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Virginia vs. Virginia Tech

Nov. 26, 2011

Virginia Player Quotes

Senior safety Rodney McLeod

On Virginia Tech offense:

“They did everything that we expected. They hit us with a few plays we weren’t expecting-some double moves since they knew we’d be aggressive in the secondary. When the plays happened, they executed and we didn’t. We just have to give them credit for that-also doing their film study on us. They played a great game.”

On Virginia Tech scoring drive to open second half:

“I don’t think it took any momentum away. We play until the end. We’ve been down in a lot of games this year so it was never the case where we thought the game was out of reach. Coming out of the half, we wanted to start fast. Letting them score wasn’t what we talked about at halftime.”

On bowl game:

“It’s good to say we’re going to a bowl game. We have another game now to redeem ourselves and finish on a high note, but this was an important game for us just in terms of the goals we set as a team. We just came up short today.”

On penalties:

“We still want to continue to play aggressive. That’s what we’ve been doing all year. The results have shown that it’s worked. There’s no reason to change your style of play off of a couple of penalties.”

Senior wide receiver Kris Burd

On emotion going into rivalry game:

“We get up for every game. I feel like there was definitely extra hype going into this game because we had so much on the line. I don’t feel like that affected our play though. We just came out a little flat and didn’t capitalize in the red zone. It got away from us early. I feel like that definitely hurt us in the beginning. Whenever you are in the red zone and don’t come away with points, it kind of flips the momentum a little bit.”

On having never beat Virginia Tech during his UVa career:

“It definitely hurts, but our season isn’t over. We still have another game. They’re a good team and we tip our hats to them, but it definitely hurts not being able to beat them during my career here. Like I said though, we have another game and I can’t dwell on it too long.”

On upcoming bowl game:

“It’s great. Last year at this time, I was packing it up and putting it away for the season. For us to have an opportunity to go in a bowl game and play is another opportunity for us to step on the field. It’s my last game coming up. It’s going to be an emotional game and I’m looking forward to it.

Senior linebacker Aaron Taliaferro

On Virginia Tech offense:

“I didn’t see anything special from them. They beat us, they played better than us, and they won the game. That’s all I saw. We didn’t play to our potential.”

On season:

“We’ve had a good season. We’re 8-4, hopefully 9-4 with this bowl game. We’ll move on. I’m happy that we’re 8-4, I guess, but I’m not really thinking about that right now.”

Junior linebacker Steve Greer

On being shutout:

“That’s not our brand of football. They made a lot of plays, but at the same time, that’s not how we want to play football. I definitely think it was a little bit shocking to see that score because that’s not how we want to play.”

On loss:

“Any loss is disappointing, especially to Virginia Tech with an ACC Championship on the line. It’s good that we have a bowl game coming up and that this won’t be the way that we go out.

“We knew going into halftime that we weren’t playing our best football. That was kind of the message in the locker room-we have to play our brand of football. That’s what we have to do to win.”

Sophomore quarterback Michael Rocco

On the inability to finish drives:

“We just couldn’t finish. We got down to the red zone a bunch of times, but it was just little things. Either we had a penalty or a dropped ball or a bad pass – we didn’t finish. We talk about being finishers all year and didn’t finish in the red zone today. It hurts. It doesn’t feel good.”

On the lack of a running game:

“They brought a lot of people down into the box to try and stop the run. We were able to connect through the air a lot today. As an offense though we didn’t finish like we needed to and we know that. We’ll watch the film and get better. We still have a game left so we are all keeping our heads up and trying to get better.”

On rebounding from this loss:

“We realize that one loss doesn’t define your season, but it does hurt and it should hurt because the game of football means a lot to all of us and we take it seriously. We have to turn the page and watch the film and get better. We have done a good job after a loss of coming back and playing better so I have faith that we’re all going to study hard and come back and redeem ourselves.”

Sophomore offensive guard Luke Bowanko

On going for it on fourth down in the first quarter:

“The strength of our team is our offensive line. There’s a lot of things that go into a play. It was well blocked. There are one or two guys that get edged and Virginia Tech made a great play on their side of the ball. That changes a lot of things that happen during the game, but we expected to get that and we need to do better.”

On having a bowl game left to play:

“The coaches made it clear after the game that this game doesn’t define our season. We have played some great football this year and I think everyone’s aware of that. We have won some close games, some exciting games, and it stinks to come out the last game against our rival and play less than what we’re capable. The reality of the matter is that we have another game to play and we’ll make the most of it.”

Junior running back Perry Jones

On the season:

“We definitely have a sense of pride of what we have accomplished this season. Coming into this season, nobody expected us to get as many wins as we did. Unfortunately we didn’t end on the note that we wanted, but we have another game, so we are going to prepare as well as we can for that.”

On Virginia Tech’s defense:

“They are a very good defense and were swarming to the ball. Obviously they prepared better than we did and came out with the victory.”

On how teams have been shutting down the running game lately:

“No matter what the defense does, it’s up to us to move them off the ball and get positive yardage. We haven’t been able to do that these last couple weeks but we are going to go back to practice and find mistakes.”

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