CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. (WDRB) — University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino spoke with reporters after the No. 7-ranked Cardinals’ 52-7 victory over Boston College on Saturday.

OPENING STATEMENT: I was really happy with the way we played. I think it was a great job by our assistant coaches and our players of how we approached practice this week. We practiced fast, we practiced hard, we had great focus, and it showed up in the game. Our defense did a great job of getting turnovers and giving the offense short fields and stopping their running game, and getting after the quarterback. Offensively, I thought we came out of the gate really sharp. We had some great throws, great catches and explosive runs. So I was happy with our performance.

Q: Bobby, was this a statement game for the selection committee?

PETRINO: I hope so. You know, I feel like we’re a really good football team. And we play real well. We’ve got great players, and we know how to play the game. So, hopefully, it helps us.

Q: Does it make it tougher when that ranking comes out on Tuesday, for them to focus, or did you notice any difference?

PETRINO: I don’t think it made it tougher at all. I think they’re all a little bit upset, and if anything it motivated us. Our practices were really good the rest of the week.

Q: You took Lamar (Jackson) out there at the end of the second half. Were you tempted at all not to go back to him in the third quarter?

PETRINO: No. We didn’t take him out. He had cramping in his forearm and caused some numbness in his finger, and you know, I knew it going in before he threw the interception, but I didn’t know that’s what was causing it. He just said something’s wrong with my fingers, so he needed to come in and get an IV and everything’s fine.

Q: Was that in his throwing hand?

PETRINO: His throwing hand, yes.

Q: And no lingering effects?

PETRINO: I don’t think so. I think he should be good. He looked pretty good in the second half. I really liked the one drive where he was really sharp and real accurate and our receivers and tight end were running and catching the ball.

Q: Your offensive line seemed much better this week. Is that a fair assessment?

PETRINO: Yeah, definitely. I thought he (Jackson) had great time, and room. And that’s what I like is the room. Anytime you can set the depth of the pocket with our guards and center and then our tackles widen it and give some width, he’s going to be very accurate. Our big plays and our big throws today he had lots of time.

Q: Is that why the holes were so big? He was untouched on both his long touchdown runs.

PETRINO: Yeah, he’s pretty quick, you know. They opened up some holes and he hit it. I don’t think anyone’s going to catch him. But certainly it’s a credit to our offensive line and how well they blocked.

Q: A lack of penalties, too, today? (Louisville was flagged zero times for the first time since 1979)

PETRINO: Woo hoo! Yeah. We’ll take it. We’ll take it. No question about it, you know. I think we just were focused and played real well.

Q: Have you ever had a team with zero penalties?

PETRINO: I don’t know. I don’t try to think about penalties too much.

Q: But zero penalties . . . 

PETRINO: It might be a record, yeah.

Q: Is this maybe the most consistent Lamar has been as far as his accuracy?

PETRINO: I don’t know. He’s pretty consistent in a lot of games. He’s played some pretty good games. I think what we see in practice is how well he’s reading and how much he’s really focusing on seeing the coverages and the movement of the defense. So his decision-making has really gotten better, and he works and pushes himself in practice. And Nick (Petrino) does a good job of making him do it. But he’s an accurate thrower as long as he gets his feet in the right place.

Q: Bobby, I hate to belabor the selection committee point, but it’s going to be a factor the rest of the way. Do you feel like you need to have games like this?

PETRINO: I guess we do, you know. I guess we do. It’s sad, because there’s something called sportsmanship. But maybe I made a mistake, looking back at it, Florida State we should’ve kept all the starters in and scored 80 points and done that. But I don’t understand why it’s like that. I really don’t. And then you look at Clemson and the schedule they’ve beat and the guys in the Top 10 that they’ve beat, and what Alabama’s done. Why isn’t Clemson rated No. 1? 

Q: Looks like Texas A&M is going down right now.

PETRINO: Hopefully it helps. I can’t tell you. I can’t figure it out. They talk about our schedule, so, we move down from fifth to seventh, and then you see what Clemson has done, they should be ahead of Alabama. If they’re really going to talk about schedule, they should do it for every team.

Q: Are there really six teams that are better than you?

PETRINO: I don’t think so. But heck, I don’t know. What do I know? I know we played well today, and I really like our football team. I think they come to work and practice with a great attitude. And we are really a team. We rely on each other and take care of each other. So, that’s something that is fun for me as a coach, is to just see how good a team we are and how much these guys love each other.

Q: What did you think of (James) Quick’s game today?

PETRINO: I thought he came out and practiced really well all week. One of the things we always talk about is we don’t know anything but to work hard. It’s way different than golf. That’s what I like about it. When you don’t do well, you go harder, you try harder, you go faster. My daughter was a great athlete and pitcher, but when she tried to do that in golf she got worse and worse. Golf you’ve just got to relax and chill a little bit. That’s why I like football better.

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