Coaches of teams with losing records often talk about new beginnings, or putting the past in the rear view mirror. They have no other choice.
But here was Charlie Strong, the coach of an undefeated 5-0 team, talking about a whole new season at his Monday press conference as team prepares to open Big East Conference play against Pittsburgh on Saturday. “We’ve had a week off and now we’re ready for the real season – the conference season,” he said. “It’s a one game season each week. It’s key for us to take each game week in and week out one game at a time.”
Strong respects Pittsburgh, has to, having lost two games to Pitt over the past two seasons, indicating that his University of Louisville football team split its time between working on fundamentals and preparing for Pitt during the bye week.
He expects to see the same Pittsburgh team that shocked Virginia Tech 35-17 a couple of weeks ago, indicating that teams with new coaches are going to have their ups and downs. He also knows that Pitt has had strong recruiting classes, despite the revolving door of coaches.
“With a new coach, early in the season they were trying to find themselves,” he said. “They were impressive in that win.”
And he knows Pittsburgh will be have plenty of motivation, with adrenalin flowing against an undefeated team.
- Quarterback Tino Sunseri is making a case for most improved player in the Big East. Over the past three games, the senior has completed 73% of his passes for 946 yards and six touchdowns with only one interception. He is the Big East’s most efficient passer (11th nationally) with an impressive 164.67 rating on the year.
- In its last three games, the Panthers’ defense has given up only two touchdowns and two field goals. In the Syracuse loss, the winning points came on a 52-yard Orange fumble return. Pitt has also forced eight turnovers in its last three contests after getting zero in the opening two games of the year.
- Dominique Brown, who has missed the first five games, will be ready if the current combo of Jeremy Wright and Senorise Perry is depleted by injury. The term red shirt was not mentioned.
- Kickoff time for the South Florida game on Oct. 20 is 3:30 p.m.
The 11 a.m. kickoff for the University of Louisville-Pittsburgh game Saturday is not a problem as far as Strong is concerned. He said his team is focused, ready to play and eager to get back in action.