U OF L COACH CHARLIE STRONG
“We just knew we had to make plays. We knew we had to deal with this Florida offense. We knew we had to play physical and just not give up the big plays.”
“[David] Pollack (of ESPN) got us fired up, at the beginning of the game, when he said it was going to be a 15-point game in their favor and it was going to feel like a 30-point game. Our defense has been playing well all year, so this is for him. I will say this – the game ball goes to those people up there, those fans. They were incredible.”
On Teddy Bridgewater: “He is an unbelievable player. I’ve always said it, I still believe it, he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the country.”
“We always say we need to take this football program to a different level. We knew that this was a big game for us. It sets the tone for next season for this whole program.”
MORE U OF L COACH CHARLIE STRONG
”I'm so proud of our football team, and I look at this performance tonight, and I sometimes wonder why didn't we do this the whole season.
But this performance, it's just attributed to our offense, our defense, kicking game. All three phases played well. We said this at the beginning: We just take care of our job and do what we're supposed to do, don't worry about who we're playing, it's going to be a 60-minute game, win every play, and that's what we had to do this season.
Our quarterback we've seen all season long, what an unbelievable performance he had. We weren't able to run the ball in them again and couldn't move them off the line of scrimmage, but some of the throws he made and just how he managed our offense, that's why I continue to say he's one of the best in the country.
And our defense, you look at Calvin Pryor and the whole defense, just how well they played and we had to go get key stops. If you look at this game, just look at this game, we physically just matched up and we were just, we were able to just overpower a team, the No. 3 team in the country.
We left a lot of points out there on the field. Had a couple of field goals blocked, missed one or two throws. But still, though, our whole team just loved their performance. And you have to love our fans. We traveled so strong to this game.
And I told our players: Why do you want to win this game? You want to win this game for those 25,000 fans that traveled down here, was behind you the whole time. You can't get in the hotel. You cannot get in the hotel. I haven't been in that hotel lobby yet because you just get bombarded. But that's what you want.
And in order to change the culture of a program, our fans are going to have to change it. And this evening they took that step, just like we took a step where we go and beat the No. 3 team in the country and go and win it and make a statement for next season. I know this: We have a lot of seniors that are leaving this program, but we need to enjoy this moment right now. Our players really need to cherish and enjoy this moment. I don't know if it's one of the biggest wins ever in the history. I had to look at that Fiesta bowl where we beat Alabama as one of the biggest.
U OF L QUARTERBACK TEDDY BRIDGEWATER
“It’s a wonderful feeling. I had no doubt in my mind that we would beat them.”
”I looked at what did and didn't work for quarterbacks during the regular season. They faced guys forcing throws and things like that, trying to force plays, trying to play with an S on their chest. And Coach Wats(on) tells me: No capes on your back. No ‘S’ on your chest. Just take what the defense give you. That's what I took. Film study was vital, played a vital role in tonight's game.”
”It means a lot. For one, our fans have been with us since day one. And it's not just about the University of Louisville, it's about the city of Louisville. Coach Strong always talks about giving back, and tonight we felt like we gave the city something back to cheer about. They were talking about making the L, the Louisville logo, back on the market, pretty much playing for your brand. Tonight we did a great job of doing that.”
U OF L SAFETY CALVIN PRYOR
“I mean, we had more than a week to prepare for this team, man. We know they did everything based on formation. And Coach got one of the best coaching staffs in the nation. Prepared us well. We knew going into this game we just have to play lights out as a defense, because you know we have to get the ball back to our quarterback because Teddy's going to do what he do. But just coming up to this point, we had the right attitude, had the right mindset that we would go out and beat this team. That's what we did tonight.”
”I think it's a big win for us. And going into next season it will give us a confidence builder we can play with anybody in the nation. Like Teddy said, this is the reason we came here, this is the reason we came to play for Coach Strong, to play in big moments like this. I think it's a big win for the program.”
U OF L LINEBACKER Preston Brown
”It just shows that we're 2 0 in BCS games now, so we showed the country when we get on the big stage we know what to do with it.”