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Virginia vs. Virginia Tech Postgame Quotes

Virginia Head Coach Al Groh

Opening statement:
“I’m very proud of our team. I’m very proud of the effort they put in there today. I’m very proud of what they accomplished. The season is not over yet. I’m looking forward to playing another game. The only problem with it is that it doesn’t come soon enough.

“We didn’t have quite what we needed in every respect today. In the games that we won, we got contributions from all areas it’s been a collaborative effort (from the) coaching staff, offense, defense, and special teams. It was the same way today, but we just didn’t get quite enough in any of those areas. Virginia Tech had a little bit more at certain times than we did, and that’s really what made the difference.”

On the key plays for Virginia Tech:
“There were probably two sequences that come to mind quickly. One, we had the ball with 40 seconds to go in the first half, and 28 seconds later, they had seven points. You look back at the final score, and that’s a substantial seven points … that we had no chance to answer. That was like seven bonus points.

“Then, when it was 23-21 and (Virginia Tech QB Tyrod Taylor scored a touchdown on a third-down play). We know what the play is going to be, and to top it off there was a timeout for us to have the opportunity to discuss it.

“Shortly thereafter, Peter (Lalich) throws for a first down, so we would have a chance to answer, but we get called for a penalty. On the ensuing possession, we get good pressure on Sean (Glennon), and (Josh) Hyman goes up and makes a play (leading to) another three points. As I look back on the game, there’s 17 points condensed into that little timeframe three or four plays where we came up short in terms of making the play. But that’s usually how most games are determined.”

On Tyrod Taylor:
“He’s a very elusive player. His elusiveness certainly cost us some yards today.”

On the retirement of Chris Long’s jersey:
“Chris is finishing his career with one more game to go as one of the all-time great Virginia players. It was fitting to recognize him at this time as such. It provides us with the opportunity to retroactively do the same thing over time for other players who deserve the same sort of recognition. We’ve got a process and criteria in place for that, and as time goes on we’ll be continuing that with other deserving players.”

On the Ryan Weigand punt blocked by Virginia Tech:
“The snap was a little bit off to the right, which led him into the rush. He kicked it toward the rush, and he was unusually slow on it.”

On Sean Glennon:
“I thought he did a terrific job. To tell you the truth, when Tyrod got hurt and Sean got into the game (earlier in the season vs. Duke), I thought to myself, This is going to be trouble.’ I have a high respect for the firepower of those four receivers. I thought, This is going to open it up for those guys and put them back in the game.’ Over the course of the last six or seven weeks, that’s been the case. (The Virginia Tech receivers) were the biggest factor in the game today offensively.”

Virginia Player Quotes

Quarterback Jameel Sewell
On where team goes from here:
“We just have to make sure we move forward. Everyone always says you have to learn from your mistakes, and that applies here as well. We have to forget about the past and focus on our next challenge. We know we have another game left and we have to get ready for that.”

On play of Branden Albert:
“BA and the rest of the line played awesome. They took it upon themselves to try and carry this team. BA did a great job of opening big holes for our backs to run through and for me to run through, as well as his pass protection.”

On his touchdown run in the second quarter:
“I was following BA and then I got kind of lost. It was really fuzzy so I just tried to find a crease to get into. I just stuck my foot in the ground and started running toward the sideline. I just tried to use my strength to get into the endzone.

Defensive End Chris Long
On how far the defense has come:
“We’ve come a long way but we still can’t let our offense down like we did today. Thirty points in any game is unacceptable. Granted they made some plays they have some great players, but we just can’t make mistakes like we did.”

On his forced fumble:
“I just tried to get back there and get a hand on the ball. When he [Sean Glennon] went down, I didn’t even know the ball had come out. I just thought I had a sack.”

On Virginia Tech’s strategy against him:
“It was just more of the same stuff, nothing too new. I need to make more plays, and I need to play better.”

On how the team will regroup:
“It will be easy to refocus. This is a group that takes pride in what we do and we will have no problem focusing. We know what needs to be done and we will go out, work hard and prepare for whatever lies ahead of us.”

Running Back Mikell Simpson
On the team’s confidence when it got the ball back down 23-21:
“Our offense was very confident, and our defense got a big stop right there. Unfortunately I caught a cramp at that moment, and I feel I let my team down on that drive. We could have went down, with the momentum that we had, and taken the lead. Who knows what would have happened after that point.”

On the offense at that point:
“The offense had a lot of confidence at that point in the game. We knew we were moving the ball a lot, but we weren’t capitalizing. We hurt ourselves a lot today.”

On his saying that he let his team down:
“Cramps happen, but I feel I let my team down with a cramp at that time. Like I said, we had a lot of momentum at that time, and we could have driven the ball down and taken the lead.”

Tight End Tom Santi
On the Virginia offense’s 21 points:
“We didn’t really think about how many points it would take. We just tried to end up with one more than the other guys, but just weren’t able to.”

On the team’s successes:
“There weren’t enough for us to win.”

On preparing for the bowl game:
“We’re going to prepare enough to win. We put too much into this season to go out with a loss.”

Cornerback Vic Hall
On the game in general:

“We just could have executed better as a whole, but I can’t really touch on anything in particular.”

On Virginia Tech’s touchdown just before halftime:
“Obviously, it gave them more points than us going into the half. They got the momentum a little bit, but we should have made more plays than we did as a whole, and I guess it showed.”

On preparing for the bowl game:
“This is behind us, so we have just got to stay together, work hard and look forward to the next game.”

Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer

Opening Statement:
“I like this football team. When the going got tough out there, that’s when they got going. We came back and beat a really, really good football team. They play efficiently. They play well. A couple of guys just battle you to the end. They’re just tough kids. But we’ve got tough kids, too.

“We knew we were going to get Virginia’s best shot. It was a team win. We did some things on special teams. We did some things on defense. We did some things on offense. The end result was a great team win. “

On the play of Virginia Tech’s two quarterbacks:
“They both made some plays. Sean made a couple scrambles and some great throws, and we got a couple good catches out of them. Tyrod (Taylor) made a couple runs that were the difference in the ball game. As I said going into the game, they both give you things that win football games. We’re trying our best to get that out of both of them, and today we did. When you have two quarterbacks that are so different, it adds something to your offense.”

On Virginia Tech’s touchdown right before halftime:
“It was super important. Any time you get points right before halftime, it’s a big deal in the ball game.”

On the play of the offense:
“When guys are making great catches like we saw today, and now our offensive line is back in tact, and Brandon (Ore)’s the healthiest he’s been all year when you put all those things together, you’ve got an offense that’s playing very well.”

On playing for the ACC championship game:
“It hasn’t been easy. You’re talking about Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami, and then this crowd (Virginia) that’s a tough stretch. NC State getting Virginia helped us, too. But I really felt like, if we could just win our games, we could get another shot at Boston College.”

Virginia Tech Player Quotes

Senior Linebacker Xavier Adibi
On UVa and Virginia Tech Rivalry:

“UVa is a good team; they’re going to make good plays here and there. Just keep playing football, and things will go our way. Our guys made good plays. Josh Hyman had a big catch for us. I’m just so proud of our guys.
It’s a great feeling (to never lose against UVa). It’s a big rivalry. Just going through my college career going against UVa is a great feeling.”

On going to ACC championship game:
“It is a good feeling coming to a hostile environment, especially UVa. Just the fact that we’re going to the ACC championship, that just makes it even better.”

On UVa’s offense:
“They played really well on offense. We knew they were going to be a really good team. They have an excellent line, and (Jamell) Sewell’s really adjusting to play football, and they had an extra week of practice. So, they had a couple of new wrinkles that we had to prepare for. We had to make some minor adjustments at halftime, and we did it.”

Sophomore Defensive Tackle Duane Brown
On Chris Long and Jeffrey Fitzgerald:
“They are great players. We knew they were going to make plays, and we just didn’t want them to get into a rhythm and feed off of that. Chris came out in the second half and had a big play, and the offense got a second touchdown. We knew they were going to make plays, we just didn’t want them to do it consistently.”

On UVa and Virginia Tech rivalry:
“It means a lot (to go all four years and not lose to UVa). It’s a very bitter rivalry. They have a very great team. This has been a great year for them. To beat them four years straight means a lot to us.”

On 10 wins in each of the last four seasons:
“It’s great (for the seniors to have 10 wins for four years). I don’t know too many classes in the country that have been able to do that. Playing against the competition that we’ve played against and win every year, that’s saying something. That’s saying that we have tough guys who are relentless. It means a lot.”

Freshman Safety Davon Morgan
On the win against UVa:

“We kept rolling. I’m not going to say that it was a big win because UVa is a good team, but we came out and tried to do everything that we could. We’re just going to come out and give it our all.”

Senior Linebacker Vince Hall
On the rivalry with Virginia:

“It’s just one of those rivalry games. When you come out of high school, the coaches are right there. One side wants you; you’ve got to choose your side. Once you choose your side, you’ve got to go with it. UVa is a good school, but Tech right now is the dominant one.”

On getting back to the ACC Championship game:
“It feels really good, going back to our younger days. We’ve just got to end up on top. We’ve got to come back strong and enjoy this win right here. We’ll go out and celebrate this weekend, but come back Monday and go back to business again.”

On the momentum change during the game:
“There’s a lot of adversity during the game. If there wouldn’t have been any of that, it wouldn’t be a football game, especially a big one. Like I said coming in, it’s going to be one of those hard, tough-fought games that’s going to come down to the little things. And the little things we didn’t let happen to our defense.”

Freshman Quarterback Tyrod Taylor
On Virginia Tech’s motto for next week’s game:
“There was a crucial point in the last game against Boston College; we’re going to put that on our shirts. On the back of the shirts it’s going to say “a minor setback for a major comeback” and just try to get revenge against Boston College.”

On the relationship formed with Virginia Tech’s Sean Glennon
“He’s been a great friend. Our relationship’s never changed, from day one he’s always taught me. He’s been teaching me things since I stepped on campus.”

On how a series works for him and when he finds out he’s going into the game:
“It’s on the go. You have to look at the person calling the play; you’ve also got to look at the quarterbacks coach. If he raises his hand then you know that you are coming out and Sean (Glennon) is coming in. It’s the same way when Sean’s in the game when I’m in the game. You’ve got to be focused.”

On the system of being rotated with Glennon:
“It’s given us a break as quarterbacks, not playing a full game, and at the same time it’s throwing their defenses off too.”

Senior Flanker Eddie Royal
On the blocked punt:

“That blocked punt was big for us; it was big for the momentum of the game because they had the momentum at that point. Once we blocked the kick, we knew things were going to get going for us.”

On the touchdown in the final seconds of the first half:
“It worked out perfectly, the coverage of it. The ball actually caught me by surprise it was such a good throw. We needed that boost going into halftime.”

On the momentum of the game after Virginia Tech had an interception and touchdown:
“College football is all about momentum. They definitely had it, and we knew we needed to find a way to get it before going into halftime. Brandon’s (Ore) interception was a big play.”

On beating the Cavaliers as a senior in Charlottesville:
“It’s a great feeling knowing that I almost came here and that made the right decision going to Tech. It’s a great feeling going out 4-0 against them.”

On having another chance against Boston College:
“We’ve been waiting for this opportunity and now we got it.”

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