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September 3, 2014

Bobby Petrino

COACH PETRINO:  Coming off a really good win over a good Miami team.  Had a great atmosphere so it was a lot of fun in our stadium.  I thought our defense really played well, holding Miami to 70 yards rushing and 244 total yards, so I was excited about the way they played.
Offensively, we did a good job running the ball and we did a good job of throwing the ball for a high percentage of completions.  We're not quite where we need to be as far as clicking on all cylinders but we'll continue to work on it and get better this week.  We have a short week so it's important we do a good job today and tomorrow in practice.

Q.  Curious about your reaction, getting into the league, playing the team you had played the previous team you had played.
COACH PETRINO:  I felt like it was a completely different game for us.  We have an all‑new staff and new schemes and everything.  So I didn't think there was any, you know, significance on playing the same team we played in the Bowl game.
I did think that our players did a really good job of getting ready for the game.  I thought we were mentally ready to play.  Knew it was going to be a hard‑fought contest and physically that we were in good condition and that really helped us in the second half.

Q.  And I'm just wondering, can you evaluate your receivers, losing a guy like Parker right before the first game, you had to make some adjustments.  Who stepped up and who were you happy with in that regard?
COACH PETRINO:  We got a lot of production out of our tight end, Gerald Christian, who we felt like we would going into the game.  He's really a good receiving tight end, can run a lot of different routes and get down the middle.  Rogers really had a good game for us, and James Quick showed his speed and ability to get down the field.
Those are probably the three guys that got the majority of the production because they had the opportunities.  But we feel like we have a good group.  We are fortunate that we have a lot of experience in the group.

Q.  With the short week and coming off such an important game, how do you keep the guys focused and ready for a team that maybe doesn't carry quite the same significance as a Miami, so to speak?
COACH PETRINO:  Well, it will challenge our maturity.  I think the No.1 thing we need to do is come out and practice today and work on getting better ourselves.  We saw on video, we have a lot of improvement to make technically on our technique and fundamentals and consistency.
So that's what we are really going to concentrate hard on today in practice, and then tomorrow, will kind of be a half‑Thursday, half‑Wednesday practice.  It will be a little bit longer than a normal Thursday practice because of the short week.
I think the main thing is we need to understand the issues and that we have to improve every single week.

Q.  I was impressed with Deiontrez and Lorenzo on the outside.  You had already said multiple times how impressed you were with those guys at that position, but having reviewed the game now, what did you see that they were specifically doing pretty well?
COACH PETRINO:  Well, they played really physical, and versus the run, they gave us a lot as far as setting the edge and making the backs have to bow on their running track.  They were able a lot of times to stay on their straight track.  So what that does is buy us time for our linebackers and safeties to get to the ball; and then their ability to rush the passer.
Both had a great fall for us, and I'm excited about how hard they were able to play for the entire game.

Q.  Did you make it out of Monday night healthy?
COACH PETRINO:  Yeah, we got out good.

Q.  You talked a lot about the defense and how well they performed in the first game, but looking at Will Gardner as a leader of the offense, just what you took away from his performance and how you saw him come out and really get going right away and lead this team to a victory quickly to start the season. 
COACH PETRINO:  Well, I think it was very impressive in a number of things.  No.1 is his ability on some drives to really be accurate and convert third downs and get us down in the scoring zone and then get us in the end zone.  Made a couple mistakes as far as taking care of the ball but he has not really been hit for three years now.
So we were always wondering how that would play out but we do have to do a better job of getting the ball against our body and getting our elbow in and making sure that when we do get hit we take care of the football.
I was really impressed with his poise after that and how he was able to put it behind and just focus on the task at hand and really played well for the majority of the third quarter and fourth quarter.

Q.  Talk about the upcoming game, what do you have to do to get ready for that game?
COACH PETRINO:  Well, it's a short week for us, so we have to do a really good job.
First of all, yesterday, our players had the day off because every week you get one day off.  So the coaches were in getting the game plan together.  We'll come out today and we'll work hard on installing our game plan.
Tomorrow we'll kind of make a combination of a Wednesday, Thursday practice.  And then I think it's really important that we do a good job in our physical recovery and getting into the game mentally fresh.  I think if we can do those things and really focus on our execution and doing things the way we need to do them.
And getting better; I think that's the biggest thing is our players understand that we need to continue to improve and get better.

Q.  Did the atmosphere Monday night feel like a Bowl game?
COACH PETRINO:  I tell you what, it was awesome.  It was unbelievable starting from the Card March and all the people that were there.  It's probably one of the greatest atmospheres I've ever been in.

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