Cincinnati head coach Butch Jones met with the media earlier this week to recap the Bearcats loss to Toledo and briefly look ahead to this week’s matchup with Louisville. Here are some quotes from Jones when asked about Louisville, courtesy of GoBearcats.com.
“Offensively when you think of Louisville, you think of Teddy Bridgewater and he can manage their offense. Extremely accurate, knows where he’s going with the football. Not only can he beat you throwing the football but he can beat you running the football. Very big strong offensive line. Physical. Want to run the football. Great length out on the perimeter. Just a very, very good football team. Then defensively, blitzed oriented. They are extremely deep at the corner and safety position, linebacker position. Big up front. It’s going to be a challenge. I know they’re going to try to stop the run. They are going to put the ball in the hand s of our quarterback and say, ‘beat us.’ We have to do a good job on the perimeter of winning our one-on-one matchups. Then it comes down to special teams. We found out last week special teams are a critical element in winning football games. So a great challenge. we’ve had a great week of preparation.”
On if he feels comfortable with Louisville attempting to stop the run:
“I do feel confident. Again, I think everyone to the naked eye, they always think about the quarterback just like the coach. More credit when you when and probably more credit when you lose than really what’s deservingly so. It gets back to that one out of 11. We forget that we had a touchdown pass dropped in the first quarter of the game. It kind of changes the complexion of the game in a hurry. I think it’s everyone doing their job around our quarterback. We’re going to see a tremendous amount of pressure. We’re going to see man coverage. Football comes down to winning your one-on-one matchups. [Our defense] was here until 1:30 in the morning and I said, ‘Go home. Enough is enough. Let’s come back fresh.’ At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to their player on our player, ball in the air. We have to go up and we have to make a play. That’s what it comes down to. It’s going to be our receivers and our running backs beat man coverage. And our quarterback has to stand in the pocket, but also our offensive line is going to be challenged to provide the protection that we’re going to need to be able to defeat man coverage. So I do feel confident. I think it’s more so more than our quarterback, it’s the supporting cast around him.”
On Louisville’s defensive strengths and weaknesses:
“I think they have a number of strengths. First of all their defensive depth, they play a number of guys. They’re big. They’re physical up front. Their linebackers are run and hit guys that move well laterally. They have some very, very good corners and some very active safeties. They’re a pressure oriented defense, so I think sometimes when you bring a lot of pressure that lends itself to the big play. But that’s the same thing with us defensively; we bring a lot of pressure. So I think they have an tremendous amount of confidence in their backend which they should, they have extremely talented football players. Weaknesses? I don’t see a whole lot. There’s a reason why they are 7-0. There’s a reason why they’re one of the top 25 teams in the country. Again, it’s going to take a tremendous effort Friday night from all of us.”
On if Teddy Bridgewater has changed much from a year ago:
“The one thing that really separated Teddy is his poise as a true freshman. He’s been mature regardless of how many years he’s been the starting quarterback. I think this year you see an even [higher] maturity level. It’s his show. We always talk about the quarterback as the alpha male. He’s the individual in charge and you see that. They rely on him in pass protection. His players have a great belief. Just like him leading them from behind to beat South Florida in the one-minute drill. That’s him. He has great moxie, great confidence and, obviously, a great skill set. And yes, you can see him continuing to get better with game experience and with repetitions. The mark of a great player is that he elevates the play of everyone around him. He’s doing that and he is a great player.