Bobby Petrino, Head Coach, Louisville
Opening Statement prior to Wake Forest

COACH PETRINO: “It was a good win for us. Like I said after the game, I’m really proud of
our players and how they’ve stuck together, the energy that they had all week at practice,
the focus. I thought we played tough. Watching the video, I thought we played with a lot of
toughness and a lot of effort. It was great to see our defensive line using technique, getting
off blocks, making tackles at the line, guys sprinting to the ball. One of the things we really
wanted to do and that we worked on all week was getting more bodies to the football, and
we really did that. Our guys really sold out and played with great effort. We had some really
good pass rush out of (redshirt senior linebacker) James Hearns and (senior linebacker)
Trevon (Young), so they did a really nice job of getting after the quarterback and putting
pressure, putting the clock on him. Even when we didn’t get to him, there were times that
he had to throw it early before his guys were open, so that helped us a lot.

“Offensively, I thought we did a good job executing the game plan. The game plan was to
run the football and run it two, three times in a row. We felt like going in, if we didn’t have
negative plays, we could get the 3rd-and-medium, 3rd-and-short, be able to run the ball
and be successful. (Junior quarterback) Lamar (Jackson) did an unbelievable job. He just
did a great job of reading and taking what they gave him, and then distributing the ball
when we did pass it. He threw a couple really great deep balls, unfortunately we didn’t
make the catches on them, which would have been really nice. (Senior running back)
Reggie (Bonnafon) keeps getting better, and playing hard and fast. He had a couple cuts in
that game and accelerated, thought he might go the distance. That run in the last drive to go
down and get the field goal was huge for us, and something he just accelerated through the
line and made a great run. It was good to have (redshirt freshman running back) Dae
Williams out there. I thought Dae gave us a lot, and he’s a guy that’s powerful, big. He can
do everything; run, catch, block, so it’s a great combination. I think it helps our offense a lot
to have him out there. Then our offensive line continues to get better. I thought they did a
good job. They controlled the line of scrimmage, blocked a lot of line movement. They did a
lot of different things to try to stop the run, and our offensive line handled it very well, so
that was good to see.

“Then, I felt like we won the special teams. (Redshirt sophomore punter) Mason King
punted the ball very well, I think he averaged over 49 yards and two of them inside the 20.
Then we hit the field goal at the end to win the game, so it was a good win for us, something
we need to build on in the preparation, understand that it’s going to be hard-fought. We’re
looking forward to the game Saturday. They’re a good defense, and they’ve been able to
move the ball. They’ve got a receiver that can really run after the catch, so that’s going to
challenge us to play tight coverage on him and tackle him when he does catch the ball.”

(On putting more of an emphasis on the running game during Saturday’s game vs.
Florida State)

COACH PETRINO: “Each week you go in with a game plan, and with the temperature the
way it was there and the way that we executed throughout the week, we felt that that was
our best opportunity to win the game. I do think it helped us with controlling the ball and
having time of possession simply because it was just such a hot day, you’d rather have their
defense on the field than ours.”

(On the dramatic turnaround for the players from the loss against Boston College to
the win at Florida State)

COACH PETRINO: “I’m just really proud of them. I’m proud of how competitive they were,
how much leadership it took from the players within the program to keep everything
positive and energetic in practice. I think it’s a credit to our assistant coaches and how they
handed the meeting rooms, getting the kids to come out of the meeting rooms and onto the
practice field with energy.”

(On how to keep players positive when the media overreacts to a loss)
COACH PETRINO: “You talk a lot to them, and you try to talk to the leaders. One thing
about players is that they get over losses a lot quicker than coaches do. They’re out there
enjoying it and having fun, and that’s something they love to do. So, it’s a lot easier for a
player to put a loss behind them than it is for the coaching staff, the media, and whoever
else it is. They really do go out and play to win the game. Whichever game they’re in, they
go out there to compete and play to win the game. There are times when you do lose a
number of games in a row and attitude takes the wrong turn. So, that’s the main thing we
try to do, control the attitude, keep them positive, energetic, focused. That really showed,
not only with the guys on the field, but also the guys on the sidelines. I thought we had a
great help from our sideline and the energy that our sideline gave our players.”
(On morale of players before game)

COACH PETRINO: “No, I’m not really surprised. We’ve got good guys on this team. I like the
guys on our team. They’ve been good—they work hard at it. They had a great offseason.
One of the things we tried to talk to them about is things in life don’t always go the way you
want them to. So, every one of us is going to have to handle adversity, and hopefully, we
learned a lesson from it this week that you handle the positive attitude, energy, and go
attack it.”

(On heavily using the run game against Florida State)
COACH PETRINO: “I like throwing the rock around a little bit. But, not that hard, because
we’re making great yards with it. I think that’s the thing. If you’re not making yards, and
you’re not having success, you still have to stick to the game plan to win the game. I just
didn’t want to get negative plays, and their pass rush is pretty good. They got guys that can
really rush the passer. And I felt like we could run at those guys and wear them down, and
then, they wouldn’t rush the passer as well late in the game.”

(Follow-up: “Did that happen, you think?”) I thought it did, yeah.”
(On Lamar Jackson’s performance against Florida State)
COACH PETRINO: “I thought he ran the offense very, very well. He did a lot of stuff at the
line of scrimmage. He did some things with protections. He went through his progressions.
He was able to make some yards outside of the pocket—with that one great run, a nice
throw on the sideline for a first down. I thought he was really focused and into it, and did a
great job.”

(On Lamar Jackson’s shovel pass)
COACH PETRINO: “I’m not sure what that was. I don’t think he can shoot the 3, but maybe,
he can get inside the key. That’s what it seemed like—a little jump shot.”
(On importance of leading FBS in first downs)

COACH PETRINO: “I don’t really ever look at the first downs. I look at time of possession,
because I do think that that’s important and particularly for our defense, so I think that’s a
big stat. Then, big plays, turnovers, is what really determines games. If you take care of the
ball and you get big plays, then usually, you win the game.”
(On emphasizing the turnover battle)

COACH PETRINO: “We’ve been really focused on it. I feel like our defense continues to get
better at it. Offensively, we’ve turned the ball over too much. We’re improving at it. I think
the discipline of taking care of the football and limiting our penalties is helping us.”
(On Florida State’s fumble return for a touchdown)

COACH PETRINO: “We couldn’t do a lot about that one. That was probably the only
misread Lamar had the whole day. The guy did kind of a good job against him. He got after
him a little bit and changed it up on him, but the rest of the time, Lamar took advantage of

(On Florida State slowing down the game’s tempo)
COACH PETRINO: “I didn’t feel that. I didn’t feel that in the game, because they weren’t
really waiting for the 40-second clock. They were just—sometimes, they would have good
tempo and sometimes they were slow receivers getting back. It wasn’t something where
they were trying to do it. I did feel like in the first half that this might be a real short game.
We’re running the ball, they’re running the ball. But, it did change a little in the second

(On performances of James Hearns and Trevon Young)
COACH PETRINO: “I thought we got some better matchups, and our staff moved them
around a little bit, did some different things with them. But, besides that, they played with
unbelievable effort. They were relentless, they were blocked at times and kept coming, and
they got there on second effort a number of times. That’s just a credit to them that weren’t
going to be denied.”

(On defensive effort)
COACH PETRINO: “I thought it was a great effort. They played really hard. (Redshirt junior
linebacker) Isaac Stewart played as hard as he ever has here. He got to the football, he
tackled well, he was tough taking on blocks, so I thought he did a great job. I thought our
defensive front used their hands better and set edges better, that’s something that we felt
we really had to do. We held both running backs under 100 yards, and were able to
pressure the quarterback.”

(On the explanation of the roughing the passer penalty)
COACH PETRINO: “It’s like when someone says, ‘Trust me, man, trust me!’ What do you
mean you’re not trying to get me in trouble? I would like to get in trouble, I’ll just leave it at

(On last year’s dispute with Wake Forest)
COACH PETRINO: “No. We’ve got all that behind us. We’re looking forward to getting on
the practice field and working on football.”
(On Wake Forest’s defense)

COACH PETRINO: “They’re really active on the defensive front. Both defensive ends that
we played against last year – both guys do a really good job of rushing the passer and
defending the run. They move their inside guys a lot. They’re very experienced at
linebacker. They’re guys we’ve played against for a number of years, so they’ve defended
people well. People haven’t scored a lot of points on them. I think it’s going to be up to us to
mix it up and be able to run it and throw it.”

(On what makes a good red zone offense)
COACH PETRINO: “You score. You get the ball in the end zone. Everybody’s a little bit
different. Sometimes teams do different things, sometimes it’s your ability to run the ball
into the end zone, sometimes it’s your ability to move the quarterback around and do runpass
options, so everyone’s a little bit different.”

(On Wake Forest’s offense)
COACH PETRINO: “I think he’s done a nice job of throwing touchdown passes. He’s been
accurate on the passes. They do do a good job of running the ball.”

(On rumored criticism of Lamar Jackson by Wake Forest coaches)
COACH PETRINO: “No. None at all. I don’t really pay attention to a lot of that stuff.”

(On status of senior linebacker Stacy Thomas and junior cornerback Jaire Alexander)
COACH PETRINO: “You know, Stacy worked really hard to – he really wanted to play in the
game last week. Being from Florida and knowing how many people were going to be there,
he worked extremely hard at it. Tried out Thursday in practice and the medical team made
the opinion that he wasn’t ready – he wasn’t quite ready to go. So, we’ll see how he
progresses this week. I know in his mind he really wants to get ready and prepared to go.
And Jaire, we’ll have to see how it goes with him. I’m not sure yet.”

(On recent performance of Reggie Bonnafon)
COACH PETRINO: “His acceleration through the hole, working hard at finishing runs. He’s
working hard at being the guy that does the hitting. But his acceleration through the hole
has really changed. You noticed it in practice where he started bursting right as he saw the
opening. He’s doing a good job of doing what we call ‘hugging the wall,’ which keeps the
linebacker to the blocks, and if you come out too soon, the linebacker can leave the block
and make the tackle. So, he’s setting the blocks better. Just the experience of getting more
touches and feeling it now, more confidence. He had three big runs the other day. On a
couple of them, I thought he had a chance of going the distance.”

(On Reggie Bonnafon’s improved acceleration)
COACH PETRINO: “Yeah. Just the reps and the understanding of ‘as soon as I see it I need
to get to my speed.’ He’s traditionally been what you’d call a ‘glider,’ sometimes we don’t
even know if he’s going hard because he’s so smooth. But now he’s working hard at really
accelerating and getting to his top speed quicker.”

(On importance of Dae Williams to offense)
COACH PETRINO: “He’s a physical runner. Gives us more touches for the running backs.
Keeps us fresh. Gives us the opportunity to have a couple back in the backfield together at
the same time, which helps in both the running game and pass protection.”

(On status of senior running back Malik Williams)
COACH PETRINO: “He practiced all last week in a non-contact jersey. So basically, he was
out there running, conditioning, and making plays, much like (Dae) Williams did for three
weeks. I don’t really know—it’s going to be when the medical staff and the doctors tell him
that he’s ready to go. He really wants to play. He’s such a good kid and he knows that the
clock is ticking on the number of games he has left as a college athlete. But, that’s going to
be in the hands of the doctors.”

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

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