LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Bobby Petrino met with the media Monday afternoon at the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex to discuss Louisville’s loss to Clemson as well as the remainder of the Cards’ football season.

Here is an edited transcript of the question and answer session:

Petrino Opening Statement: “We certainly got beat by a good football team and when you watch the video, you first and foremost have to give credit to Clemson. They came in and played well, they executed well.

“Offensively, we did not execute the way we're used to executing, particularly in the first half and to start out the game. We had a few things there where normally we would make the play, but our timing wasn't right and our decisions ... it just wasn't the same thing we had been doing all year long. You credit some of that to Clemson, obviously, but some of it is, I'm not sure we had the confidence you need to win a game like that.

“In my history, I've found that when you don't truly believe you're going to win, you don't truly believe you're going to beat them, things that normally don't happen, happen. Like you don't get the ball out on time, you slip, plays that normally you make, you don't really believe it and you're playing a good team you don't make those plays. So we have to believe we're going to win the game, first and foremost.

“Defensively, I thought we played good in the first half. We were doing some really good things. We had an opportunity there if we could get some points on the board it would be a good, close game. Offensively, we weren't able to convert third downs, so our defense was on the field too much and they beat us up pretty good in the second half.

“We missed some tackles and that's what really showed up on the big runs is the missed tackles, some at the point of attack and some beyond the line of scrimmage. So we've got to do a better job of cleaning that up. It was both in traffic and once they cleared the line of scrimmage.

“We've got a lot of work to do. Got to get back on the practice field. We'll watch the video (Monday) afternoon, put it behind us and go out and practice this evening and get ready for our next game.

“Will be a good week for us, I think, because we'll be able to get some of our younger guys in and compete during the week for playing time and then hopefully they'll do a good enough job in practice that we'll feel comfortable with them playing in the game Saturday.

“We're not where I thought we were as a football team, but it's a long season ahead of us, there's a lot of games ahead of us and there's a lot of work to do and the most important thing for us to do is to get better from this point on.”

QUESTION: Did you notice a lack of belief during the week?

PETRINO: “No, I felt like we practiced well, I felt like the kids were ready to go. From years past, thinking back like when we (Arkansas) lost to Alabama one year, we did things just like we did the other night where we didn't execute like we normally do. And I don't know why that would be because we had played them so close in all the games we've had.”

QUESTION: Did you sense that (U of L quarterback Lamar) Jackson was too hyped?

PETRINO: “He did a good job in warm-ups, but he threw some balls really hard early in the game and he missed a couple he usually doesn't miss. I spoke to him (Sunday) in my office, talked about a lot of things. You just felt like he was trying to hurry things and push things, was pressing a little bit early in the game to make a play.”

QUESTION: Did the loss shake your own belief in the team?

PETRINO: “No, I like this team. I think we've got good guys, good talent. We've got to just go out and get back on the field and play and win. You look back at last season that same week we beat Florida State and Florida State comes back and finishes the year strong and plays in the Orange Bowl. So we've got to just concentrate on one day of practice and one game.”

QUESTION:  How much of this was a litmus test of where you are?

PETRINO: “I think it's one game and we're not as good as Clemson in that game, there's no question about that. They got after us and beat us very handily. So what we need to do is come back, regroup and move forward.”

QUESTION: How do they get their confidence back?

PETRINO: “It might take a little while to lift them back up, but the first thing we're going to do is work really hard. Go back to work and find out where we're at. The thing you need to do is earn the right to win on the practice field, and that's what we've got to do.”

QUESTION: Do you plan to play some of the younger guys?

PETRINO: “It's important for us to continue to develop depth. Like Cole Bentley hasn't been in a game yet. We've played three really good games, three Power 5 teams. Most other teams in the country haven't. And we're going to continue to do that. That's what our conference is going to be doing in the years ahead of us -- open the season with tough games, big match ups.

“What it doesn't allow you to do is get guys in and play and make mistakes and learn and grow from it. So we've got guys like Russ Yeast who needs to get out there and play a lot, Cole Bentley, Kemari Averett, need to play and get used to the speed of the game.

“Guys that are talented who can help us as the year goes on, I think it's real important to bring guys along. We need Kemari to really learn how to play the game at this type of level. He's got the unbelievable talent to do it and now he needs to get the reps and work at it.”

QUESTION: What is the psychology to try and boost confidence?

PETRINO: “Everybody's different, every player you coach is different, every team's a little bit different.

“My little brother used to get on me all the time about sometime you're going to have to give the offense confidence and I'd say, I'll give you confidence when you play well. Isn't that how you get confidence? You go out and play well and do things right.

“I'm not going to run around and pat them on the back today, probably a little bit different than that. But we are going to go out there and throw the ball and catch it and get our timing where it needs to be and block the fronts and run hard, then build that confidence. We had good confidence first two games of the year and we just got beat up the other night.”

QUESTION:  Will you set a different tone after a loss like that?

PETRINO: “I haven't talked to the team yet.”

QUESTION: Do you expect your players to be down?

PETRINO: “There’s no question that they were down after the game. So what we do today is they need to be honest with themselves. We all need to be honest with ourselves. We need to watch the video, take it to heart, see how I can get better. See why I didn’t execute at the level that I’m used to executing at and just be brutally honest with yourself.

"Then we’ll watch the video and have a team meeting. Then we’re going to take it and put it, and as John L. (Smith) would say, ‘Tear off the rearview mirror,’ and go forward and just look forward and get better."

QUESTION: Do you review your performance when you watch the video?

PETRINO: “You do it laying in bed at night. You see every play. You know, ‘What could I do different? How could I make this call different? What should be have done better on third down? How should we have prepared better for this look?

“You’re constantly replaying it and watching it on video and seeing what we should have done and what we could have done. Obviously any time you get beat, it’s hard. There’s no question about it. You always figure you could do something to help you win the game that you didn’t do. So you’ve just got to get back to work. Get back in the video.

“I always go back to what I really believe in. When you lose a game you go back to what you really, truly believe in and get better at that.

QUESTION: You said on Saturday night that you saw some plays on defense where guys didn’t run to the ball hard. As you went back and watched it, was it as much as you thought or more? Was it just guys getting discouraged?

PETRINO: “It wasn’t really as much as I thought. I didn’t watch – and I watched every single play and graded every single play – and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.

“It was disappointing in the game when I didn’t see guys flying to the ball and getting there. But then they were over here, covering the screen and the bubble and the other things that as you’re watching the game that you really don’t see.

“You just know they didn’t show up over there to help. Chuck (Williams) is all by himself and where’s the help? But they were running the RPO to the other side of the field.

“It didn’t really come down to … I didn’t feel that anybody quit. I felt like we continued to play hard. Did we wear out? Yes.

“We didn’t make the same tackles in the fourth quarter that we made in the first quarter. That’s when you’re on the field too much. That’s what good offenses do to you. They beat you up a little bit and you don’t make those tackles, just like I felt that we used to do all the time.”

QUESTION: You said you want to get back to what you believe in. What is that?

PETRINO: “A lot of things.”

QUESTION: When halfback Malik Williams got his carries, he had several good plays. How do you see him moving forward?

PETRINO: “I really like Malik running the ball. There’s no question about that. Malik made a mistake early in the game in one of our first eights and went the wrong direction. So that took him out of the game for a while and limited some of the things that he got to do for a while.

“That’s a hard one as a coach to live with because we script our first eight. We practice it. We do a walk through with it. So we don’t expect to have an assignment error.”

QUESTION: Assuming you’re able to get backup quarterback Jawon Pass into the next few games, who do you expect to see from him and how important are those games to him?

PETRINO: “I would love to get him in the game. There’s no question about that. He needs to get out there and be able to play. Right now he’s played in the spring game and the scrimmage and mock games that we’ve had. So he needs to get out there and play and execute the offense, throw the ball, see the protections. Make sure they’re set right. Just get the game type experience that he needs.”

QUESTION: How has Pass looked?

PETRINO: “He’s looking good. I’ve really liked him. I think he’s throwing the ball a lot better than he did a year ago. He has a great understanding of the offense. He’s always been a really good learner, a really good listener. He listens as you’re coaching Lamar and he pays attention to every rep out on the practice field and that’s not easy to do. A lot of guys can’t do that. They daydream or somebody talks to them.

“He always knows the call. He always watches and sees. He does a good job mentally of getting the preparation. It’s just that you don’t get as many reps as you need. It will be good. We’ll practice a little extra tonight with the young guys. So he’ll get a lot more reps there too.”

QUESTION: Any update on injured cornerback Jaire Alexander?

PETRINO: “He did really well today in his workouts. He’s improving. They’re very encouraged on how he worked out today. It was very positive.”

QUESTION:  Much was made in fall camp about using a committee at defensive tackle. How are those guys performing?

PETRINO: “DeAngelo (Brown) was a big guy to replace. Just because of his experience, his strength and his size. We’re having to do some different things with the guys that are replacing him but they’ve been doing a good job. G.G. (Robinson) is improving. He’s getting faster and more active in every game that he plays in. He’s getting a better understanding of blocking schemes. I’ve been really encouraged with his development.

“Now he’s just got to continue and keep going.”

QUESTION: What needs to change defensively after Saturday?

PETRINO: “I mean we’ve got a lot of things to work on. We’ve got a lot of technique to work on. We’ve got a lot of coverage to tighten up.

“We didn’t play with a lot of confidence in the secondary the other night. We gave them free access and let them come off the ball and gave them some easy completions. We’ve got to tighten up the coverage and challenge them, make them work harder.”

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