Scott Satterfield Weekly Presser 9-16-19

Head Coach Scott Satterfield held his weekly press conference as the Cards prepare to face their biggest test yet: on the road against the Florida State Seminoles. He addresses many topics including the health of Jawon Pass, how he feels about the QB situation, and recruiting the state of Florida. Check out the full press release below.


University of Louisville Head Coach
Scott Satterfield
Weekly Press Conference
Sept. 16, 2019

“Well I think you know again coming off a good weekend for us. A good win on the road, our first road test and I thought our guys really responded well. I mentioned it post-game, you know, it was a tough week last week in practice and the most heat we’ve had all fall camp and, you know, but I thought our guys did good. We came out in first half great if you go back and watch the film guys did a really good job with it, you know, didn’t do good in the third quarter. We come out first try with turnover obviously that’s unacceptable and then finish it off good I think you know, with a with a nice win. So, we’re excited about getting to go to ACC play now going on a road down to Tallahassee against Florida State. I know a lot of things have been said, the media and this and that about them that they they’re still Florida State. They still have a lot of great players and you turn on the film, and you can see it and you can see how, you know, great size, good speed, really good speed. You know, for whatever reason, they’ve not closed it out in the second half of games, but they obviously have a lot of potential to be really good. So, now we got to have another great week of practice this week and, you know, be ready to go play a tough road game.”

(How is Puma Pass doing after the injury?)

Well, I think, you know, he’s a lot better today. You know, I think, you know, we’re going to take it day by day, we’ll see, you know, I would assume that he won’t practice tomorrow, but he may come in and be ready to go. I don’t know. I mean, he’s getting close. I would think you’d be able to practice this week, you know, but I think as we sit here today. We will probably have the same type plan as we did. You know, for the game from last week. Malik (Cunningham) will get and Evan (Conley) both will get, you know all the reps Tuesday and then we’ll kind of see where we go from there.  Go get and Evan both will get, you know all the reps Tuesday and then we’ll kind of see where we go from there.”

(How do you distribute who gets the ball on offense with all the playmakers you have?)

“Well, I mean, yeah, you know, that’s part of it, but I think you know, one of the things we want to do offensively is establish the run, you know, we want to do that we want to get we want to get that going. And sometimes, you know, you run it up in there, you’re not getting a whole lot of yards but you are, you know, making a statement of, hey, we’re going to run the football and then you’re going to see how the defense’s play in but we want to get the ball out there Tutu (Atwell) to there’s no question.  We like to get him in space. I think that’s where he obviously thrives the best you don’t want to get him in situations where he’s, you know, matched up with some bigger guys where you can get hemmed up, we want to get them outside against safeties and corners and he’s been very good at that and he obviously a big play threat for us. You know, but we got some other guys we need to get the ball to as well and, you know, there’s a fine line there. We don’t want to you know, we don’t want to put ourselves in bad situations offensively as far as getting off the sticks and, you know, we like Saturday, I think we gave up three sacks. You know, we just want to stay away from that. So, you know, the calculation comes in, you know, do you have time to throw it and how are we going to get this guy one on one free him up? I mean, that’s kind of where it comes from and so as we’re looking at the game, that’s what we’re trying to find.”

(Do you see any areas where Florida State has struggled the most?)

Well, I mean, I, you know, they’ve given up a lot of yards. And then second half points. You know, there’s, as you look at the games like Boise (State), you know, it was 24-6 in the first half of that game, I looked at Monroe it was 21-0 in Florida State and (Louisiana) Monroe in the first half of that game. So I feel like it’s a lot of these things have happened in the second half. I mean, I hadn’t really broken down the stats to see first half and second half, but I feel like it’s in a second half with a lot of these teams just coming back and for whatever reason, and you know, they, they do they have some great size up front, you know, their own odd front team two, three down linemen, and all three guys up front are over 300 pounds, and 6’4 or better. They’re outside linebackers are 6’5 260lbs. I mean, it just got a lot of size and a lot of length and, you know, I don’t know what’s happening in the second half to them. I mean, it’s hard to tell but teams are seeming like they’re starting to move the ball in the second half against them and they’ve made some plays. You know, and maybe that’s due to their offense and other offenses. First half is put up a lot of no good numbers and score points and they’ve gone fast and maybe, you know, I don’t know if that’s fatigue, the defense I you know, I don’t know you know, but it just is you look at it just look on paper you know it’s it seems like in the second half they’ve kind of just where they’ve given their yards where they’ve gotten you know wore down or whatever I’m not sure.

(What do you see in Florida State’s offense?)

“Well they go fast or a very fast tempo offense the quarterbacks you know played well. They have one of the best running backs in the country. I think he’s outstanding, runs hard, very strong. But what they’re trying to do is spread everybody out there getting a wide split with their wide receivers. A lot of vertical routes, you know, trying to get space vertically and then when you spread out that’s when they hand the ball off to their running back and he’s able to get a lot of good yardage. You know, so there you know, we have to be ready for tempo. There’s no question about it will be up to practice that all this week of how fast they’re getting their plays in and try to get off, get them off the field. I know they have a lot of good weapons, the receiver core is really good to you know, fast guys out there and where.  Well they’re trying to isolate you in space wherever receiver and it’s one on one with a safety and you know now you have to make a great angle tackle there otherwise it’ll go to the house so we had a really good job defensively with our angles staying on top and then within the box you know getting in our gaps in case they do hand the ball off but because we know how good he is.”

(What are things you are looking to clean up with Malik before the next game?)

Well you know one of the things is you know when it’s not there throwing it away we mentioned this in the post-game from last game you know, guys that can run from sitting there watching Virginia’s quarterback to you know, he’s a to me similar you know, Virginia’s quarterback can run around make plays. And I think when you do that, sometimes you know, you feel like you’re never out of the play and then then all of a sudden they’re able to get you and get that now you’re losing yardage so we have got to be able throw the football away and then we got to do a better job. I think as coaches we have got to do a better job to help them out with some nice some easier throws to where, you know, we’re smarter throws where you know you’re catching you’re throwing you get rid of the football right now not have to do a whole lot with it you know if we can help them out with that I think that’ll go a long ways and it’ll keep us on the sticks as well, but I think in a running game we did a lot of good things for us you know we’re able to make some plays in the option game the running game with the que runs as well as in our zone read plays so but you know, I think overall he had a solid game. I really did, you know, the turnover we had was probably where he should have turned it up and not pitch the ball you know Tutu dropped it.  If you asked him he’ll say “yeah, I should have caught it,” about the pitch, but Malik should have turned that up you know, but I think overall pretty solid for his first start, pretty solid.”

(You have to like what your quarterback situation is turning into.)

Yeah, I’m proud of Evan, the way he came in his first college match. Put him in a tough bind: his third down as his first play and he’s gotta go in there and ask him to throw a pass. He was a little low, Seth almost made a great catch but then I think the second play, he came out, we had a shot-play called, and he threw a great ball to Tutu on that one. He looked really comfortable in the fourth quarter playing. The more Evan gets to play, the better he’ll be, the more experience he gets. He throws a really, really nice throw; a good, catchable football. All three guys have played, so we’re feeling a lot better than when we initially started the season. You just have to get everybody healthy now. I think Malik is healthy. The second half when he played against EKU and then play this game here – he’s feeling really good now, healthy body. When we get Puma healthy we’ll have three guys who we feel good about going in and playing.”

(When it comes to Jawan and Malik and it comes to evaluating those two – two completely different QBs how do you go about evaluating them when they have two different play styles?)

“We’re still running our offense. They both have a skillset of running the football; they both can throw it. It’s a matter of what we are running when they’re in. They’ve both done very similar when you go back and look at them. They both had some issues throwing the football – accuracy with a couple of throws – and in a few reads, but they both ran the ball well. In the running game, I think they’ve both done well with the reads in the running game and the type of plays that we run. One’s just a little bit quicker, and one’s just a little bit bigger, not as fast, but a little bit bigger. They both bring something to the table. We still have to get better at throwing. I think we have to get more comfortable throwing, where we feel good about calling some pass plays. Fitzpatrick – we have to find some ways to get him the ball. We’ve got to do a little bit better of a job doing that, and making it easier for those QBs.”

(Where do you see your team fit in in the ACC? It looks like the league’s not nearly as strong as it has been in past years, at least when you get back Clemson.)

“Clemson’s in a league of their own. I think it comes down to each and every week. You have to stay focused, and we’re dealing with 18-22 year olds. If we can keep them focused on today – what can I do to get better today – am I going to show up to treatment when I’m supposed to, am I going to do the little things right? I think that’s where we are as a football team right now, is trying to do the little things right: showing up on time. Sometimes when you’re 18 you’re thinking ‘why does this really matter? Well, it matters. That’s kind of where we are as a team. When you start doing those things, then the games come easier because you’re not making those mistakes in games. You’re executing to the fullest. When you do that, you have an opportunity to win. Look at Virginia. I saw a stat the other day coming in yesterday, Florida State had 45 four- and five-star guys; Virginia had one, who was a true freshman they had just signed this year. But Virginia didn’t make as many mistakes and ended up winning the football game. It was a close game, but they ended up winning the game. I think the little things matter. I think that’s the thing you have to get a cross. This is a very competitive league, each and every week. If you don’t show up, you’ll get beat. I think that’s been proven. But when you show up and do the things you’re supposed to do, you’ll win the football game. So, it’s all about the preparation leading up to the game – showing up each and every day. If you can do that, you’ll have a better opportunity to win the games. You take it one game at a time, and you hope at the end of the season, what you’ve done is good enough. As you look across our conference right now, I think Clemson has played as well as anybody – 18 or 19 straight wins, 14 points, maybe the closest they’ve been in those wins. They’re playing at a different level than anybody else.”

(Last week, Taggart brought in Jim Leavitt as a defensive analyst, who had been his coordinator at Oregon and well-respected coach. Do you anticipate them making any changes, and does that make it more complicated for you to prepare for them?)

“Yeah, I think he’s probably going to have a huge influence on what they’re doing defensively. I’m not sure if he did this past game or not, you can kind of tell they were more odd this game than they had been the past two. I’m not sure if that’s him being there this past week or not. But obviously Coach Taggart trusts him and his opinions, so bringing him in just gives you another person who’s calling defense. He’s been a great defensive coordinator in his tenure, and just to give him a little more help there. We’ll see. He just got there, maybe two weeks, we’ll see how much impact he’ll have this week, still kind of early as far as timeframe goes to have a huge impact, but will obviously have an impact.”

(You mentioned Seth Dawkins and Dez Fitzpatrick both only had four catches through three games. What is it that’s keeping them from being such a large part of the offensive? Is it any one thing or a combo?)

“It’s probably a combination. In the EKU game, Dez had a play and he slipped and fell down, could’ve been two completions there. We’ve called there numbers some, but end up going to another receiver. We just haven’t caught a lot of passes either. If you go back and look, we had 16 attempts this past weekend. I think it’s just getting more comfortable with all of us, calling the plays, the kids executing the plays, making the throws, making the catches. When we go back to the Notre Dame game, there were probably four apparent throws and probably four or five drops. We’re not going out and throwing it 45 times a game. I think if we did that, we’re not going to be at these games. We have to play to our strengths, what we feel helps our team out as a football team. I think our defense is playing really, really good right now. I think what we do in offense helps them out. We’re trying to win football games. If throwing it 45 times would win us games, we would do it. But we feel like if we can run the football and take our shots when we can, I think, right now, after three weeks, we’re top-10 in the country for big plays offensively. We’re making some big plays in there, and if we can continue to do that, it gives us a great chance to win football games. But we do want to get them involved. I think we’re doing a great job blocking on the perimeter, but they’re talented players and we want to get them involved. Hopefully as we move forward, we’ll be able to get those guys some touches.”

(You talked about Jawan’s progress and how good Malik looked in his first start this past weekend. Even if Jawan’s healthy this weekend, what do you think about starting Malik?)

“We’re going to play the guy who gives us the best chance to win football games. I really don’t care who it is, I really don’t. I just want to put the guy in there who will help us win football games, whatever that is. As you go through practice, whoever does that – whoever does the best job with the game plan as we move throughout the week – they’re going to start, they’re going to play, they’ll get those reps. As I said earlier, right now Puma’s not healthy, and we’re going to play the healthiest player. We’ll evaluate that down the road whenever all three guys get healthy.”

(They didn’t come out and play the way you would’ve liked them to. In addition to the turnover, what do you think was the cause of that, and what’s the lesson you learned from that?)

“I think, in the EKU game, in the first play, Hawkins goes on the sideline for a big play, kind of got us going there. It’s amazing how momentum plays a big-time effect for these guys. We come out in the second play, we fumble, put our defense in a bind right there, and they ended up scoring. It’s just all about momentum. When that happens, you have to grab it back. You have to go back out and grab it back. Offensively, we just didn’t execute the first three drives in the second and third quarters. When you’re doing that, your defense is having to go right back out on the field. We just didn’t grab that momentum until we hit the long play with Tutu at the end of the third. You’ve got to grab the momentum back and somehow do a lot better job with that. Obviously you can’t turn the football, that was huge, particularly when you’ve got a good lead like we had, that’s sloppy play, and we don’t want to do that. We want to play a lot cleaner in the second half.”

(Talking about receivers on their blocking on film)

“No, I’ll tell you to their credit, they have gone out and performed at a high level. They’ve gone out and blocked every time we’ve called a run. They’re just as excited in the locker room. Like Fitz was dancing in the locker room and didn’t catch a ball. I love their attitudes. I love how they’re bringing it every day. They want to win. I think that’s the bottom line, they want to win football games. I promise you there will come a time when they have to make plays for us and that’s what we talk to them about all the time. Prepare. Balls coming to you, you have to make this play You have to prepare that way all the time, so that way when it happens you’ll be ready for it. I love the way those guys are preparing. I know we’re going to have to call their number and there is a great chance it could be this weekend. When your number gets called, you have make the plays and so they have got to keep their head high and keep rolling. Keep going with it because again, they’ll have to make plays for us in the future and they can’t get down. But you’re right, as a receiver you want to get some action. You want to get the ball, I understand that completely. We want to get them the ball and eventually we will. It will happen for them.”

(How important is the state of Florida for your recruiting scheme going forward)

“It is important because there are a lot of good athletes. I think it’s important for a lot of programs throughout the country and it just so happens that this school, Louisville, just so happen to get a lot of great players out there to come here and perform at a high level. We will continue to do that, Tutu Atwell is a good example for right now. One of the more explosive players out there from Florida. We want to continue to recruit down there and get those players that will come here and help us win championships. You know, we have to be able to do it. A lot of those guys down there can play. They can run, they can play and it’s not just skill type players offensively. A lot of good defensive players too. We’re going to stay there in state and recruit. We will probably be out recruiting there this Friday.”

(On Javian Hawkins being second in the ACC in rushing and if he thought he could do this, this early in the season)

“Well I hoped so. We went into the season, we knew he could potentially be a really good back and Hassan (Hall) too really. Both of those guys are explosive players. They run hard and that’s one about them. They’re not huge guys but they run hard. They break tackles. That’s the thing that has impressed me most about Hall is just about how he runs through tackles and continues to get a lot of yards after contact. I think he’s one of the better guys in the country with that as well. Guys who normally run that hard like that, maybe can’t take it the distance. These guys can take it the distance once they break the line of scrimmage. We did anticipate and hope that we’d run the ball like we have been, and getting into conference play now. Each and every week will be a challenge for us to run the football but we still want to keep it going. We’d love to be able to lead the league in rushing at the end of the season when we look back on this. It’s a long season and we know that. But do have a good chance to win ourselves some football games.”

(Goal for defense last week was to force turnover, what is the goal of the defense is for this week)

“That was huge play in the game right before half where we forced a fumble right before the half. Rodjay (Burns) picks it up and scores. Those are big time plays for us. We won the turnover margin for the first time this year. That’s huge and as we start ACC play we need to be able to do that. Give ourselves a chance. Defensively, we’ve played a lot better this year. I think we’ve only given up 125 yards rushing a game. Running the football and stopping the run, as I stated before Notre Dame, we want to be able to keep doing that. That will be the theme all year. If we can do that and make teams one dimensional. Make them have to throw it. Feel like we’ll start getting some of these turnovers in the passing game. We don’t have a pick do we? 3 games in, we need to get some interceptions. Maybe this week we will get some interceptions and that will be big for us. We were close last week on a couple opportunities, but we did create 2 turnovers. Still got in the backfield a little bit this past week. So if we can create some more turnovers, that will be great for us.”

(Does anything change going into conference play)

“Yeah, I think a sense of urgency probably kicks in a bit more. But our preparation really doesn’t change. The way we go about it with our preparation is on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. The same thing we’re trying to do each and every week doesn’t change. I just think that it’s conference time now. It’s conference time now. Your senses have to be heightened just a little bit more because in order to compete for this championship. These games mean something now. You have to win these games in order to try and compete for this championship. I think that first game, a tough road test. Going against, usually, a team that’s ranked in the top 25 year in and year out. Great athletes. Great challenge for our guys. We’re excited, we’re excited to go play this game and really looking forward to this week.”


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