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Sept. 7, 2002

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Comments from Virginia Head Coach Al Groh

The game had absolutely everything. It was pretty wild. It is a big step forward for our team. They can be very proud of what we accomplished. We’re on our way. We beat a really good team. They’re going to win a lot of games.

We got some good plays from a lot of players. … Billy McMullen was magnificent tonight. He probably had two of the best catches that anybody has ever had in the state of Virginia tonight. He’s a great competitor. [Matt] Schaub ran the game very well. Two things that we had tonight — if you’re going to win close games in the fourth quarter — you have to be able to run the ball and rush the passer. And tonight we were able to run the ball and rush the passer.

On the offensive line play:
It started with the fact that Zac Yarbrough [the starting center] is really our long snapper. He did a good job in there. [Ben] Carber was in there for the first time all by himself. All five of them went the whole way and did a good job for us.

On forcing seven South Carolina turnovers:
[The defense] was very aggressive. We played a very aggressive team last week [Florida St.], who knocked a lot of balls loose. You could see how a team that plays at that level can create those kind of things. I’m kind of sick of saying it — about the young players learning new things — but [the defense] saw that level of contact, and they picked it up accordingly tonight.

On the tight-end pass:
We weren’t sure what position [Heath Miller] was going to play. He’s got that ability. It is a play that we’ve been practicing for quite some time. When you get a turnover like that in the red area, sometimes you can catch them with something like that. It was a gutsy call.

Comments from South Carolina Head Coach Lou Holtz

How many turnovers did we have? Seven? It seemed like more. Seven turnovers and 11 penalties. I don’t ever remember being in a situation like that. But talking about our turnovers doesn’t give Virginia credit. Virginia played very well. They converted on third down. They made the plays and we didn’t.

(Question: Was Corey Jenkins trying too hard?)
He may be. He’s trying to make plays. But sometimes you have to eliminate the bad plays. You don’t always need the great play.

Other than one play, we played pretty well on their wide receivers. I thought our corners played pretty well. We were always in pretty good position.

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