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Duke at Virginia
Nov. 12, 2011
Virginia Player Quotes

Senior cornerback Chase Minnifield
On his interception:

“It was just a blessing. It was cover-two coverage and I don’t think the quarterback saw me. I basically ended up with an easy pick. It felt good to get a [pick six] because they took one away from me against William and Mary. I told everyone I would be back.”

On the Cavaliers’ seventh win:
“It’s good just because I think we’ve gained a lot of resilience and a lot of confidence. It’s starting to show. We’re not worried about anyone else but Florida State.”

On three-and-outs:
“It’s just good coverage on the back end. We showed up today in the secondary. We had some miscommunication and they had a couple of big plays, but for the most part, we were doing what we were supposed to do.”

On defensive line’s support:
“It’s a win-win thing. We cover them, and if they’re not open, they have to bide some time. I tip our caps off to those guys. We made them hold it and we got some time.”

Senior defensive tackle Matt Conrath
On blocked field goal:
“It was just a laser. I just did what I could and got my hands on it.”

On pre-game nerves:
“It was just that we weren’t doing the things that we were being coached to do in the first half. We came out in the second half, we started doing the things we needed to do, and we just shut them down.”

On importance of getting a win at home:
“Every game is a big game. With Duke having beaten us three years in a row, this was a game of redemption for us. We just came out and showed it.”

Senior tailback Perry Jones
On the home win:
“It’s definitely good to get a win-no matter if it’s home or if it’s away. It’s still a different feeling when you get a home win, and I’m definitely glad we could get it for the school and for the fans.”

On extra yardage:
“There’s just something in me that just really doesn’t like to be on the ground. I try to get as many yards after the first contact as I can. I just want to help the team out as best I can.”

On support from Kevin Parks:
“It’s definitely a good feeling to know that you have someone behind you that can get the job done as well. We’re just going to keep working.”

On punt return:
“I think I did okay-there’s always room for improvement. Overall, for me as well as the team, I think we did okay. I’m going to evaluate myself and just go back in the film room and get back to work. When [assistant coach Anthony Poindexter] asked me to return [the punt], I just did it. He asked me during halftime if he put me back there if I’d be ready. It was third down, and he asked me if I was ready to go. Then he sent me out there. I still do it in practice. I try to help the starting punt team and I get on the scout team as a punter returner, so that’s been getting me a little bit of work.”

Senior center Anthony Mihota
On recent second-half success:
“Our identity recently has just been being a second half team. We run the ball, make good passes, and make good decisions. We rely on everyone to make the right moves and have the right technique. We count on everybody. “

On team’s recent wins:
“We’re pretty excited. We haven’t had a season like this since my first year. Everyone’s really excited, and we’re using a lot of that momentum. Everyone’s like, ‘Hey, we can do this. We just have to keep pushing on and focusing on each team, one game at a time.”

On increased confidence of Michael Rocco:
“I’m very confident in [Michael Rocco]. It was different at the beginning of the season-not knowing who was going to play and everything. Once he was established as the starter, we all rallied behind him and we were able to have all of our faith in him to make good decisions.”

On physicality of game:
“It was a little chippy out there. It’s probably a result of us not having beaten them in three years. It was kind of like, ‘Hey, we’re here. This is our year. We were just trying to be more physical than them-play to the whistle.'”

Senior fullback Max Milien
On his role in the passing game:

“We noticed in practice that their linebackers don’t blitz. They back up pretty deep to cover the deep routes. We knew that with the deep routes the check-downs would be open and they were open today.”

On beating Duke:
“We lost the last three years so we came today focused with the mindset of we have to get a win to control our own destiny. We still control our own destiny so that’s nice.”

On next week’s game at Florida State:
“We are going to go in tomorrow and game plan like we do for every game. We are going to treat it like any other game and come down focused to get the win.”

Sophomore quarterback Michael Rocco
On guaranteeing a winning season:
“We are excited, but we really are taking this one step at a time. We don’t have the mentality of ‘this is it.’ We finished here and still control our own destiny. If we win from here on out we can make ourselves available for an ACC Championship and a really good spot in a bowl game, so we are taking it one game at a time from here on out.”

On the offense today:
“Duke did a really good job of having nine guys in the box and trying to stop the run with (Safety Matt Daniels). We had three chances to get behind them in the play-action game, but we just missed a couple times. We’re stalling some here and there, but our offensive line did a great job of opening up holes. It wasn’t as pretty as the Maryland game per se, but we really pounded it and guys made plays when we needed them.”

On his 38-yard touchdown pass to Kris Burd:
“Their outside linebacker really got to the flat so I had to put it over his head and Kris made a really nice catch and run. It’s his first touchdown all year. I’m happy for him. He did a great job of tip-toeing down the sidelines to stay in bounds.”

Senior Wide Receiver Kris Burd
On the season so far:

“It’s definitely exciting. We haven’t been able to write our own destiny in November in a long time. We are excited about the last two games of the season and we look forward to winning.”

On beating Duke after losing to the Blue Devils the last three years:
“It was definitely a big chip on our shoulders. We just had to execute and do what we do.”

On the running game:
“Like I’ve said before, we go as far as our offensive line takes us. We came up with a great gameplan that attacked some of their weaknesses. We executed well and scored more points than the other team did, our ultimate goal.”

On the running game:
“Whenever you have a solid running game it opens up everything else. Me being a receiver, when we get the running game going it lights me up knowing that there is going to be an opportunity down the field.”

On his first touchdown of the year:
“It’s definitely exciting. I haven’t been in the endzone in a while so it coming in game 10 is a great feeling to finally get in there.”

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