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Nov. 16, 2002

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Virginia Head Coach Al Groh

“It was a good win today. But we still have two more to play. … That was a real fighting game today — 14 to 9 is our kind of game. We’re trying to build an operation that can be in a lot of close games and come down to the end and make a play at the end.”

“Marquis Weeks, besides what he did individually, was just symbolic of what a lot of players have done during the course of this season to step up when something had to be done.”

N.C. State has “a very high-powered offense with some highly skilled players and a great quarterback. [The Virginia defense] had to make a lot of plays against them, and they certainly did. … We had some good pressures — good harrassment in the pocket — but we didn’t get as many stops out of it as we would have liked. As a result, the ball was up in the air and we had to make plays on the ball upfield.”

“I’ve seen on a weekly basis — not just in the games, but in practices — significant development in a lot of our defensive players. This kind of game was good to my heart because that’s the way we want to play defense on a consistent basis. We tried to fliip some things around this week to put some players in a little bit better position to make plays. We made some changes in the lineup. Obviously, that helped us today and I hope that will carry over.

On the last NC State offensive play — “In those moments, you have to look to your big-time players. We set up a little game to give Darryl [Blackstock] a chance [to pressure the quarterback]. He came around and had a real good pressure against a very accurate quarterback. It was certainly a factor in where the ball went.”

NC State Head Coach Chuck Amato

It’s becoming a ditto. That’s three weeks in a row. When we got that fumble recovery deep in our territory, it really pumped life into our team. But Virginia never gave up.

They ran the ball on us more that we thought they would, and could.

In the first half we took a great shot from them. The field position really favored Virginia in the first half, in my opinion. But our defense came up with play after play after play.

Jerricho Cotchery is a tough football player. There might be a better receiver in the country, but he’s a good one.

It looked like a pro game out there. Field position, the kicking game, field conditions — they were all important today.

(on State’s final drive) When we first got the ball there was an eternity to play, plus we had two timeouts. But there was a play or two that used more time than we’d like. But we had time on third and fourth down to get the plays we wanted.

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