The awesome people at UofL Athletics put together a clip of today’s press conference. Take a look for yourself below!
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville football team continues to search for answers in the wake of its loss to NC State last Thursday at Carter-Finley Stadium to drop to 4-2 overall, 1-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
With six games remaining on the schedule – beginning with Saturday’s Homecoming contest versus Boston College – the Cardinals are hoping to find some of those solutions beginning this weekend.
“We’re not playing well enough defensively—certainly, I think that’s evident, everybody sees that,” head coach Bobby Petrino said. “And it’s a lot of different things: it’s the ability to control the front on first down and stop the run, it’s about tackling better, we missed a lot of tackles, and certainly, out in space was one of the issues, and then, being able to defend the pass.
“Offensively, we’re doing a lot of good things, but we’re not consistent enough. We didn’t get enough opportunities. It’s almost like, offensively, you feel like you’ve got to go score every single time right now, and that’s hard to do.”
Despite the tough loss to the Wolfpack, which came down to the last possession before an interception return thwarted the comeback attempt, the Cardinals battled until the final whistle in the 39-25 loss to the No. 24 team in the country.
“I did like the fact that our players played extremely hard—they kept competing,” Petrino said. “There was never anybody on the sidelines that wasn’t into the game and finding a way to win the game. And we came out in the fourth quarter and had to get a 3-and-out to have a chance, and we were able to get 3-and-out and have a chance to win the game.
“And then, offensively, we weren’t able to take it and go score to tie it up, which is what I thought we would do, we would take the ball and go score and tie it up. We have a lot of work to do. We’re gonna just keep working on it one day at a time and get better.”
While the offense produced 470 yards of total offense in the loss, the defense had its issues at times versus NC State. The Wolfpack totaled 520 yards, but managed to keep the Cardinals off the field, especially in the third quarter, when the Cardinals had two possessions.
“We’ve got to do a better job of stopping the run on first down,” Petrino said. “Being physical so we get behind the sticks, so we can have a chance to rush the quarterback. We’ve got to be able to play the ball in the air with tight coverage and get more guys to the football to tackle better. So, we’ve got a lot of things to work on.”
The work must get done quickly because a staunch Boston College defense invades the Derby City – led by defensive ends Harold Landry and Zach Allen. At 6-foot-5, 285 pounds, Allen leads the Eagles in tackles with 55 – 14 coming in a loss to Virginia Tech last weekend.
Landry, one of the top pass rushers in Boston College history, recorded his 26th career sack in a loss to the Hokies.
“Yeah, they’ve got two really good defensive ends,” Petrino said. “Again, we played against the same guys last year. One of them is a real speed rusher and a great athlete. He did get hurt at the end of the game last week, so I’m not exactly sure where he is health wise. The other guy’s a big physical guy that plays the run inside, and then comes outside and rushes the quarterback. It’s something if you can run the ball on him and run the ball at him, then it makes it easier to protect him in the passing game.”
As the season rolls past the midway point this weekend, a rash of injuries have hampered the Cardinals after losing their No. 1 receiver, cornerback, linebacker and wiping out most of the running backs.
“You just got to keep going,” Petrino said. “It’s certainly been some critical people for us—we have Jaire back. Hopefully, Jaylen gets back here rolling for us in a little bit. Maybe we’ll get Stacy back, but it’s certainly one of the things you have to deal with.”
The opportunity to keep going will take place this weekend against Boston College. However, with many holes to fill, it won’t be an easy task.