Virginia Head Coach Al Groh
“We’re very proud, very appreciative of the effort they put in to make this happen, and very happy for them that they can enjoy a moment like this. That locker room in there, if you’ve ever been in one or participated in one, everything that we all do for months and weeks is to experience the five or six minutes when a team comes into the locker room and has that sense of satisfaction. That’s what it’s all about. And they earned every part of it. It’s a player’s game, and they earned every part of it.”
On putting pressure on T.J. Yates:
“The defense, obviously, everybody talks about how it’s we, us, and ours. When we win, we all win. But everybody’s got to do their share of the job. The offense, when we had good field position we were able to take advantage of it. Special teams gave us nine points that were very important, so certainly anybody who put in time on one unit or on multiple units can feel very good about.”
On the three field goals by Robert Randolph:
“He (Randolph) really stepped up today. He really hasn’t had to make too many pressure kicks that determine games. He did today. Just as I say about the whole team, as the season evolves we learn more and more about our team, who we are and what we can do and we learn more and more about the players.”
On the significance of the late touchdown:
“It was a different kind of a two-score game. It probably would’ve been the case anyway but it kind of dictated from that point on, for us defensively at least, it would be a dime game for us. And we had played very well in the dime throughout the course of the game.”
North Carolina Head Coach Butch Davis
“Certainly it’s a disappointing loss. It’s a little bit of a carryover of the same thing from last week. The defense played well enough at times, certainly, to give us a chance to win the game. But it’s a team game and we talk in the locker room all the time…you can’t just win one phase of the game. We’ve got to find a way to win two of the three phases, and I thought our defense fought, they scratched and they kept it to a three-point game, a six-point game, for an awfully long time.
“We thought we got a little bit of momentum coming out of the locker room. We moved the ball, we got a few first downs, and ultimately had to settle for a field goal. But we’ve got to find a way to play better on offense. We’ve got to find a running game, and we’ve got to be able to block people at the point of attack. We can’t have as much penetration at the point of attack and not allow the back to at least get started at the intended hole or the intended point of attack.
“I referenced the Baltimore Ravens in 2000, that they won the Super Bowl…they didn’t score an offensive touchdown for seven weeks. Sometimes you’ve got to find ways to win ugly. If you coach long enough, and our players have played long enough, sometimes the shoe is on the other foot from a team perspective. There were times last year when we were scoring 35, 38 points and that wasn’t enough.
“It’s a team game, the only thing that we can do is have a positive attitude about working hard to get better and have an expectation that our players are going to try to improve. It’s all about this is a young, inexperienced offensive football team that has got to work every single week on trying to get better and try to improve their fundamentals.
“We turned the ball over three times today and we didn’t get any. The opportunities were there today for turnovers. The ball was on the ground a couple of times, we didn’t get it. The ball was in the air a couple of times that hit us in the hands and we didn’t get it. Those could have conceivably negated some points, it might not have turned into any points, but it certainly would have given us the opportunity to maybe win the game 10-6, 10-9, maybe you win it ugly.
“We’ve got to improve, that’s my responsibility, it’s our coaches’ responsibility, and that’s the approach we’re going to take when we get back tomorrow.”
On potentially taking Yates out of the game:
“Not really. Sometimes you just have to play yourself through some poor performances. He didn’t play as well as we’d have liked for him to last week at Georgia Tech. He hit some throws today, but he was under duress. I don’t know exactly the statistics, but I want to say they either blitzed or pressured something in the neighborhood of 10 of the first 19 plays of the game.
“They are taking advantage and looking at a young, inexperienced offensive line, and they are doing what good coaches do, which is try to exploit somebody. I thought clearly up until about 10 minutes to go in the game, the game was winnable. I think as long as the game is winnable, you want to give your starter the chance to win the game.”
On using Ryan Houston more:
“It’s clearly part of the scenario that certainly would help. It’s something that I think we have to talk about. If you go back to the same exact game a year ago…I want to say we ran for in excess of about 140 yards…It just didn’t click for (Shaun) today. We didn’t have the ball long enough, when you’re going three and out, nobody gets any rhythm. We took the whole first half to find out if there were any runs that would work at all.”
On expecting this type of performance today:
“The outcome of the game is disappointing. We wanted to win. I thought we practiced well enough…if we practice like we did last week, we’re going to get better. I think most of you heard me say before the week started that the worst mistake anybody could do is look at (Virginia) as an 0-3 team. The one thing they did in the previous games that they didn’t do today is turn the ball over.”