Joker press conference notes

-The big news was the announcement that junior walk-on Luke McDermott, a Trinity product, would start at defensive tackle.

The 6-foot-1, 265-pound McDermott has played in just six career games, but judging by the reaction from Monday’s press luncheon, he has the respect of his teammates.

“He’s always going to be after it,” fellow tackle Ricky Lumpkin said. “He’s got an engine; he’s got a motor. I’ve seen him get knocked down going through slide protection and he gets up and keeps doing it. He’s got the respect of everybody on the team. It shouldn’t raise any eyebrows, but it will. It’ll be like, ‘Luke McDermott? Who’s that? But they’re in for a surprise. Luke’s going to have a good year.”

-Senior defensive end DeQuin Evans said the defensive line is motivated by comments that were relayed to him by Phillips made by Louisville Coach Charlie Strong regarding the Cardinal offensive line being the strength of his team.

“He said that as the (Louisville) offensive line goes, we go,” Evans said. “My coach always brings that up. I take that as a slight to the defensive line, more than anything. We’re the guys that have got to bang with them up front every play, so we take that kind of personally. I just feel like we’ve got to do something up front about that so that won’t happen.”

-Nick Melillo (ankle), Dakotah Tyler (ankle) out for Louisville.

-After lackluster showing on Saturday, Joker says Cats responded with ‘best mental practice since I’ve been here’ on Sunday.

-Phillips said he expects Louisville coach Charlie Strong to bring plenty of pressure on Saturday. “It’ll be a blitz-o-rama,” he said. “Charlie will blitz as soon as he comes out of the locker room.”

-Phillips doesn’t expect the Cats to be overconfident.

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