January 2, 2013
Cards preach focus for Sugar Bowl
"We're really excited to be here and represent the BIG EAST Conference at the Sugar Bowl. If you look at our season, it's a tribute to our players and the resiliency they've had all season long.
We started three years ago building a foundation for this team and we're really excited about the direction it's headed. We know we're playing an excellent team in the University of Florida, but we're happy and we're excited. It's great for the University of Louisville, the city of Louisville and for our administration.
"When you think about teams that are the favorites or the underdogs, at the end of the day, you still have to go play the game," said Strong. "With us, it's all about fundamentals and technique. We're going to practice each and every day, so let's take care of that business. We're going to go play this game, but if we're not prepared and we're not locked in and we're not focused, it doesn't really matter." - Charlie Strong, Louisville's third-year head coach.
"Well, you know, they play hard. "Number one, they have great talent. All across the board, and they have depth besides talent. That tends to lead to success, because what they do schematically is very good. I know that they highlight players.
They've got excellent players really in every level of the defense, first, second and third level. They can really rush four guys. They don't have to put a lot of pressure on you, because they're so good up front. They have lockdown people in the back end. Their safeties are good coverage players. Their linebackers can cover. They have every piece defensively you could ever want."
On the progession of Teddy Bridgewater:
"Teddy, from day one, he's been a great student of the game," said Watson. "His understanding of the game, his anticipation, because he does understand what we do conceptually. He gets it. He understands football. It goes slow for him. So that enables him to play.
He's a great decision maker. He can create in and out of the pocket. He's the best football player I've ever coached. He's a very talented young man. And he's got great character to go along with it." - Shawn Watson, Louisville's offensive coordinator.
Players are excited to be here. We're looking forward to a challenge. No one expected us to be here but us. We have an outstanding head coach in Coach Charlie Strong. But what you have seen in him, you're seeing in our football team, a very tenacious, hardworking team. That's why we're here. We're here to put on a good show. We're looking forward to the challenge of playing the University of Florida.
"Florida plays with a lot of confidence. You look at those guys, and I know a lot of those guys on that team, by the way. The offensive line is big and athletic. I think right now the quarterback position, they're playing better. You could see the confidence building every single game. The receivers are starting to step up. They're making plays and did an outstanding job versus the Florida State University. And Gillislee is playing lights out. We knew when we recruited him several years ago, Coach Carter, our running back coach recruited him, he's playing extremely well. So we're very concerned about that running game." - Coach Vance Bedford, Louisville's defensive coordinator.
"We are definitely excited for this opportunity. This is a big stage, but I feel we are ready for the challenge. We know Florida is a good football team so we will be ready to give it our best shot. We have to play solid defense," said Dunn. "We can't allow them to dictate the tempo with their running game and just let them run the football at us. We have to be sound in our gaps and tackle the ball carrier, and eliminate big plays." - Brandon Dunn, Louisville native & junior defensive tackle.
"I think as far as talent goes, there's always going to be discrepancy. I think in college football in general, it's not high school. Every team has talent.
I think what separates most programs are tradition, attitude, things like that. Things that maybe people overlook that maybe as a player you can appreciate those factors a little more. Obviously coaches; I think we have the best coaching staff in America. So as a player, you always have confidence in them. I think what it really comes down to is executing because our coaches put us in the right position.
People may have the perception that Florida has more talent. That may be. You go by rivals, stars, ratings, whatever you want to say. But the bottom line is that anyone can win on any given Friday, Saturday, or in our case, Wednesday. I think that proves to you how fragile college football is." - Mario Benavides, senior center.
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial