ball, which really showed up in practice and was a huge step
for him, and then vocally, he’s a kid that’s been around here for a long time. He really
was taking a lot of pride in doing that, and then he went down. We’re going to be without
him for a while, he has a ligament injury in his wrist. It’s a significant injury, and we’re
going to be without him for a while. I don’t even know the timetable on that, but it’s a
shame because he worked extremely hard to prepare and get ready for the season. He
landed on it really differently and injured it. The good thing is our guys adjusted and got
better, we had a little lull there at one point, and I was really concerned. We talked
about it, and coach (Brian) VanGorder [defensive coordinator] got them over on the
sideline and talked about it. Then they came out and did a better job.”

(On the status of redshirt senior cornerback Cornelius Sturghill)

COACH PETRINO: “He should be good to go. He got hit in the hip, and I saw him
yesterday in the locker room and he was working out this morning. He should be good
to go this week.”

(On what needs to be improved on special teams and adjusting without assistant
coach Chris Klenakis)

COACH PETRINO: “We’re handling it with the staff. Everybody is coaching on it,
everybody is coaching a particular guy on it. On the kickoff return, we’ve got to kick the
ball better. He slipped and almost fell down as he was kicking the ball, so it ended up
being a line drive and didn’t give us an opportunity to cover really well. We did a pretty
good job of adjusting to it, and then we missed two tackles right in the hole. The two
guys that were there, I don’t know if they knocked each other off, but we missed the
tackle. He made a great run, you can’t take anything away from him because he made a
great run and stayed on his feet and got in in the end zone, but we didn’t do a good
enough job. The punt returns hurt us, and again, some of it is the placement of the punt,
and they (Alabama) did a good job of holding us up. They were getting us at the line of
scrimmage, holding us up and not letting us get down the field. We have to do a better
job of understanding what they’re doing and freeing each other up. That’s part of punt
return is being able to pick for each other and free each other up when they’re not
rushing, they’re just holding you up at the line of scrimmage. That hurt us a little bit.”

(On the performance of the running backs, specifically redshirt freshman Colin
Wilson and redshirt sophomore Dae Williams)

COACH PETRINO: “Dae gives us a good sense of security in throwing the football
because he did a really good job of protection. He’s big, he’s physical, he can run the
routes and catch the ball. He didn’t run like Dae usually runs, he’s more physical than
that, and he can bang in there and get yards after the carry. I thought he was a little bit
tentative, and some of that is just coming off an injury. I thought with Colin we didn’t give
him enough opportunities. He came in there early and made a mistake. It was kind of a questionable call maybe – whether he was in motion or not – but we had a guy open for
a touchdown. It ended up hurting us and upsetting us, so we probably got him out of the
game too soon and didn’t give him enough chances, but hopefully he’ll get back and get
his opportunities in the next couple weeks and get going.”

(On how valuable the game film can be)

COACH PETRINO: “Yeah, I mean we focus a lot on it. It’s a little bit different schedule
for us because we’re out of school today. So, normally when we’re at this meeting,
we’ve already had our video with our players and our meetings and everything. But we
got back late, really late, you know a plane issue late, like 6:30 a.m. late. They should
have moved my TV show back I think, but they didn’t. So, we haven’t watched it with our
players yet. Normally, I’ve already done that and we practiced on Sunday night, but we’ll
come back this afternoon at 5 p.m. and have a team meeting and then special teams,
and then watch it with the positions. Then we’ll go out on the field and get a little bit of
work in, get the legs back and the soreness out and start our normal week on Tuesday.”
(On finding a balance between learning from film and not hurting the team
confidence)

COACH PETRINO: “I’ve always believed the way you have confidence is to play well,
do things right. So, we’re going to face it and we’re going to watch the video. We’re
going to show what we did well, what we didn’t do well. I think the biggest thing for an
athlete is to be able to look in the mirror when I didn’t do what I’m supposed to do, or I
didn’t display courage like I’m supposed to display courage, and I can look myself in the
mirror and admit it. Then I have the ability to overcome it. So, we’re going to. They have
to be their first, worst critic, that’s what I always tell them as a player. You’ve got to be
your worst critic. You’ve got to go in and see the video and understand what you did,
what you didn’t do, and be hard on yourself. And then the coach probably will be too,
he’s just following in line with the player.”

(On the team’s confidence)

COACH PETRINO: “Actually, I’m not concerned about that because of the way they
were on the sideline and the way they kept playing and competing, and the fact that we
had some success at the end. I’m not concerned about that. I didn’t see it in the locker
room after the game. I think what we need to see is how we can improve and do better
and be more consistent. It was a truly a team loss. We gave up things on defense, we
did things on offense. It didn’t help us win, and we gave up things in special teams. So,
they see that we have to do it together. And I think they’ll see that on how much closer
they really actually were than the score because we gave them points in all three phases.”

(On Indiana State)

COACH PETRINO: “I watched a video. They do a really good job of coaching. Their
defense is very well coached. It’s a good game for us in the fact that they’re going to run
a lot of different pressures and bring guys, and they don’t just sit there and play base
defense, so that’s good. That’ll help us get better, help our quarterback to handle all
that. Offensively, they went to kind of a zone read. They’ve got a quarterback that’s tall
and can run. They didn’t throw the ball a lot, but he threw it pretty well when he did
throw the ball. So, I think it’ll be a good game for us, but I was impressed with how well
they were coached.”

(On who needs to step in to Greenard’s position)

COACH PETRINO: “I mean we’ve got to do it with a lot of guys, but (redshirt sophomore
defensive end Tabarius) Peterson really needs to step up and do a good job. He’s very,
very talented. I don’t think we’ve touched his talent yet as far as his production. You’re
talking about a guy that’s 250 (pounds), that can run a 4.50 40 (yard dash) and is
extremely strong, so we’ve got to get him more time, and he’s got to produce and get it
going. Derek Dorsey (redshirt sophomore defensive lineman) came in in the second half
and played some defensive end for us to the tight end side. He did a good job, was
really good against the run and used his hands well, and he really helped us in the
second half, getting through not having Jonathan (Greenard) out there.”

(On if there were any positive takeaways from the defensive performance)

COACH PETRINO: “Yeah, a lot of positives. Like I said, we ran to the ball well. We
blitzed well, and we had the line movement, so the things that we’re supposed to do
with it. We’ve got to eliminate the big play. That’s the biggest deal. Really, when you talk
about a 4-3 defense, the 4-3 also means nickel, so what you have is you have two end
linebackers that are going to play all the time. Then the other linebacker you put like a
‘Nickel Sam’ or a ‘Nickel Will,’ so its interchangeable on the calls. The defense doesn’t
change just because they have three wide receivers out there. That that’s really when
nickel really comes to play is because they’re playing with three or four wide receivers.
Most of the country’s doing that nowadays. I think our study from last year was 82
percent of the plays were what we call 11 personnel, which is three wide receivers in
the game against us a year ago. That’s a very high percentage. It used to be maybe 40
percent a long time ago.”

(On the change from redshirt junior kicker Blanton Creque to redshirt junior
kicker Evan O’Hara on the kickoff)

COACH PETRINO: “He did a great job in camp. He was kicking the ball – Evan – was
kicking the ball really well, getting a good hang time. Blanton did come in and had one
good kick for us. As long as they didn’t return it, that was the good thing about it
because it was kicked to the wrong side of the field, and if they would have returned it,
we would have had some issues. We have to improve on all of that. But, you know, the
other thing I really felt with Blanton last year is at the end of the year, if you remember,
we didn’t kick the ball really well into the end zone and did he wear out and wear down, so we’re trying to really work Evan into being our kickoff guy, and he just has to carry it
from practice to game because he can do it. He’s got the timing, he’s got the leg, he has
the hang time and the direction we need. Sometimes when you’re inexperienced, it just
takes getting in that first game and doing it.”

(On if redshirt junior running back Trey Smith’s status for this week is known)

COACH PETRINO: “No, I never talked anything about Trey Smith.”

(On the focus on illegal procedure penalties in practice this week)

COACH PETRINO: “The illegal procedure? Yeah, I mean we try not to have any illegal
procedures and those are the penalties that hurt you, the unforced. We had a number of
those, the illegal procedure, and then the two unsportsmanlike. Kemari Averett
(sophomore tight end) spins the ball after scoring and Micky Crum (redshirt senior tight
end), we could’ve got a 15-yarder going that way, because what they did to him is
upsetting, obviously. But we have to keep our poise and let it not be offsetting, just let it
be against them. So, those are the things we have to get corrected, too.”

(On Kemari Averett’s performance)

COACH PETRINO: “Kemari is a going to be a really, really good player for us – his
production and two touchdowns and the way he can run and catch. Micky (Crum)
makes some plays, I think he had three catches for us and some good blocks. I really
do believe that one of our things on offense we’re going to do well in is our two tight end
package.”

(On dealing with the stadium construction through the summer)

COACH PETRINO: “It wasn’t really that big of an inconvenience because they set
things up so nice for us. I was shocked to be honest with you. When they said you’re
going to go to the suites and the PNC, we came back from the bowl game and
everything was moved in and it was nice. We all had offices in the suites, and we set up
meeting rooms. We had to have some drapes hung, but it worked out way better than I
could’ve ever imagined. Then when we moved back over here, people have been
working nonstop. The one thing that you have to learn to do is be able to focus and
concentrate on what you’re doing with loud, loud noise out there. Whether it’s the drilling
in the cement – or Yesterday, it was hard yesterday because there was a little bit of lack
of sleep. They had this generator outside my office and it was going the entire day. I’m
not sure if they would have ran it if we’d won the game. I think it was like, we lose, run
the generator. They got back at me.”

(On the roughing the passer call on sophomore linebacker Dorian Etheridge vs.
Alabama)

COACH PETRINO: “Yeah, he went low and he hit him low. I didn’t have any complaint
about that. He did hit him low and you’re not supposed to do that. My deal was that he
became a runner. He ran outside the pocket, scrambled back inside the pocket. Dorian
had no idea he was going to throw the ball because he just casted it up, but they
protected him and called it anyway. I have no issues protecting quarterback because I
think we got to do everything we can to do that. But, sometimes for a defensive player
with the quarterbacks running the football, he’s no longer a protected player, and that
rule is to protect the passer. I thought he was no longer a passer, is what I was trying to
ask the official really nicely.”

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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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