Coach Satterfield 9/14/2020

Opening statement

Good afternoon guys. I am proud of our team after looking back and watching the film. I think, we did a lot of great things out there, particularly offensively and defensively. I was disappointed in some the special team aspects, but nothing we can’t correct, so we are happy to come out of the game with the win. We put up some pretty good numbers and I am looking forward to Miami.  I know, they (Miami) do a great job down there, they have a lot a lot of great athletes, and are coming off a big win as well last week. We know that there is a lot of hype surrounding this game this weekend with College Gameday here and we are glad to be able to play at home again this week. We are excited to be able to play; it was awesome to be out there on the field last Saturday night, and it has been a long time coming to be out there on that field. There were some days when you did not know if you were going to be able to make it to this point, and it was great to finally get to be out and play. It was fun, it was fun for our guys, and we are looking forward to another opportunity to play this week. 

(Coach Satterfield about what did you learn about his team Saturday and what are some areas that he would like to see get better)

I think coming into the game that we thought that we would have an offense that could put up some some good numbers. We have some talent at wide receiver, running back, and tight end. I thought that (Micale) Cunningham played well. I think that those things were to be expected, we as a staff anticipated our players playing that way and it was good. I think one of the question marks was defensively, were we able to get better, I think that we answered that question Saturday night. Our defense played well, they ran to run to the ball, and did not give up more than those two explosive plays. They scored 21 points, but two of those scores came inside the five, and were special teams related, so I thought that our defense played well. We have to work on our kicking game, there were some aspects that we have to improve on. There were some new guys out there who were getting their first playing time, we anticipate them getting a lot better with in all aspects. I think that we can do some different things scheme wise to help ourselves out. Overall, I was pleased with our performance and I am looking forward to this week. 

(Coach Satterfield on Miami, what he has noticed from them week one and what challenges they present)

I think there has been a lot been said about some of the transfers that they were able to bring in, they are impact players, particularly the quarterback and the two defensive ends. Those three guys in particular really stood out in week one. (D’eriq) King is a player that was hyped up at Houston, and deservedly so, he was an outstanding player there. Then, he comes to Miami and it was interesting to see how they utilized him the other night, but we know that he can run. He’s got a good arm as well. He’s a playmaker. I think that it is now 16 or 17 straight games where he’s thrown for a touchdown and ran for a touchdown, that is pretty remarkable. He is hard to contain, then you couple that with their running backs. They do not have just one running back, they have several running backs that I think are very explosive runners. They have speed and they are able to break tackles, and then we know that they have some skill out there a wide receiver that can knock the top off the defense and catch the football. Defensively, the two defensive ends that transferred in are very athletic, strong, have all the attributes you want to have in a defensive end to put pressure on the passer but they’re also good in the run game too. The defensive tackle, number one (Nesta Jade Silvera) that we played against last year, I thought that he had a really good game against UAB, he is as a big strong guy that can plug the middle. They are playing with a couple of new linebackers out, but have some returning experience in the secondary. I think just overall when you look at their team, they are very athletic and can run well. I think overall as a team, they have the potential to be outstanding. We went down there last year and played them, we did not play very well at all and to say the least we were never really in that game, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to play them again. 

(Coach Satterfield on Louisville v Miami last season)

I don’t know, that’s a good question. If we knew, we would never do that again. I think that it was one of those games that we didn’t play well, particularly defensively they were able to do whatever they wanted against us last year. Their quarterback had a Heisman kind of day. Last year their offense really did not put up great number, but we’re able to do that against us. It was a tremendous day for them and they through for maybe five touchdown passes, I try to forget what happened in that day but you know it was we really could not do anything to stop them offensively. I think our defense got better after that game and  finished out the season in the bowl game on a good note. They are different offense this year with King at quarterback and he can do such much with his legs and they were able to rush for 300 yards the other night, the first time in a long time. They are a completely different offensive football team this year, so I do not put in a lot of stock in last year. We are a different team this year, they are a different team. It is a new year and we have to do a great job this week in our preparation and preparing for what they are going to give us. 

(Coach Satterfield on making personnel changes in the special teams)

No, I don’t think so. I think the other night when he dropped the first one, that was his first college play and it was raining out there. It just so happened that we were backed up at the goal like, it was kind of an unlucky deal out there on that play. We have not had any issues in practice like that, so hopefully that was kind of an unlucky thing that happened. I can go back to my very first college play at Appalachian State, where we ran an option play and I fumbled the ball on my first play. It was end of the game so it was mop up duty and it did not really hurt us, but hopefully that will be the last time that happens. I know that we have faith in him and that there were other issues with some protection issues that were not his fault. We have to look at some things that we are doing out there, fix some mistakes, and we will be fine in those aspects.

(Coach Satterfield on Western Kentucky backfield helped prepare for Miami)

I like to think that it helped a little bit. The quarterback that we played against this week on Western Kentucky was great. He looked like a running back out there, he was 210 pounds, had great size, had a really good running ability, and I thought that our guys did a good job containing him. I think that (D’eriq) King is faster, quicker and more dynamic in those aspects. We have our work cut out for us, but the preparation stays the same. We have to be fundamentally sound in our approach defensively, and have to play hard and fast. I mean that there is no question about it. This Miami team overall will be a fast. We are going to have to be smart, be in our gaps, and not get out of a position because King will make you pay defensively. We saw that the other night when they played UAB. 

I don’t necessarily think it was bad. We had a long time to practice since August, and we worked on it every day. That was something that we put a lot of time and effort into and, it didn’t look like we did, but we did. We just got to go and execute better. That’s the bottom line. If you don’t get those things corrected, it’s going to be something that’s going to make it a long year every week. We’re going to be putting a lot more time into it this week and get it corrected. But we have to go out and execute. Just like any offense or defense, you have to go out and execute.

(On if the Cardinals’ defense is equipped to handle Miami’s offense..)

Well yeah, I’d tell you so. We’ve practiced and worked on it during camp, and we will obviously work on it this week. But we know they’re going to go fast in their approach. It’s something I think if you put the time into and work on it in practice that you’re not going to be caught off guard by. At the same time, during the game you’re going to have to be focused, they have to get the call from the sideline in a timely manner and get lined up quickly. The thing that I think the tempo offense presents problems defensively is the fact that you got to recognize formations. And by going fast, your processing has to be extremely fast because you got to recognize formations, recognizes tendencies and what down it is; all that within a few seconds. That in itself presents some issues. But we’ll practice it again this week and hopefully our guys will be ready to go on Saturday night.

(On the Cardinals’ new No. 17 ranking in the AP poll…)

Yeah, it’s pretty cool. You think about when I got hired here where we were at program-wise and what everybody wrote about us and what everybody thought about us nationally. To come about a year and a half later we’re ranked and College Gameday is going to be here. I mean, that’s pretty incredible. We appreciate the fact that we are getting attention nationally. As far as getting ranked and also having College GameDay here, at the end of the day, for us it’s nice, but it doesn’t really mean anything. You still have to go out and play and you have to perform at a high level and you have to be extremely competitive and focused on the task at hand.

But it’s awesome. It’s a great spotlight on us, our town, on our city and on our school. All week there’s going to be talk about where College Gameday is going, and the media attention that we’ll get it is awesome.  I think that’s why kids want to come play for the University of Louisville. We certainly have to utilize this attention for all the guys that we’re reaching out to and recruiting right now that are in high school to know that you can come here and be on the front stage everybody sees you. I think that’s what is so positive about this. But when they kick the ball off, Miami doesn’t care that Gameday’s here. They don’t care about any of that stuff. So you got to go out there and play your game and  play at a high level.

(On wide receiver Braden Smith…)

I think (we realized it) in the spring. We only had half a spring, but we saw early on that he’s got a lot of ability. He’s very quick. He’s a strong athlete at receiver, and he’s got really good hands. He understands football, he understands spatial awareness when he’s running his route. He made some big time plays for us out there last Saturday, a couple of contested catches. And really big plays at some critical times like third long. So I’m really proud of him and the way he came out and make plays for us.

Sometimes you come into the receiver room, particularly, because you got  Fitzpatrick and Tutu Atwell, who have had great careers and all of a sudden you think “wow, maybe I don’t belong.” But man, he came out from day one in spring and really came out there and started turning heads right off the bat. He had a really good fall camp, and it really wasn’t surprising for him to go out and make plays for us Saturday.

(On if the new AP ranking so soon in his career was expected…)

No, I never thought about that. I never will think about that. I don’t really care personally about that. I mean it helps our program and helps our recruiting, as I mentioned. But we just want to be good today. I want to do whatever I can do today to help this program. If you do that and you have that mentality that at the end of your tenure or your career, you’re going to look back and say “man, we did a lot of great things.” If you’re always looking at press clippings and you’re looking at polls and all that stuff that really doesn’t matter, then you’re not focusing on what you need to focus on. That’s getting better as a football team. That’s my job as a coach to keep our guys focused and our staff focused on what we have to have to do every day to get better.

So there’s not a timeline or any of that kind of stuff. We’re just trying to put a better, a good product on the field. We work hard that every single day, and we hope it’s good enough to go out there and play and compete and win games.

(On the offensive line performance against Western Kentucky…)

I thought we had a solid outing . I think No. 10 (DeAngelo Malone) is a really, really good football player on that defense. He’s as fast as anybody we’ll play, and we’re going to play some great defensive ends this year in the ACC. We know we’re going to have to be able to face that again this weekend. We got a couple of great ones. But I think he what he presents the problems was with so much speed, and he had some great links. But I thought our guys played a pretty good overall. Renato Brown over at right tackle, for his first start, played outstanding. He has got great feet. He’s going to be a really good player for us.  I think our veterans up front, as you looked at the middle three, they had a solid outing. Could have played better? Absolutely. And I think they will play better as we move forward. But they were a loading up the box with everybody in there. I think that’s why we were able to get some of those throws down the field.

But we have to be able to run the football when they have got a bunch of guys in the box. We put that on our offensive line and our tight ends. It doesn’t matter how many guys are in there, we have to be able to run the football. It’s just something you have to have. So we’ll get better. But I think overall it was a pretty solid performance by the guys up front. They had the one sack there when we were backed up, which was obviously not very good. But I think last year we gave up maybe five sacks to Western Kentucky so we certainly have improved.

(On trying to score late in the game against Western Kentucky)

We just on our offense. We were out there in the game, and it was a 14 point game. We got the ball back with five and a half minutes right there midfield so we’re out to trying to go down to score. You don’t want to give them the ball back.

You guys were here last year with what happened against Wake Forest. Some things can happen so fast that five minutes is an eternity. So we were trying to take the ball down and score, which we ended up running the clock all they way down which was awesome. It was very similar to last year when we played Western Kentucky. We finished up around the 5-yard line last year playing these guys. We were just trying to run the clock out and get some points on board at the end. We ran at one time with an option and we could have handed it off inside the bullet, and that’s when he ended up getting out of bounds out there to the left sideline. That’s just part of our offense. It comes with the territory. But we’re trying to win football games and finish them out. 

(What is your comfort level of getting these football games in?)

It is day to day.  We tested this morning as a football team.  We’re going to test Wednesday, we’re going to test Friday. You never know when your team is going to be affected by that. Whether it be you test positive or if you’re in contact with someone, so you really never know. We’re just taking it day by day. We hope we get all our games in.  That’s the plan right now, obviously and we take it day by day and week by week. So, we will see where this week ends up once we get to game day.  Same with Miami.  You just don’t know. It’s going to be week to week for everybody and all these teams and I think that’s why we’ve got our schedule set the way it is.  We have a couple of bye weeks where you can maybe postpone this game and we’ll move into here.  Just like we saw with Virginia Tech last week and the ACC has already moved around a couple of games with that. I think that’s going to be a thing that we’re going to have to get accustomed to, because it’s probably going to the reality of this year.

(Is their something you are doing better than other teams to address COVID?)

Well, I don’t know that we’re doing anything different. One of the things that we have is our living situation here.  Most all of our guys have their own room with their own bathroom and that makes a huge difference where if your in a conventional dorm where you have a roommate and you have suitemates and we’re all kind of in the same room, and if somebody test positive, it’s pretty much going to wipe out that whole room with contact tracing. If you’re isolated in your own rooms, maybe that helps out a little bit. Other than that, it’s all the protocols that we have going on in our building here where everybody’s mask up and when we meet, we’re 6ft apart.  The way we do all the protocols. What we are doing seems to be working for us and I think also the buy in.  It is the purpose that they have, because they want to come out and play on the weekends. So therefore, they’re not going out and spending time out with a lot of people in the masses to where they could get in contact with somebody that has the virus. Every day, we’re reminding these guys of that, so our guys have just done a good job with that.  We got to continue to do that, because it only takes one or two guys and next thing you know that can spread through teams and we’ve seen that happen this year.

(How will not having recruits here at Gameday and the game this weekend affect you?)

That’s one of the negative effects of what’s going on right now. We’d love to be to invite 200 prospects in here this weekend to be able to see the environment here with a full Cardinal Stadium. I mean, it would be unbelievable, but that’s just not where we are right now.  We’re doing different things. We’re using technology. We’ve talked about the Zoom meetings that we’ve had.  We continue to have them on a weekly basis with our recruits. Our recruiting staff and our coaches are walking around with FaceTime and trying to show the guys kind of what it’s like on game day and those type things. It’s just different. It’s different for all these guys. Fortunately, they’re able to watch TV and watch us play, but you’d love to be able to see them in person to come out here and hang out and be a part of this. That’s just not feasible right now for anybody. I mean, for any of these recruits. I hate it for the high school guys.  They can’t come to the colleges and actually get a feel for everything and this is for all the colleges, not just us. That’s kind of what we’re dealing with. I mean, who knows this whole year, we may not be able to host any recruits. All we have is to December so we just don’t know right now and that makes it very difficult for these high school players in their parents.

(On the Black Lives Matter Flag reaction..)

Yeah, we met this summer a bunch and our team came up with a lot of different things that they wanted to do to make an impact.  We are not trying to be political. I’ve seen some comments about politics needs to stay out of sports. We’re not trying to be political here in any aspect. I know that comes across to some people. They think that, but that’s not what we’re doing. We’re just trying to make a positive impact in our community right here in Louisville. These are 18 to 22 year old guys that really don’t know how to make an impact. But for them, it’s through social media, which you mentioned we are putting out videos every Monday, we’re picking a position group and they’re kind of sharing their heart. So, we’re good but everything we’re trying to do here is obviously to support our players and trying to make a positive impact. That’s it and I hate it that some people think that is negative. We have no intentions of being negative. We’re trying to promote unity. We’re trying to promote oneness, just like we do in our building. If the world was more like we have in our building here it’d be it’d be a much better place, but that’s all we’re trying to do. We’re just we’re trying to be positive and really just show that and show that if we can we love each other we’d be a lot better place.

(About motivation from last years Miami game..)

I think probably just human nature, that’s going to be the case.  Like I mentioned earlier, it’s a different team. Obviously they’re going to remember the ones that made the trip last year. They’re going to remember that feeling in the locker room. I mean, it was very disappointing. The way we came out and played so hopefully our guys would learn in preparation what we did last year and maybe tweak some things this year. I hope we could take that part of it, and it would help us to apply this year, but again, it’s all about our preference in this year. They’re going to be a different team. We got a different team let’s go out and put the work in this week and let’s see what happens.

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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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