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Virginia Quotes

Virginia head coach Al Groh:
Opening Statement:

“That was two real gutty teams that went to the center of the ring and punched it out all night long. All you need is a split decision in that situation, and we’re happy to come out with one more point. We’re not interested in who we’re impressing. We’re just interested in winning games.

“These players have demonstrated that they’re a tough-minded group, and they’re not going to crack. They’ve got a lot of confidence in each other. They’ve got a good level of humility. They have a hunger for more success, and they work hard to prepare for each game.

“Two major components of who wins games in tight situations are turnover margin and big plays. For much of the game we were in a deficit in both categories. For a long time there, we were in a deficit in both. Coming down the home stretch, we made a few plays. Some guys stepped up, and we had to overcome the field position issues as the result of those turnovers.”

On Virginia’s first-quarter defense after early turnovers:
“Those two possessions down there it could have been 14-nothing, but instead it was six-nothing. Those were big factors.

On playing an undefeated UConn team:
“We didn’t give all the punches tonight. We took quite a few. That’s a good team we played tonight. We said that going in. There were only 11 undefeated teams in the country. You’ve got to be pretty good at a long of things to be undefeated, and they showed us they were pretty good at a lot of things.

“We had a lot of respect for that quarterback going into the game. He certainly has been the catalyst for that team. We have even more respect for him now. He was the one who really kept it going.”

On Sewall’s play:
“We’ve said for a long time, you judge a quarterback by his pelts. He brought his team home, and he made plays at the end of the game when they had to be made. The most important thing to call a quarterback is a winner, and that is what he did for his team tonight.”

Virginia Player Quotes

Clint Sintim, junior linebacker
On the play of the defense:
“We have the type of defense that just doesn’t crack. We never gave in. We came out with a big win just like last week. I can’t say enough about our guys on defense and how they play.”

On the forced fumble before the second half:
“I was just in the right position. I saw him and I was just trying to keep my base. I made a solid tackle and I may have ripped the ball out a little bit but hats off to the guys who came around, helped me out and fell on the ball.”

Chris Gorham, senior wide receiver
On catching two passes for at least 30 yards each:

“The team did a great job blocking today and Jameel was just throwing great balls out there. So I really didn’t have to do too much work. We just played it through and I really need to thank those guys for being on top of their game.”

On facing an undefeated UConn team:
“As you can see they’re a tough team and a great defense. We knew that coming into the game, so I have to take my hat off to those guys. They played a heck of a game. They gave us a tough game but we just kept playing hard and were able to pull off the win.”

Keith Payne, freshman running back
On his first career TD:

“It’s a great feeling. I knew what I had to do to get in the end zone. I’ve been working hard for this and this is just the beginning. I look forward to helping the team however I can.”

On inside screen play that set up the TD:
“I wanted to get into the end zone there, but I came up just a little bit short. The guy went low and I tried to go high which ended up with me getting flipped a little bit. I was disappointed I didn’t get into the end zone, but I was able to the next play.”

On the game next week at Maryland:
“Getting back into the conference is exciting. All road games are tough and it means we’re going to have to be extra focused. It’s the next challenge for us, and we’re going to be ready.”

Jameel Sewell, sophomore quarterback
On his rushing effort:
“It’s something I have been able to take advantage of more if things seem cloudy downfield. I was able to use my feet today, and I have to credit my offensive line and backs for giving me good blocks.”

On his touchdown pass to TE John Phillips:
“John was actually the last resort on that play. I was able to scan the field and get the ball out to him. He was really wide open, and it was a play that had to be made.”

On the defensive effort:
“The defense was the driving force for us to get the win today. They made some huge stops and came up really big for us. Those guys really did a great job.

Vic Hall, sophomore cornerback
On his pass completion:

“It felt good. We worked on that play a little bit during the week, and we knew it could be a big play for us. We just went out and executed. It was just something we came up with in practice this week; we weren’t saving it for UConn. We saw an opportunity in the defense, and it just worked.”

On the overall defensive effort:
“The defense played great. We gave up a few plays, but in the end, we locked it down and had a good game.”

On the special teams play:
“We could have done better. There was one punt where I was hit right off the bat, and I should have fair caught it. Other than that, we’ll just put more work into this week and get better for next week.”

On resuming conference play next week:
“I am always excited about playing the next game, regardless of if it is a conference game. Though because it is conference, there is a little more on the line for us, so we are really excited about that.”

Chris Long, senior defensive end
On the defensive red zone stops in the first half:
“It is what we wanted to do. Ideally, we would like to take the ball away in those situations and give them nothing, but I think the goal line stop was pretty important; it was huge. Whatever situation we are put in, though, we just try to play.”

On what they worked on during practice this week:
“We focused on getting after them in the pass rush, because we know their best player is their quarterback. We wanted to chase him around and hopefully have him make mistakes. He is a great player and he fought to the end, so you have to credit him for that.”

On his own effort breaking up plays:
“Today I tried to move around a lot and not let them get into a rhythm. I was fortunate enough to be able to keep coming to try and make a play on a sack. If I can just do my part on the third down defense, I’m happy.”

On resuming conference play next week:
“I’m excited every week. I love playing anybody. We’ve got great games coming up against great teams, so I’m excited.

Connecticut Quotes

Head Coach Randy Edsall
Opening Statement”

“It’s not a good feeling sitting here. Our kids fought tooth-and-nail in a tough environment against what I think is an outstanding football team. When you get games like this, on the road, you can’t afford to have some of the mistakes that we had there at the end and be able to come away with a victory.

“I give Virginia a lot of credit. They’re a good football team. It’s unfortunate that we couldn’t have found a way to make one more play there at the end after we had a pretty good drive going. It’s something we’ve got to learn from.”

On a botched snap late in the game:
“We were working the silent count. We work [on] crowd noise all week. We didn’t have any problems in the beginning of the game and throughout the game when we were doing it. I don’t know if the ball was snapped a little bit early. But it’s unfortunate because it gets magnified there at the end of the game. We had some other opportunities before in the game that if we take advantage of maybe it doesn’t come down to that one play. We just have to play more consistently.”

On Vic Hall’s completion to Chris Gorham:
“We gave up some yardage on defense on a cheap play you know, it was a good call on their part on the halfback pass where we just needed to make sure that somebody did their job. It’s very simple. We had a guy that can up out of coverage. He should have just stayed back on him, and if he did that we would have been fine.”

On using the last timeout in the second half:
“We had a young man that wasn’t where he was supposed to be on the sideline in case somebody goes down. If he was there, we could have run a guy in and we wouldn’t have lost the timeout.”

On bouncing back from the loss:
“I told them in the locker room that they competed hard through 60 minutes. But we’re not in it to compete. We’re in it to win. I think they understand the missed opportunities that we had in the game. We’ll come back. We’ve just got to learn from it. When we get into these situations the next time, we’ve got to do a better job.”

Connecticut Quotes

Tyler Lorenzen, Junior Quarterback
On Virginia’s defense:
“Virginia’s defense is great, quality defense. They have a great shot at winning the ACC, which is a great accomplishment in college football. They played tough.”

On scoring field goals in the red zone:
“We got in the red zone early, and a touchdown would’ve been great. We couldn’t move the ball when we got there. Field goals are great, but touchdowns are better.”

Danny Lansanah, Senior Linebacker
On Losing
“I feel down, but you’ve got to bounce back. You can compete all you want. You play football to compete, but you still need to make the plays.”

Tony Ciaravino, Junior Kicker
On whether people will respect them for playing Virginia close on the road:
“I hope they do. A lot of people don’t like to give us the respect we deserve. There is nothing we can do about that. We just have to go out there each week and our best.”

On his 52-yard field goal miss in the first half and whether the miss will haunt him:
“I didn’t execute the way I needed to execute. Every kick I take, miss or make, is gone after that. There is nothing I can do about, it’s over.”

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