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Virginia vs. Penn State
Sept. 8, 2012
Virginia Players Quotes
Junior Center Luke Bowanko
On the fumbled snap:
“Those things happen and like any other bad play, you have forget about it and just move on. It’s not something that has been going on in practice or all camp, it’s kind of a fluke thing. The play was pretty much equal on both of us, I have to get up there and he has to stay in. It happens, you move on.”
On his emotions during Penn State’s final field goal attempt:
“It’s reminiscent of last year at Florida State. Whoever turned the rain machine on, thanks. It’s almost at that point you did all you can do, it’s in their hands. Luckily, guys made plays out there and it went wide left.”
On Penn State taking a timeout before Rocco’s 4th quarter touchdown pass:
“It always helps getting on the sideline so Coach Lazor can tell us what he wants us to do. It definitely helped to get organized, guys got their assignments, and the rest is history.”
On the running game today:
“We knew going in that they had a great defensive line, they do a lot of things and move a lot. They have great linebackers and good support in the backend. Weknew it was a challenge coming in and obviously we weren’t as productive as we wanted to be.”
Sophomore Tight End Jake McGee
On his 44-yard catch on the final drive:
“I was fired up and trying to get some more points on the board. Rocco scrambled out of the pocket, he put it up, and I somehow came down with it. I don’t know how I came down with it, but it stuck.”
On whether having two Quarterbacks play affects the rhythm of the offense:
“We didn’t have a great day on offense, but we had enough points to win the game. It was good enough, but we are going to have to improve a lot to keep winning this season.”
Sophomore Linebacker Henry Coley
On the defense today:
“The defense had to step up today. We started off slow as a team, but the offense stepped up last week and we had to this time.”
Senior Linebacker Steve Greer
On the defensive mindset today:
“That’s what Coach Reid emphasizes everyday, that when you are put in a tough spot,that’s where defenses show up. We really wanted to execute and create an identity for ourselves.”
On what it says about the team pulling out the win:
“I think we’re resilient. We did some of that last season and I think every part of our program is geared towards that. No matter what, we’re no easy out. If we stay focused and give 110% every play, good things will happen.”
On having experience in crucial situations:
“I think that creates maturity on defense, on both sides of the ball. We’ve been thrown into that situation before, but we knew what to expect and executed.”

Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor

On Jake McGee:
“McGee has come a long way. I remember when he came to UVa as a quarterback and it was probably two practices into his first experience here as a freshman when he came and told us he would rather be the next Heath Miller. So he made the decision to move to tight end. He’s worked very hard at it. He’s very talented guy. He makes those catches all the time in practice. We know now we can count on him.”

On the rushing production today:
“When I look at the numbers, I’m not happy with our rushing average. I think we struggle in a lot of positions. I think they are very talented up front, and we knew that cominginto the game. I feel like they do a good job with their defensive line. They play low and they play hard. They are physical players. Their linebackers are all three physical players so we expected it to be a battle up front. We wanted it to be pretty. Unfortunately, today was ugly as far as the penalties and the turnovers. It’s amazing as a team we were able to find a way to win it.”

Junior Quarterback Michael Rocco

On the team’s final drive downfield:
“We practice it all the time. It doesn’t necessarily work out when you practice it all the time but this time it did. We stubbed our foot a couple times with penalties and we had big plays. It was just like a roller coaster drive, but we all kept our composure when we needed to. I give all the credit to the playmakers and our receivers and running backs and Jake McGee making great plays. Our line did a good job protecting it.”

On Jake McGee’s playmaking ability and playing againsthim in high school:
“He is a great playmaker. I saw his playmaking ability in high school. We have a good connection right now and he’s making plays and it’s really exciting.”

On being taken out of the game:
“My job is to lead the team in whatever way possible. When I was taken out, I figured I was a leader from the sideline and I had to stay poised and stay composed.”

On being 2-0:
“It is exciting being 2-0 and having an exciting win like this today. But we’ve got a lot of things to work on. We are going to celebrate this victory, but we know where we have to get better and what we have to do to get better. We have the guys to do it.”

Sophomore Free Safety Anthony Harris

On winning the game regardless of Virginia mistakes:
“We are just lucky to come out with a win in that situation. But during the game you try to play a perfect game. Mistakes are going to come but you just try to limit them in the best way you can.”

On the shoestring tackle that saved a touchdown on Penn State’s final drive:
“We are just fortunate he was able to get him down in the open field. It could have gone either way, and we are lucky it went our way.”

Junior Tight End Jeremiah Mathis

On Michael Rocco being taken out of the game and coming back to make a game-winning drive:
“He just had to push through it and come down and make that huge play with Jake [McGee] down there at the end. It just shows what kind of man he is. He is one of our leaders and when times get rough he pulls us through.

On being 2-0 before road games begin:
“This is huge. It gives us a lot of confidence. When you go 2-0 and you’re home and you go out on the road your confidence skyrockets. I think we are in a really good place right now.”

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