Shortly after his team's ninth win of the season against Connecticut Saturday night, Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino met with 84WHAS color analyst Craig Swabek in a postgame interview. Read what the coach had to say after his team braved freezing temperatures to take care of business against the Huskies 30-20, finishing the season with a 9-2 record and a trip to the Gator Bowl on the horizon.
Coach Bobby Petrino
How's it feel heading for the Gator Bowl?
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"It feels great. Like you said, we're 9-2 and we're headed to the Gator Bowl. I couldn't be more proud of our team. We made it a hard day. It wasn't an easy win but we hung in there and kept going. To have to come up here on December 3rd and them move the game back to eight o'clock at night, our players did a great job of handling it and didn't worry about the weather at all. We'll take it."
What did you think of Hunter Cantwell's performance?
"Hunter did a nice job. He did a nice job of executing, particularly in the first half when we got some big plays. Then they went to some zone blitz on us. We took them out of their man coverage too early; that's unfortunate because we were getting after that. They adjusted and did a nice job."
On Michael Bush:
"Michael did a nice job. He was getting himself ready all week long. It wasn't easy for him. He's just really tough. He overcame an injury. He still has pain there. You could see it at times during the game, but he did a great job for us."
Did the cold weather have an effect on your team?
"I didn't think so. I think our guys handled it pretty good. Obviously it might have had some effect on the execution of both team's offenses at times, but I didn't feel it was factor to us at all, mentally."
On Mario Urrutia:
"He's really the one that took them out of the man coverage. He had a couple of big plays and a real nice touchdown. He just had a good game. Tinch had another good game for us. I thought they robbed Montrell. I don't know how you do that. Everyone told me it was a touchdown. How do you overturn that?"
On Cantwell taking wicked shots and hanging in there:
"He stood in there and threw the ball good. That was the thing we had to see was tough he was going to be after he got hit. I wish he hadn't have thrown that one interception. That was a major mistake by him, but other than that he did pretty much what he was coached to do. Jeff, Paul, Greg and Mike Summer - all of them did a real nice job of getting the offense ready to go."
On going to the Gator Bowl to possibly play Virginia Tech:
"So we'll be playing Virginia Tech? I think that's who they (the Gator Bowl) wanted if they get beat. Right now we just need to get back and get our classwork done. We'll probably practice on Saturday, start working out and lifting a little bit on Thursday and Friday. Coaches will be out on the road recruiting. We're a little bit behind in recruiting because we had to play this game so late."
What are your thoughts after one full season in the Big East conference?
"Definitely I think it's tougher, more physical. Defenses are a little bit bigger, particularly on the defensive front. They all run and hit pretty well. It's just unfortunate for us that we could be sitting here on our way to a BCS bowl game if it wasn't for one call."
On special teams performance against UConn:
"You can't say enough about it, especially those two punts inside the five and the block. We wish we wouldn't have had to start on the one that one time. He said he lost it in the lights, and if he did lose it in the lights then he was smart to get away from it because we certainly didn't need a turnover there."
Did you feel like a quarterback again making checks on the sideline out there?
"We did some early and made a couple of big plays early on the first drive, but we didn't do a whole lot of it."
On a personal note, how did it feel that your son won a state championship game last night?
"I was listening to it on the internet. I brought my computer and I was listening to it and at the same time I was getting phone calls from my wife. Actually it was about a six or seven second delay because I knew he scored that touchdown run before it came over on the radio. I'm very proud. It's a great weekend."