Charlie Strong Meets With The Orlando Media To Discuss Russell Athletic Bowl

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Charlie Strong was in Orlando on Wednesday afternoon to speak to the media regarding this team’s upcoming Russell Athletic Bowl appearance against Miami. Below is the transcript from this afternoon’s press conference.

Opening Statement:

“On behalf of the University of Louisville, Doctor Ramsey, and our athletics director Tom Jurich we are really excited about being a part of the Russell Athletics Bowl. We are excited about our opponent, the University of Miami, they had an outstanding season. What is really great is we get to end this season against an ACC opponent since we are going to be in that conference next season. Our players are excited; we have a lot of players from the state of Florida. I have spent many years in this state and it’s very exciting to be back in an area that you are familiar with.”

On the team’s itinerary:

“I gave them a week off since we just played a game against Cincinnati. We are in final exams right now so the players are going to take a week off. We are going to start our preparation on Saturday and practice our way up until bowl time.”

On the game plan against Miami:

“I really haven’t had much of a chance to watch Miami. When we found out who our opponent was I had some recruiting to do so I really haven’t had a chance to sit down and watch them. When I get back into the office this weekend we will be able to start our preparation and break them down. I know this; there is a lot of speed. We recruit similar guys so I know a lot of their athletes. They are really a good team.”

On the players’ excitement to play against Miami:

“The excitement is a lot of the guys have played against each other in the Optimist League and the youth league and a lot of them have grown up together. There will be a lot of talking going on. We are going to have to manage that talking and make sure it doesn’t get out of hand. Our players are really excited to be here.”

On off the field distractions:       

“You always have a curfew and we will manage that. Our players have to be smart and make the right decision and choices and we will talk to them about that. The good thing is that it’s around Christmas time so I hope not much is going on in the city so we will be able to get in there and play the game and get out.”

On the crowd he expects:

“I think we will have a really nice crowd here. I know this; our fans are very passionate and excited to be here so I know we are going to travel. Just being here I know University of Miami being so close their fans will travel. The teams have a number of players from this state and a chance to play in this state, and the hospitality is going to be unbelievable. I think we are going to have a nice crowd.”

On Miami being a future ACC opponent:

“I don’t know for sure if we will open the season with them. The chance to play an ACC opponent, the good thing is we get to measure where we are going into that conference. This is a good opponent so we will get a chance to see what we have to do and how much further we have to go.”

On local American Athletic Conference team UCF:

“UCF is an outstanding team. You look at what Coach O’Leary has done, good teams find a way to win and that is what they have done. They fight and that is the great thing about their football team. They lost one and we lost one, I know South Carolina beat them. For them to take the streak and play the way they did it says a lot about that program and what has been built. That is what we are trying to establish. He has had four double digit win seasons, and we have had ten wins the past two years. We have to get our foundation solidified just like their program.”

“Look at that team and what they have accomplished. They have done a great job and they have an outstanding coaching staff.”

On if Teddy Bridgewater will be motivated playing Miami:

“Teddy if you look at it with where he grew up and this being a school that he had committed to, I think that Teddy’s outlook is he is going to look at this game just like any other game. He understands the thing we can’t do, a lot of our players are from Miami including Teddy, and we can’t get caught up in all the talking. At the end of the day you have to settle down and play a football game.”

About JD Coffey

JD Coffey
JD Coffey joined on as a contributor for TheCardinalConnect.com in June of 2011. He is also a long time co-host of The Cardinal Connect podcast network. JD covers all Louisville sports, but focuses more on football and recruiting. Follow him on Twitter @JD_Coffey.