Head coach Kyle Whittingham talks about playing one of the top offensive teams in the country, Louisville.
Oct. 1, 2007
We played better last week against Utah State than we did the week prior. There were numerous positives from that game, including our special teams play. I thought that our return game was big. Derrek Richards was the Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Week, and that was nice award for him to win. I thought that his punt return for a touchdown was a nice spark for this team last week.
Our kick return game did well too, and I thought Louie Sakoda had a nice game. He punted well, had a nice punt fake and made all of the PATs. Another positive was Darrell Mack. He had another nice game, running for 132 yards. It was nice to have Brian Johnson back. I thought that he was a bit rusty at first, but he did a nice job of running the offense.
On defense, I thought that our coverage was better. It wasn't great, but I thought it was good and it's getting better.
Looking at Louisville, they have an explosive offense, and they put up a lot of numbers. Their quarterback is great and he's got great support around him with talented running backs and receivers.
Louisville's defense has been up and down all season. They played better against North Carolina State last week, only allowing 10 points to them, and they've got a great place-kicker. He's won the Lou Groza Award and he's another scoring threat for them.
It's going to be a short week, a long road trip, and Papa John's Stadium is a great place to play. It's going to be a challenge, but we're looking forward to the opportunity.
On getting into an offensive duel against Louisville
It's probably not a good idea to get into an offensive shootout with Louisville. They're a high-octane offense and it's not ideal to get into shootout with them.
On playing against head coach Steve Kragthorpe (who coached Tulsa against Utah in last year's Armed Forces Bowl)
He has the same offensive coordinator with him at Louisville that he had at Tulsa. So, a lot of their offense has a Tulsa flavor mixed in with what Louisville ran last year.
On the Louisville offense
We need to play solid defense. Their backs are doing well. They average nearly 400 yards passing and 200 yards rushing. Our key is to prevent big plays down field and to stop their quick-strike offense.
Offensive ball control is going to be key too. We haven't made enough first downs in a game this year and we're going to need to do that if we want to control the game against Louisville.