Louisville Football coach Scott Satterfield held his weekly presser this afternoon to speak with media about last week’s big win on the road and the upcoming Senior Day game against Syracuse on Saturday.
He discusses many topics including the significance of being bowl eligible, what Syracuse does offensively and defensively and what the team must do to defeat them, Javian Hawkins big rushing season, how the team has grown in his short time here, and if he is looking for a contract extension or other jobs.
To read all his answers in detail, just check out the transcript below.
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT:
University of Louisville Head Coach Scott Satterfield
Nov. 18, 2019
First of all, I’m proud of our guys from Saturday night. Going back and looking at that, particularly the third quarter. We came out of halftime really ready to play. Put up some big points and we got in control of that game. We were able to finish it off strong there in the fourth. To get the sixth win was a great job by our staff and our players to be able to accomplish that. That’s honestly a goal of every team in college football when you start out playing. You always want to get to that six-win plateau. Particularly for us, coming off of what happened last year. We’re not finished yet. We got a big game this weekend against Syracuse and then we finish off with the last game there at Kentucky. There is still a lot of ball left ahead of us and we want to accomplish those two games there and head into the right direction as we get into the postseason.
(After a game like that, how long do those celebrations typically last?)
You put it to bed on Sunday. It doesn’t matter win or lose, you come back on Sunday. You learn from the things you didn’t do well and what you did well. Then you apply them in practice. We do the same routine. That’s why we try to keep it consistent throughout the whole year. You put that game to bed and now it’s all Syracuse after that practice. That’s kind of what we did all of last night and what we are doing all day today. We’ll get on the practice field tomorrow. So you really celebrate a few hours after the game. You play a late game then it will be very short lived. That’s just the way it is for college football and I like that. I like that you can put those games to bed win or lose and then just move onto the next week.
(Syracuse has had an up and down season, what did you see on film from the Duke game that is different from how they have been playing?)
I went back and I watched a lot of their games this year. It’s amazing to see some of the stat lines just throughout the season. You watch the film, take the Clemson game, their defense played well against Clemson. Trevor Lawrence is still playing with seven minutes to go in that game. I think they have done some things, like shooting themselves in the foot. Offensively at times throughout the year they’ve given up a lot of sacks. Defensively they are a pressure team playing a lot of man. Sometimes giving up some plays there. If you didn’t know anything about their record or stats or anything. You watch the film, they look pretty good to me. Big time win for them last week. What they did with Duke. Offensively they were able to run the football. Had two guys over 100 yards rushing. Didn’t have to throw the ball very much. Defensively, they shut Duke down. Turning the ball over. That pick six. Just momentum and just grabbing it and never letting go of it. Honestly their best game of the season. We know they will be riding a high coming in here this weekend. They are sitting there is four wins trying to be bowl eligible with these last two games. We know we will get their best shot. Coach Babers has done a great job with that program. I know those kids have a lot of fight. We have to come out here. Mentally saying we have to play our best game. That’s where we want to be this weekend.
(When you first got these guys together back in February, did you think it was a group that could win six, seven, or eight games?)
No, not in February. When we first got together. We knew there was a lot of work that needed to be done. Even after we finished spring practice, we thought we came a long way between the first practice and the last practice in February. Actually, several of us made comments saying that we wish we could start spring all over again right now. We just felt like now we got to a point where we were ready to start doing some ball. It just took 15 practices to just kinda get there. You’re use to everything. No, but it’s been a work in progress the whole time and we still are. We’re still fighting and battling every single day to try and improve and get better. Not only as a football team but just in our daily habits. I think that is so huge. We still have a lot to do in that regard. We’re fighting every single day as coaches and as players to be the best we can possibly be.
(Hawkins breaking 1,000 yards and is close to breaking the freshman record. What has been the key to his success?)
I think with what we wanna do, we said this from day one, is we want to run the football. With who our running backs were coming into the season, we felt they had the opportunity to reach 1,000 yards. I just saw App. State’s running back has had eight straight years with a 1,000 yard rusher. That’s just what we wanna do offensively. We’ve been able to here. Hawkins is the kind of player that you love as a running back. He’s explosive, he’s powerful, he’s a little bit undersized but he makes up for that with his grit and his fight. I think our offensive line has played well this year with blocking for the run. We’ve made enough big plays on the perimeter outside of here to open up some of those rushing lanes throughout the season. We thought NC State did the best job of anybody. They had nine to ten guys in that box. So that’s why I think we were able to throw for five touchdowns. I think overall, Hawkins has had a really nice season and he is not done yet.
(How important has the ball hitting technique been to this team)
It plays a lot, I think. We went through a stretch at App where we didn’t cause any fumbles were like for a year and a half. I don’t think we really we got one fumble in a year and a half and so we have to do something. So, we just we went to purchase one of these things and we started getting fumbles. I don’t know what the magic is in that, but it works. I think it’s just mental, you hit it. We hit it every day we go to practice I’m hitting it out. All the coaches are hitting the players we hit it so we obviously want to be able to create turnovers. It’s huge. You go back and look at the games. We won those turnover margins we won. Obviously, the ones we haven’t we haven’t. I mean, you look at Miami, we were zero for three in turnovers and turnover margin, so it’s a big part of our success to be able to win turnover margin and part of that is, you know, getting fumbles and getting interceptions.
(On Syracuse’s quarterback, Tommy DeVito, not throwing interceptions)
Yeah, he’s a he’s a good player, he’s got a live arm and what they do scheme wise, they kind of protected him not thrown into many, many cover situations with the RPOs you know, usually it’s a one on one look where he’s got a clean look passing lane to throw the football that utilize the screen game. Just the quick screens with the wide receivers and a lot of quick game. So when you’re doing that, you got to take care of the football and then that gives them opportunity then what they were able to do this weekend running the football. It even helps them even more, so now you got to worry about (George) Morris and these guys running the football and so now you have to commit another guy to stop the run and that’s going to open up more passing lanes. So, he’s done a good job taking care of the ball and with that regard and, you know, obviously we want to try to do something to disrupt that. And, you know, hopefully we can rush the passer. We haven’t been great at that. They are have they have given up some sacks this year and so hopefully we got to create some pressure there and maybe make them throw the ball earlier.
(When did you realize that making it to a bowl game was possible?)
I don’t think there’s really one moment I you know, I mentioned this before, I think the first half of Notre Dame, I felt and these guys are competing, they were playing hard. They were fighting, we were right there in this game. At that point, I was like, you know, we got a chance and I, you know, you never know what the season was going to lay out, how many games you’re going to win and all that, but I thought we would be able to be competitive from that point, right, the begin of the season. You look at our schedule, just pretty daunting as we looked at it initially, a lot of really good football teams coming off of last year with all the wins they had. So, that’s why I didn’t know and I’ve never, you know, never coached in this conference either. I mean I didn’t know a lot about the ACC, but never coach weekend and week out and see the competition that you have and what you’re going to have to overcome. I think our guys have played well enough where we’re sitting here and, you know, six wins is pretty, pretty remarkable. As we looked at it from the beginning of the season, and proud of these guys were, they continue to fight every single day. And again we got to finish this up. So, finish it out strong.
(On the offense and how it has progressed this season)
We just, we want to be able to run the football and when teams load up, we won’t be able to throw it down the field. I think we have the big play receivers to be able to do that. Tutu (Atwell) is having an all-conference type year. He is very consistent big play guy for us. We thought that goal going into this year, (Dez) Fitzpatrick’s had a really nice year as well. He’s a big play receiver for us. Seth Dawkins and you couple that with Hassan Hall and (Javian) Hawkins at the running back position. Big play guys and then we saw, you know, (Marshon)Ford, I love Ford. Marshon, he had a big game this past weekend with some of the big plays that he made and we want to be able to do both throw it and run the football. Because once they start one side of the ball throwing a running, they’ve got to be able to the other and probably Saturday, we probably should have thrown the ball a little bit more really because they were loading it up and playing a lot of man on the outside, but we just want to be an offense that can move the ball, take care of the football, stay on the sticks, and we’ve done a poor job with that this year. So, we really have had to have big plays the way we’ve had the tackles for loss and some sacks. We’ve had to have those big plays. To be able to build ourselves out. fortunate enough, we’ve been able to do that with some of the most some of those you look at Saturday night. What, two of those touchdown passes with third long third and 12 or third and 13 or something? I mean, you know, and that’s, that’s it’s great to have those weapons to be able to bail yourself out.
(Do you expect to get a contract extension?)
I don’t I don’t look at that. I don’t worry about that. I’m just trying to be good today. Whatever I can do today to be good. It’s kind of like when you guys asked me how many wins, we’re going to get no. I don’t know. I just we just want to be consistent, be consistently good. And that’s what I want to be as a head coach, consistently. Bringing it every day to try to help this football team. I don’t worry about that stuff. I think when you’re doing your job, then think you’re doing a good job, then things going to happen for you and always been that way. When I first started coaching back in 98, coaching wide receivers, just do your job do the best you can do and then hopefully things will have worked out for you the best. So that’s kind of where I’m at with that.
(It seems like every play defensively or every play in a game, Khane Pass is somewhere making a play, somewhere in a pile, just how crucial has he been to the growth of the defense and how consistent he has been?)
He has been one of our most consistent performers on the defensive side of the ball. He is a guy that quite honestly, back in the spring, I didn’t know what type of player he would be for us. I have been proud of him and the way he has played. A lot of the times what were asking of him to do is fill that ally, be that tackler that really supports the run. He is doing a great job in that role. We haven’t really asked him to do to much with the passing game but mainly the run game and coming up and being one of our lead tacklers. I think he has had a career year out of the time that he has been here, and proud of the ways he has played. He is a leader on our defense.
(Coach you have many seniors, but as a group for the guys that have stuck through, this being senior day, what have they meant to this program and on Saturday will it be an emotional day?)
Yeah. For them, you can ask them, and they will say it flew bye. It always does for the seniors. For us as a staff, we have talked to them and were sad that we have only been able to spend one year with them. I told them; I want to make this the best year they ever had at Louisville. We hope that at the end of the season, they had the most fun, playing for each other and being apart of this team. That’s what we want from them. I appreciate these seniors that have stuck around for us, been through all this, and that’s not easy for them. This is probably the toughest group. To be able to say hear comes a new staff another new coach, and hear they are going to play just the young guys. Which really, we want to play the best guys. We really didn’t care. We gave everybody an opportunity. So, I hope these guys have enjoyed it and this season. I’m happy for them. They got to extend it. They get to go play one more bowl game. I’m just appreciative to what they are. I told them, listen in five, ten, fifteen years from now, you guys come back here, and we hope we are still supporting you all in everything your doing in your life. As a father, husband, and a career person.
(Ian has two catches for 5 yards and both are for touchdowns. He means so much to the blocking game, he was an offensive lineman, was this something you saw when you got him that he could catch the ball?)
Yeah. He was an offensive lineman. He told us we need to throw him the ball more and I guess all he does is score touchdowns. Right, he is two for two. He is a guy that came in as a grad transfer. We needed some help specifically blocking as a tight end, and he has been that. He has been great for that. We have had c couple of these plays all season, just waiting to see when we need to call them. And for him to be able to make those two catches, that’s fun for him. He is so excited. The first one he caught at Miami, he didn’t know what to do, he just stood there. This one I think he tried to show his muscles to the crowd. He is working on his touchdown celebrations, so if he gets another opportunity. He is just having fun and I love that. I want to see the joy on their faces when they are going out there having fun and making plays. He is one of those guys and has been an integral part to our running game the way he is making blocks.
(What goes into calling a fake field goal? What kind of decision making, discussion and the process? Is it any different?)
Yeah, we are looking at how they are defending the extra points, and then the field goal attempt we had. We thought it was going to be there and we knew we might use it. I told Ryan Chalifoux, after the missed extra point, ‘keep your head in there we might come out with the fake soon’. And then it just so happened to work out. It presented itself. We were down there, and it was fourth and seven, felt like we wanted to try and get some points in it, it felt like it was going to be there. We have been practicing that all year, well Ryan has for two weeks. So, I told coach lets go for it. It just worked out; the scenario worked out. Then Ryan made the play, great play by him and he never knew he was going to make a play like that. It turned out to be a big play for us and getting us a touchdown.
(Do you give any thought to potential schools that might reach out considering the job that you have done here?)
No. Again, I just think about what I can do to help this team. It’s all Syracuse and what we can do to try and move the ball. It’s all we care about right now. It’s all about how we can move the ball and how we can stop them.