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Virginia vs. William & Mary
Sept. 3, 2011
Postgame Quotes

Virginia head coach Mike London
On Kevin Parks’ debut:

“I thought Kevin showed what we’d been seeing in practice for the last couple months. He’s very explosive. He can run. He can run away from people. He can run over people. I’m happy for him because he waited his time with the backs we had last year. He got bigger, faster, stronger and had an opportunity to go out there today and do some pretty neat things. I’m happy for the success of him, and for the success of the entire team. It’s a very good win for the program. It’s our first win. First wins are always the best wins because you have an opportunity for another one the next game up, particularly against a team that’s arguably the best FCS team in the country. At this stage of the program we’re at, we’re trying to win games. That was a good start for us this year.”

On Michael Rocco’s play:
“Mike got 14-18 or something like that. He distributed the ball and kept some drives moving. The first half I think we were 3 for 10 on third downs. I would have liked to have better production from that, but I think he picked it up in the latter part and in the second half. He’ll get better like all of these other young guys will get better. It’s exciting to see him have an opportunity to hand the ball off or throw it, and throw it to some young guys who can go get it done.”

On advantage of lead:
“We’re just playing football. We’re running the plays. We got out ahead. We weren’t going to try to just run a bunch of plays. We’re going to run our offense because we have a lot of guys who need to learn how to play football. We need to learn how to execute our offense. Whether it was a close game or a big lead, we’re going to run our offense and give guys opportunities to hear the plays being called in huddle and executing the blocks that are needed to make it work.”

On 2009 game, and it’s effect on turnover protection:
“It’s always a priority not to turn the ball over, but I think the biggest thing is that we were taking what they gave us. They’re a three-deep team that plays corners off. We made the throws that the covers dictated for us to make. Always protecting the ball is critical, and we had a couple opportunities for turnovers ourselves.”

On Demetrious Nicholson:
“I thought he did an outstanding job today for a true freshman to play against an offense that’s known for prolific passing attack. I’m just very pleased overall with how the team played.”

On defensive play:
“Coach Reid and the rest of the defensive staff have done a lot of things to show up our defense. I know earlier he said we were too simple. We let some guys come off the stunts. We did some different cover looks. I think that it played to our advantage to let the guys play aggressively. It’s a credit to the defensive staff. I know they wanted to have the shutout there, but at one time I looked up and there were seven freshmen playing when they scored. Coach Reid can get over that I think. They played hard and they practice like we have something to prove, and we do. This whole team has something to prove. Game number one is over and now we’re looking forward to game number two.

William & Mary Head Coach Jimmye Laycock
Opening statement:
“I think we made a great effort. We may have gotten a little worn down on defense but I think we played hard in that regard. We missed a few tackles as the game wore on and then offensively, I don’t think we executed our passing game and we didn’t get our running game going. When we don’t do those two things it’s kind of tough but they had a lot to do with it. They’re good up front.”

On W&M’s passing game:
“We were getting under pressure and we weren’t getting the running game going. Again, we were off sometimes coordinating the quarterback and the receiver. We were off sometimes with the reads. We weren’t in sync and that stuff happens in the first ball game but hopefully we can regroup and get better at it.”

On Virginia’s offense:
“I just felt they were very efficient. They didn’t put the ball on the ground much and when they did they got it back. I thought they ran a power running game and a very controlled passing game. They played pretty smart. They executed, executed, executed and wore us down. That’s what they did. They didn’t turn it over. They didn’t throw picks. They didn’t do stuff like that. They ran the power game and a short passing game. They forced our defense to be on the field for a long time during some of those drives. I thought we handled it pretty well but I thought they executed extremely well.”

On what he takes from tonight’s game:
“I think we played hard. We didn’t get a win out of it but we saw what it takes. I thought our guys played extremely hard. I was encouraged by that. I’m disappointed that we didn’t win. I’m disappointed we didn’t make it a closer game. I’m disappointed in those things, but I’m not disappointed at all about our effort and how hard we played; not at all. I think this team came to play. They were ready to play and they played hard. It didn’t happen our way tonight.”

Virginia Player Quotes
Freshman tailback Kevin Parks
On winning the season-opener:
“It felt real good just to be back on the field and playing again. I thank the coaches for trusting me and putting me in the game. It just felt real good. The offensive linemen played well. I think everybody played well. We complemented each other. The defense got the ball back for us. We put points on the boards. The backs made great blocks, the wide receivers made great blocks downfield. Everybody just played real well.”

On the reasons for success:
“I felt like William & Mary wore down a little bit. That was a big upside to our offensive line. They wore them down and they played hard and they played tough.”

On his motivation:
“After that spring game, I didn’t have a very good game. Since that, everything worked toward that game. It became game one. I didn’t put a lot of pressure on things, but every time I was in the weight room, working on things, that was always in the back of my head. I didn’t think I played well at all. Like I said, it was in the back of my head and I came out tonight and thought about that. I thought my focus was real good. I don’t forget [the spring game]. I still had a fumble.”

Freshman cornerback Demetrious Nicholson
On his interception:
“I had visions before this game of me catching a pick, and it came true. Coach West always told me to believe what I see. How I caught that pick was that I ran through the quarterback’s three-step. We practice that everyday and I was able to hop in front of it and catch it.”

On pre-game nerves:
“I kept my composure throughout the day. When it was time to empty out, I emptied out. I wasn’t too excited. I kept my composure and stayed focused on the field-that helped me keep reading my keys and playing football like I know how to play and not get overly excited about the crowd or anything like that.”

Freshman quarterback David Watford
On playing his first game:
“It felt real good. We work hard during the summer, and this is what I came here early in January for. It felt really good just to be able to get out there on the field and just make plays, get the crowd into it, have fun out there with my fellows-my brothers-and just make plays.”

On William & Mary defense:
“They took away the run. On a couple of the plays, I really wanted to take off but they got me. I got the ability to show my arm and show that I’m more than just a running quarterback. I can throw the ball too, just as well as I can run it.”

Sophomore quarterback Michael Rocco
On potential improvements:

“There’s always improvements to make. I had a couple receivers open that I missed but I give all the credit to our line. They gave us great time in the pocket. We’ll watch the film and see what we can improve on but overall we had a good performance. In the first half, we had a couple opportunities to score and we didn’t. We left drives out on the field, and that’s probably a big area we can improve on.”

On running game:
“There’s no doubt that Kevin Parks and Perry Jones did a great job today. Without them, our passing game is not quite as good as it could be. Coming out and having an explosive running game and big holes for our running backs was a big deal.”

Senior cornerback Chase Minnifield
On the win over William & Mary:

“We prepared really hard for this game. Two years ago we were lackadaisical and we weren’t going to take this game lightly.”

On defending the pass:
“We have an experienced secondary. We have three seniors and one freshman who are really good. Coach London is putting us into situations to be good.”

Senior kicker Robert Randolph
On his range:

“Coach asked me what my range was and I told him from the 35-yard line, a 52-yarder. Coach knew well what my range was and I was ready to go.”

On his 48-yard field goal kick:
“I hit it real well. I felt great when I hit it and I know when I kick my best balls they can go 52 to 54 yards. I knew it had the distance and it was straight; a great kick.”

On kicking four field goals:
“Well I was hoping for more extra points, I really wanted to get after William & Mary. The first half was pretty close, but we got on a run in the second half and got some more extra points.”

On the momentum from his field goal at the end of the first half:
“It was an exciting time, the crowd loved it. I was really excited and my teammates were excited for me. It was a big momentum swinger to go into halftime scoring points.”

Sophomore wide receiver Tim Smith
On his 40-yard catch:

“I had to go up and make a play. I just pinned it to him and held onto it. I thought I had scored, but I guess I came up short.”

Junior linebacker Dante Cook
On the defense:

“It was tough to get anything started. We just really never got into a flow or rhythm. We couldn’t really take much pressure off the offense. The defense was on the field a long time. We just never got in a rhythm.”

Senior running back Jonathan Grimes
On Virginia now vs. two years ago:

“They were more efficient with the ball. I thought they did a good job with getting their backs out after they stayed and protected a little bit. A few tackles here and there, we could do a lot better.”

Did the defense wear down:
“I think so. Not necessarily worn down. I think we’re going to watch the film. You know they always say it’s not as good as you think, and it’s never as bad as you think. An inch or two here, better body position and we make some more solid tackles instead of arm tackles, and you know that’s the difference between getting off the field and those guys fighting through those tackles for first downs.”

Senior quarterback Michael Paulus
On execution of passing:

“It just wasn’t working out tonight.”

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