Dec. 27, 2003
Virginia Head Coach Al Groh“We came down here with the theme that this is a very, very important game. We had to show up. It wasn’t easy. They’re a very good team and we took them very seriously. In the 4th quarter the running game and pass rush came through. Our goal was to keep points down. We’ve been working real hard. In the future, we’ll be a defensive team.
He (Fitzgerald) is a remarkable player, one of the most dominant. He can do in two plays what it takes normally twelve plays to do. Our special teams did a great job in kickoff coverage. We value special teams dramatically. It is a status to play on special teams.
We’re real glad to be here, but we were aiming for the Sugar Bowl. To be an important team, you have to win in the postseason. Pearman gave us a spark. Nothing against Wali, but he (Pearman) was really on his game so we stayed with him a little longer.
Virginia Quarterback Matt Schaub“The defense stepped up to hold them on the 97-yard drive. It was a huge momentum builder. We just got a little room and away we went. The fans here were loud and made it sound like Scott Stadium.”
Virginia Safety Jermaine Hardy“We had to shut the run down first before we could focus on anything else. We blitzed our cornerbacks and safeties a lot more than usual. I think I played my best game today. I just wanted to go all out. It was the last game of the season.”
Virginia Cornerback Almondo Curry“Yes, we thought a lot about the streak (Fitzgerald’s TD record). We didn’t want him to score at all. When people look back at the streak, we want people to look at Virginia stopping it. We had a conversation with Larry on the field and he gave us credit for playing tough defense. He said we showed him some looks he hadn’t seen before. I don’t feel like size matters, it just makes me play a lot harder.”
Pittsburgh Head Coach Walt Harris“A couple of plays here and there, that was the game. We missed a couple of plays, but hindsight is 50/50. We turned down a field goal earlier that we normally would take. We didn’t have the ball as much in the second half. They were playing a minimum of two-deep. It’s difficult. He’s a tremendous football player (Fitzgerald), the kind you’d like to have your daughter date. He’s a winner. He’s done a great job for us. He’s a hell of a football player.
We did a very poor job containing and reading. We’re not as physical a football team as we need to be. I like Schaub, I liked him when we were recruiting him. I was impressed with him today. Hi mobility impressed me. He did a great job for them.”
Pittsburgh Quarterback Rod Rutherford“He (Fitzgerald) was definitely in our game plan. We didn’t change anything at all. We’re very disappointed in the scoring output in the second half. We played well, but didn’t take advantage of our opportunities. (On the goal line stand) We were put in the right situation and we made the right calls. They just made great plays. Special teams always play a part in the game. We just didn’t execute today.”
Pittsburgh Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald“Yes, I was definitely part of the game plan, they just did a terrific job of taking me out of the offense. I’m just a go with the flow kind of person. I just do what coach asks me to do. I’m currently enrolled in classes for the spring. That’s what I’m looking at right now. I don’t have a time frame at this point. I’m just focused on school. It’s hard to say if I’m ready. I just pretty much take things as they come. I told Curry ‘Why don’t you play me man to man?’ and he said no that won’t happen. I don’t play for records. The record was fun and I thank my teammates for helping me get it. Records are made to be broken.”
Pittsburgh Running Back Brandon Miree“After the goal line stand, it was disappointing not getting the ball in, but we knew we could move the ball on them, which was a positive. I don’t know what we could have done better at this point. I just have to watch the film. One person could say we should have run the ball more, but it could have been the same outcome. We just have to look at the film and build on it.”