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Oct. 20, 2012

Virginia vs. Wake Forest
Oct. 20, 2012
Virginia Player/Assistant Coach Quotes

Special Teams Coordinator Anthony Poindexter

On big punt return early to set up the Wake Forest touchdown:
“We punted the ball into the corner. We have to have coverage there, we have to get off. I have to watch the tape to make sure what happened but stuff like that should never happen. Great punt, we pinned it right where we wanted it, but not coming out with enough intensity should never happen.”

On talking to Khalek (Shepherd) after the game
“I love him, this man is great. No one outworks him, no one catches more punts at practice. When you play you know things like that can happen and it was just magnified because it was the last play of the game. He didn’t cost us the game because there were 80 plays before it in the game that affected it. That penalty right before the half is just as big. That block in the back gives them the ball again and they get three points. For him, hold his head high and don’t think about it because there were a lot of things that went into it. It wasn’t just that one play.”

On the last fumble:
“They got great hangtime on that punt. Maybe the wind was swirling around and if you run up on it too much by just a touch it’s going to hit you right in the face and that’s what it looks like happened. Khalek did a great job. You aren’t going to find a harder worker than him so I can’t blame the game on him. I think there were things early in the game that put us at that point.”

Senior Linebacker Steve Greer

On losing despite a strong defensive effort:
“We’re playing well and we have to continue to build off it, keep practicing well, and keep giving ourselves a chance to win. It’s frustrating. I don’t think there’s one person on this team that likes to lose, so we just have to use this bye week and fix some of these mistakes so we stop beating ourselves.”

On his injury suffered in the game:
“It’s one of those things that happens in pileups so it’s good.”

On fine play of the secondary backing up the front seven:
“Today I think we were meshing well. Eleven guys were playing well. We were playing together as a unit. A lot of different people were stepping up and making plays, which is good.”

On the bye week coming up:
“After a loss you want to get right back on the field, but I think the bye week is going to be good for us. It will be a good week to watch film and try to fix a lot of the mistakes we were making.”

On strong third down play by the defense:
“Last season I think we were first in the ACC in third downs and that was something we wanted to keep up with our defense going into the season so I think we’ve been doing that well. I think we’ve done really well on third down. It was definitely a point of emphasis in this game. When guys were executing and making big plays it turned out really well.”

Sophomore Defensive Tackle Chris Brathwaite

On frustration of losing:
“I want to play again right now. I’d rather play tomorrow. These last six games you build up a lot of anger and aggression and you want to just go out there and beat up on the person in front of you. You always have to keep your composure. You have another opportunity in two weeks against NC State. We just have to go practice hard, work on not having penalties and lining up right, no face masks and stuff like that. We just have to work on the little stuff and be more disciplined as a team.”

On playing more this week:
“I just feel like the coach is going to put in whoever is playing well at the time. Before every drive he tells us who is going in, he tells me I can’t get tired and I have to keep it going, so the coaches go with whoever is playing well. I’m happy they have faith in me to go out there and get the job done.”

On failing to get over hump in losing streak:
“It’s frustrating but we’re going to get over it. You have to keep your composure. That’s the thing about being a man. As a man, obstacles come into your life that you have to get over so as men we have to keep our composure, keep it going. We’re going to fight no matter what the score is, we just have to keep fighting every week. Every day in practice we have to prepare. Preparation is a big thing for us. We have to prepare and keep our composure, just be a mature team.”

On walking away from a loss:
“It’s really tough. Every loss is tough. One point, seven points, 50 points, any loss is tough because all competitors want to win games, so it’s really tough to walk away. At the end of the day you know it’s not death. We have five more games to play and five more games we can win. We can finish the season 6-6 and go play for 7-6 so that’s what we are working toward.”

Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor

On quarterback Phillip Sims:
“I saw times today where he kept getting better and better. He saw things better as he was out there. I’m certain that he will keep getting better. We have to make sure that we aren’t giving them the ball, which has been a problem for a long time for us. We clearly haven’t addressed that enough and we will continue to address it.”

On what the team will focus on during the bye week:
“I think we’ll certainly do a good job studying ourselves and finding things that maybe haven’t been apparent in our normal weekly studies to make sure we are getting to the bottom of everything. We’ve got to really focus on the fundamentals. I think when it comes to things like turnovers and penalties it is pretty easy to go back to the basics and point out where the issues have been and make sure that we are doing a better job coaching and getting the guys to handle those problems.”

On the red zone being the biggest problem:
“I don’t know if it is the biggest thing. Going into the season we felt like we could get more touchdowns than we have. Today by the stats in the redzone—we had a field goal and a touchdown—I thought we had an opportunity and some momentum, but a penalty backed us up one time and made it hard to convert it. That is one of the issues and we will continue to address it. I felt we improved it in some ways but at the same time when you play a game like this you only get so many opportunities so when you get those opportunities you’ve got to make it seven.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Reid

On Virginia defensive tackle Chris Brathwaite:
“It is interesting. He had a really good summer. He came in and talked to the coaches a lot. He has gradually started to become a really good football player. He really has some monumental stats in the weight room. He’s really developed into a really hard worker and he’s really stayed focused. He and Jeff Hanson work really well together.”

On Brathwaite’s play in the game today:
“He gave us two or three really big plays when we really had to have them today. He gave us some tackles for loss on plays that started as second-and-one and then ended up third-and-three and then ended up a stop. Just like we said last week, you have to get better every week when you have a young crowd. And that is what we have right now; we have a young crowd. They have to play brave every play. You can’t be afraid.”

Sophomore Quarterback Phillip Sims

On the game’s slow start:
“It was a slow start. I didn’t get things going the way I wanted early. I think things got clicking more at the end of the first half going into the second half. We moved the ball pretty well throughout the second half, but we just didn’t finish drives with points and it hurt us in the end. “

On not getting touchdowns after long drives:
“It is disappointing because as the offense when you move the ball that far down the field, you feel that you are doing a pretty good job executing the offense. But tonight we didn’t get points out of those drives. We didn’t get touchdowns out of those drives. It is a little disappointing but you just have to put that behind you and try to come back the next drive and do the same thing but try to finish it off. We just weren’t able to do that enough today.”

On the Wake Forest defensive line:
“They move those guys a lot. They slant them a lot. They move the line and the linebackers. They don’t do a lot of blitzing but as far as what they do up front, they slant those guys. They are pretty quick up front and get penetration on the quarterback. Those guys did a heck of a job today. I take nothing away from them.”

On his interception in the fourth quarter:
“It was a double move. The corners on both sides did a good job covering it. We had a little bit of pressure so I tried to get it out there and give it a chance. I wanted to put it where he could get it or nobody could get it. I kind of got hit so it took a little bit off the throw. I have to make a better decision like that in the red zone.”

On every game having the same theme:
“You would like to think that as a team you are learning from your mistakes the previous weeks, but for the little things that keep creeping up it is just something that we need to hone in on and practice in the off week.”

Junior Wide Receiver Tim Smith

On getting back into a game:
“It felt great. I’ve been on the sideline for the past two games, so being out there this whole week of practice felt great. I feel like I add another presence to the team, especially on offense, so it felt good to be back out there. “

On the growth of Phillip Sims:
“He is definitely stepping into his role. He is getting more comfortable with the offense, just by him acknowledging what is going on on the field and correcting people sometimes in practice when things are all messed up. I just see growth from him. “

On the six-game losing streak:
“It seems like we can’t catch a break, but we just have to push it each and every week. It wasn’t specifically one thing that caused us to lose the game; it was a lot of stuff. We left a lot of plays out there on the field so we can’t point fingers or anything like that. We just have to take it for what it is.”

On the bye week coming at a good or bad time:
“I guess it’s not good or bad. We definitely need to focus more on ourselves this week. We just need to try to piece things together. I feel like we’re close. We’ve been close for the last four weeks. I don’t know what it is that needs to get us over that hump, but hopefully we find it with this bye week.”

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