Postgame Presser Quotes: Louisville Vs Clemson (Transcripts)

Head Coach Scott Satterfield, Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney, freshman QB Evan Conley, redshirt senior S Khane Pass, redshirt freshman RB Javian Hawkins, redshirt sophomore QB Micale Cunningham, and junior LB CJ Avery all spoke with media after today’s game. Below are some quotes from their postgame pressers.

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT: 

Clemson at Louisville

Oct. 19, 2019 | Cardinal Stadium

Postgame quotes

Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield

(Opening statement)

“First of all, obviously give Clemson a lot of credit. We knew they were an outstanding football team and they came in here today and proved that. In the first half I think we had opportunities. I thought our defense, they gave up some yards, but they did a good job creating some turnovers and getting the ball back for the offense. We just didn’t capitalize on any plays really, quite frankly, offensively. We’ve been hitting a lot of big plays throughout the season this year, and had some opportunities in this game, did not convert on them and you’ve got to, when you play a team like Clemson. You’re not going to have so many opportunities and you’ve got to make the most of those. And we were not able to do that. Another example of that when they muffed the punt down inside the five-yard line. You’ve an opportunity to get the ball, you have to find a way to get it. That’s a big momentum-getter for us that we’re not able to get. Proud of our guys, they continue to fight all the way through. We just didn’t make enough plays. The bottom line is, they out-executed us. We didn’t execute when we needed to. We were not able to get any kind of momentum in that game. I think right before half was huge. We didn’t score a touchdown and they get the ball back with a minute to go, then they drive down the field to get a touchdown. That was a huge momentum swing for them. And I think plays right before half plays that you give up, those are huge momentum. Then also right after the half, we held them to a three-and-out when they came out of the halftime and we didn’t do anything with it. Again, that’s another drive-killer for us that we have to be able to do. But I think we played hard again, we kept fighting. One positive, Javian Hawkins went over 100 yards. 129 yards, which is good. Just didn’t do anything in the passing game. That’s the bottom line, whether we’re getting sacked, not reading it right from the quarterback perspective, or not catching the football. And when you’re playing a team like this, if you don’t convert some of those, you’re not going to have a chance to win.”

(It seemed like you planned to play both Malik (Cunningham) and Evan (Conley)today. How would you evaluate their play, and do you feel like that had an effect on how the offense played?)

“I don’t think either one of them played great today. I think probably both of them played some of the worst ball they’ve played this year. But, and I give Clemson a lot of credit for that. They do the most I’ve seen a defense do. Meaning that no matter what formation you’re in, it’s rarely the same kind of defense. It’s going to be something that’s a little bit different. It’s going to be confusing for quarterbacks when you’re looking at that defense. Because, what you’re seeing is maybe not what you thought it was going to be. Then you go to throw the football. Well, there’s a guy there. So now, I need to switch to go throw over here. Well, they’re so fast up front, they’re able to get to you. You’re not able to have time to switch your feet and look on this side over here. I’m going to give Clemson a lot of credit for that. But they still didn’t play great. There were still some plays both of them had some opportunities to make plays and they weren’t able to do that. So we’ll go back and watch the film and re-evaluate it. But the plan was to play both of them. They’re both kind of getting dinged up a little bit as the season has worn on. We see where Malik has come out of a couple games this year. Evan got dinged up a little bit today on the last run he had – which was a good run, it converted third and 11, I believe when he scrambled out, got a first down. But they’re both kind of dinged. And then our receivers got to be able to make plays. We had a couple plays out there, we got to make plays for the quarterback. So, not a great day passing by any means.”

(Talk about being out-executed. It wasn’t the difference here. Just a different level of athlete. Like the touchdown before the half, not a lot of guys make that play.)

“Oh, there’s no question about that. No. That was an incredible play by number 8 for them (Justyn Ross). You can go back and he’s been doing that to everybody – including Alabama last year. He’s an outstanding player. And that was a ball where, usually as a quarterback, you would never throw that. He’s sprinting over to his left side, he flips and kind of throws it back towards the goal post. The ball’s hanging forever. And number 8 (Ross) just went up above everybody and came down and caught it. So yes, that’s good recruiting. That’s what that is. And it’s hard to coach any different when you’ve got a guy who can do that. I look at their running back, number 9 (Travis Etienne), he’s an outstanding player. For most running backs, I thought today we could’ve had him hemmed up a couple times. He’s talented enough and powerful enough to break through those tackles and then once he gets, out he’s gone. He’s got unique ability with the size and speed to be able to take it all the way to the house. He’s a great back. He’ll be one of the top backs taken whenever he comes out.”

(Clemson isn’t always the greatest measuring stick, but at this point in the season, is your team as far along as you’d like them to be?)

“We’re a work in progress. I’ve been saying that all year. To answer the question, I don’t think we’ll ever be where I want to be. We’re always going to strive to be better. Are we better now than we were when we first started? I think so. I certainly think we are. We’ve got to continue to get better each and every week. We have a great opportunity next week. We host Virginia here. That’s a huge game for us. So, we’ve got to have a great practice tomorrow. I told our guys in the locker room, that’s life. Life’s going to throw a lot of things at you. You’re going to have some adversity. This was a big bump in the road today. But you can’t put your head down. You can’t start pointing fingers. What you’ve got to do is put your big boy pants on and come back to work tomorrow. Let’s go, let’s get this thing going. Let’s correct our mistakes and then let’s put our focus on Virginia. And that’s what it’s got to be. I think that’s one of the great things about college football or sports in general is that you go through so many things playing any sport. And how are you affected by your adversity? Today we had a lot of adversity. So, how are we going come back from that? I think that’s the true measure of a team. So we’ll see how we bounce back tomorrow at practice. Are we coming in here ready to go, with our heads up, looking to see how we can improve? If we do that, then we’ll be fine. And that’s got to be our mindset.”

(It seemed like, for the second week in a row, coach Brown had a really good defensive plan. The guys came out and held Clemson to 17 points at halftime. How proud of them are you with the effort of the defense?)

“It was neat to see. They made some plays on us, but man we got guys stepping in and
confused (Trevor) Lawrence a little bit on some of the throws he got some great picks. We missed a few tackles, but if you’re missing tackles, we had guys there. That’s what you want. We had guys right in the hole where they needed to be. But we didn’t not make them sometimes and we have to tackle better. We need to rally to the ball, but there were a lot of times when I looked up and I saw seven or eight red jerseys right on top of that football –  that’s great to see. They are a high-powered offense with a lot of talent and we just didn’t help our defense offensively. I thought we played well enough in the first half defensively to be in that game and we didn’t do anything on offense and that’s the bottom line. We’ve got to do a lot better. We’ve got to do a lot better to make plays. We got guys on the outside that can make them we got to do better, we’ve got to get them the ball, but we will do that this week.”

(Did you feel in the second half their physicality just wore them down?)

“I don’t know, I think they are a really good football team. Can you hold them down the whole game? That’s hard. I think just over a period of time, their talent ends up taking over and when it takes over it’s hard to stop them. So that’s why early in the game when you have opportunities to make plays you have to make those plays, and if you don’t, the next thing you know you look up and you are down 21. It’s hard at that point because, they are more talented than us I mean period. I think we all know that, and so going back to those plays early on its hard. It just makes it extremely difficult at that point in time. Is it wearing us down? I don’t know if it’s that, I just think we did not make the plays when we needed to early in the game to stay in the game. So now, they call the game different. Their coaches call the game different, we call them different you know you have a different strategy if you are up. You can take more chances on their part defensively and offensively. So I think just their talent eventually overtook the game.”

(In some way do you feel like the mistakes in the first half from the offense were the difference in this one?)

“In the first half it was. Who knows what would have happened in the second half, but we didn’t make enough plays. Whether you call them mistakes or not making the play, some of those were not making the right read, whether the throw is off or the catch. Those are the kinds of plays you’ve got to be able to make..”

(You have had a top 20 recruiting class 10 years in a row, realistically how long does it take to close that gap?)

“I don’t know, they have had some top classes, but they have had some of the right guys too. A lot of times that gets overlooked. You’ve got to have the right guys coming into your program from a mentality standpoint. They’ve got to talented, but from a mentality standpoint and how they carry themselves I think that’s extremely important and often gets overlooked in recruiting. But I think we have a good class for next year coming in. Is it a top 15 class? No, but I think we got some good players coming in here and I think over a period of time we’ll be able to out a product on the field that’s going to be very competitive against Clemson? They are the standard right now, they are the national champion, they’ve won 22 straight, that’s where you want to be. And I told our team that. There is no hiding from that. That’s what we want to be. And it takes a lot of work to get that. You take it one day at a time and you work your tail off tomorrow when you come into work. We’ve got to recruit as coaches, we’ve got to get the right ones in here. I think that’s got to be our message every single day. Because there was a time they weren’t that – not too long ago.”

(Do you have any update on Hassan’s injury?)

“It was a lower leg injury. I think he has been dealing with that. He has had that over the last two or three weeks and kind of been playing through it. I think today he got twisted up in a pile on one of his runs. I think on that kick-off return potentially, and wasn’t able to comeback in. Tomorrow we will see where he is, we want him to get back healthy.”

Head coach Dabo Swinney

(Opening Statement)

“Really just super proud of our team. Louisville is on a great path. Cannot say enough about Coach Satterfield, his staff, and what they are doing here. Very easy to see on tape the fight that this team is gonna have. So, I give them a lot of credit. They really played us tough. We knew we were going to have to eventually knock them out because they were not going to give up. We saw that in all of the games that they played and that’s what happened. We were able to take the game over. The biggest disappointment was the first quarter. We left a lot of points on the field. We didn’t have a lot of offense at halftime. We didn’t have the production on the board. Just missed some throws. Finished up with 551 yards. Rushed the ball with right at 300 yards. Travis Etienne in back-to-back weeks has been outstanding. But to me, I’m just really proud of Trevor (Lawrence). He was about as bad in the first quarter as you can be. Three-of-seven, two interceptions and like nine yards, maybe. I think that is negative, negative, negative in whatever your rating is. He comes back and finished 20-of-29, three touchdowns and that’s what great players do. I love that. It’s all about how you respond and he was disappointed. He was just trying to do too much. They were dropping all the coverage and he threw two bad interceptions. Then he missed JC (Chalk) on the one where he probably would have scored, just a little high. We ran the bootleg in the second half and he should have hit Luke (Price). So, he really had four plays that were bad plays in the game. But, outside of that, wow. He ran the ball well. He showed great leadership. We’re going through some adversity. When you win a game 40 whatever to 10, you think ‘what kind of adversity’? There was plenty of adversity. Plenty of challenges in that game. It’s a four quarter game. I’m just proud of our guys and how they responded. I was really proud of Trevor and how he responded cause again, he finished up exceptionally well. I think six different guys scored touchdowns. Our offensive line was awesome. They took it over up front. I think Louisville did have one sack. They really did a great job. Defensively, this bunch came in averaging 480, 490 yards per game and we held them to 263. They’ve rushed the ball for around 200 yards on just about everybody. Super proud of our defense. Xavier Thomas was out today, that was a big loss for us. Justin Foster steps up with 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, he caused the interception. Just really proud of him. Isaiah (Simmons) had a sack. Chad (Smith) had a sack. Tyler Davis had a sack. The biggest thing was the three turnovers. The two interceptions, one fumble, and the six sacks. So, we really controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides. They have a really good team. They were like 16th in offense coming into this game. They can score and they have a great scheme. They did get outside on us a few too many times.  I’m just really proud of our defense for stopping them. Just a great job by them. I’m just super proud of our special teams. Our kickoff return team,  Joseph Ngata has really done a great job for us. We really need to get something going on punt returns. Needed a spark on a couple of plays there. Just get a first down and make something positive there after the one muffed ball by D.K. (Derion Kendrick). Great effort by Ngata in recovering that ball. Super proud there. Potter (BT Potter) had a tough week and I’m proud of him. Everyone needs a little sugar every now and again, but I’m proud of him. It’s just his mindset. We get our butts kicked every now and then, but it’s about how you refocus a bit. It was great to see him back out there. He went out there mad. He went out there to nail it. Just awesome. Just his mindset. So, I’m really proud of him. It was just kinda cool to see him respond. Hopefully that will get him back on track. Really proud of our team. We were ready to play. Our guys were hungry. We were focused. The last time we were on the road, I didn’t like our focus. I thought that North Carolina was more eager to win the game than we were. That was not the case today. These guys were focused and ready. They were passionate about winning the game. I don’t mean that we didn’t make any mistakes, we made plenty of mistakes. Just the focus and mindset was really, really good. That’s good to see in back-to-back weeks. I like that. Another big division game this week. We’re going to try and keep it going. Boston College is coming here next week and we will be ready for that. Really proud of our team. Something we can learn from, I’m really disappointed in Booth (Andrew Booth Jr.). That’s not who we are and that’s not who he is. The one thing I can say about Booth is he is one of the best young people, from an unbelievable family. If you would have asked me out of our 100 players who would most likely to do something like that, he would have been at the bottom of the list. Really disappointed there. There will be some consequences that go along with that. I apologize to Coach Satterfield, that’s not acceptable behavior at all. But, he will learn from it and again it’s not indicative of who he is either. Heck of a game. Great day, beautiful day. We’re excited to get the win and get back home for the next couple of weeks in the valley.”

Clemson vs. Louisville

Cardinal Stadium

Oct. 19, 2019

Louisville Player Quotes

Evan Conley, Fr., QB

(Evan, when you’re playing a team like Clemson, when you guys have a chance to make a play, how important is it to make that play? Because there doesn’t seem to be a lot of room for error)

“I think it’s pretty obvious that you can’t miss when you have an opportunity against a team like that. Like you said, you don’t get that many. Today we had a couple of opportunities, and we didn’t handle them the way we should have.”

(Evan, how has your decision-making ability improved in your mind as you progress throughout the season?)

“I don’t know. I think I have a lot to work on. I need to do a lot better job getting the ball out of my hands. Today, I was trying to do too much, so I have to keep working. You can never get complacent with decision-making. You can always get better at it. There’s no one who is perfect, so you just have to keep working on it.”

(Evan, you guys have put up over 100 points the last two games, and 10 today. How much do you learn from this game, and honestly, going up against one of the best defenses in the country?)

“We learned that we have a long way to go. It’ll be a great opportunity for us to look at the film and see what we really need to work on, especially on offense, and find things to keep working on and improving on.”

Khane Pass, r-Sr., DB

(Khane, can you give us some perspective on the level of athlete that you were dealing with today compared to what you’ve seen previously? In your mind, are they clearly better than everyone else?)

“For sure they have some better talent than everybody else we have faced. Talent has never been that far apart, but they for sure have better talent, especially in the receivers and quarterback.”

(You picked off Trevor Lawrence twice in the end zone. What did you guys see, or how were you able to do that?)

“We were able to do that by all the coverage he didn’t know he was in. He didn’t know who he was supposed to go to in that coverage, so we had both on disguise and were able to trick him.”

(Khane, at some point do you guys think you were a little bit better today than against Wake Forest or Boston College defensively?)

“I feel that we played better. We made them work for everything. I feel that we played a little better.”

Javian Hawkins, r-Fr., RB

(Where did the offense struggle?)

“We didn’t capitalize on some of the mistakes they made early in the game.  Like the defense set us up a lot and we couldn’t throw the ball well against those guys.”

(Did you all feel like you all left too many points on the board?)

“Yes, we left a lot of points out there.  As an offense, we have to capitalize and get ready for next week.”

(Javian that was the first time that Clemson has let an individual 100 yard rusher in 28 games. Do you take pride in that or do you focus on different things?)

“I’m just focused on next week.”

(Javian how different is it in the backfield without Hassan? Because you got a lot of carries today, obviously Hassan missed most of the game. How different is that for you in the backfield?)

”It’s tough, because like you said Hassan is another great back so when he came come in and give me a break is big. It helps out big.”

Micale Cunningham, r-So., QB

(Comment on the five games left)

“We just have to attack every day. We can’t dwell on this loss, we have to get better from it. Just come in tomorrow and correct the mistakes. We control our own destiny from here on out. We just have to do the right things and get back on track.”

(What was Clemson doing, if anything, that threw off the passing game?)

“Coming into the game we thought that they were going to give us a couple different looks. But a majority of the time they were in some different stuff. When we tried to freeze them, they would change the cover up and that got to us a little bit.”

(The touchdown that they scored right at the end of the first half, how do you think that effected the momentum?)

“I think that was big. Maybe if we would have not let them score a touchdown then maybe they would have just scored a field goal and then it would have been 13-3. So that was pretty big but we cannot dwell on that. We have to get better.”

C.J. Avery, Jr., WLB

(To CJ about filling in for Dorian Etheridge. Do you feel you all look an extra responsibility for this game?)

“Yeah I had to play mike linebacker and I felt like I did pretty well. I felt it was something new, but it was something my team needed me to do.”

(How you would evaluate the defense today?)

“We played pretty well.  There was just a few mistakes we have to clean up.  We just have to go into practice tomorrow and next week and fix mistakes to win.”

(Do you come away from his thinking that you were outplayed or just outmanned? Was their physical ability just too much?)

“I don’t think the physical ability was too much. Just capitalizing on the plays that we have to make. Everybody has to do their part and when their number is called they have to make the play.”

(You guys are 4-3 with five to go and no teams left on the schedule like Clemson, do you guys feel like a bowl trip is doable?)

“We’re just going to take it one game at a time. Win one game each week and we’ll see where it goes.”

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