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Nov. 10, 2012

Virginia vs. Miami
Nov. 10, 2012
Virginia Player/Assistant Coach Quotes

Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor

On the play of the quarterbacks:
“I thought at halftime both quarterbacks were playing very well. They were seeing the defense very well. They were getting the ball off on time and weren’t letting the pressure get to them.”

On the rotation of the quarterbacks:
“It is a random rotation. We reserve the right in certain situations that maybe a certain guy is more suited to how the game is going or how they are playing. What we’ve told them is that the best thing for them to do is approach it like they are the starter. You know you are going to play, you are going to play plenty so prepare like you’re the starter and if you can sleep well at night we will tell you in the morning who is starting.”

Junior Quarterback Michael Rocco

On Jake McGee being the primary receiver on the touchdown play at the end of the game:
“He is the [primary] whenever there is six seconds on the clock and you need a touchdown. We’re taught, especially in the red zone, that if you are not going to hit them right on the numbers that you have to put it high where the defense can’t get it and on the back line where your guy can get it so that’s what I tried to do.”

On his confidence in McGeee in that kind of situation:
“Coming to the line of scrimmage I said, ‘Jake, this one is coming to you, go catch it.’ And he did. I kind of knew pre-snap that I was going to throw it high in the back of the endzone and hopefully he was going to get it.”

On his view of the coverage that allowed him to have success today:
“They just did what we prepared for them to do. They played zone a lot, drop-8, so they left some underneath stuff when they drop back far leaving some crossers. Completions lead to first downs and converting third downs and we did a pretty good job of that especially in the first half. That kind of set me into a little rhythm getting completions and Coach Lazor called a good game for me to get completions.”

On what allows the team to rebound and come back from behind:
“We’re just winners. We all have that winning mentality that if we’re in a position to win it at the end that we’re going to. Sometimes the chips don’t fall as you would like them to but God was on our side today. We all played with guts and effort and got the win.”

On the safety call in the fourth quarter:
“I was confused because first of all I had a flat-route sitting out there that I was trying to throw the ball to but when you get hit there is obviously something that comes off the ball. It was frustrating but you have to bounce back and we did a good job.”

Sophomore Tight End Jake McGee

On what Rocco said to him at the line of scrimmage before the game winning touchdown:
“We had a little communication on the way out. I had a good feeling he was going to put it up for me and I was able to go get it.”

On his big catches this season and preparing for clutch moments:
“Guys have been giving me a lot of grief this past season because I haven’t had a lot of big plays recently. It was starting to catch up to me and get on my nerves a little bit so luckily I was able to make that play.”

On knowing he was inbounds when he came down from the catch:
“I did at first but I wasn’t positive so it was a little nerve-racking for me until I saw it the first time.”

On what was going on in the huddle before the final drive:
“It was real calm, actually. Everyone has complete faith that Mike [Rocco] can lead us down the field and we just knew it was hopefully a matter of time before we could get seven on the board. Everyone knew that this was it. It was our last drive so [Rocco] kept us focused and told us that we got this.”

On knowing he was going to make the last catch and what was going through his head:
“If it came to me, there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to be able to make the catch. If he threw it to me, I knew I had to go get it. I felt like it could have been even higher and I would’ve been able to get it.”

On his relationship with Michael Rocco:
“We do everything competitive. Video games, pick up in the off-season, it doesn’t matter. I like winning. He likes winning so when we can do it together it’s probably the best.”

On what kept the team together even after all the losses:
“It’s frustrating looking back now but it is a group of guys who know what they can do and how we can perform when we’re playing at our full strength. We’ve turned it around a little bit but we just have to keep it going.”

Senior Linebacker Steve Greer

On making stops late in the game:
“Yeah we made some stops when we needed to do it. We have been talking about that all season, making an identity for our defense. There were times when we gave up a little more than we wanted to, and we had a couple missed tackles that cost us, but I think we stepped up when we needed to. We gave the offense a chance and they came through.”

On missed tackles:
“All season I think that has been a strength for us, our tackling. Today we had some missed tackles. I’m sure we will work on it in practice. Let’s not make a habit of it and let it carry for the rest of the season.”

On second half adjustments:
“We knew we had to execute. I think they made a couple plays where guys were out of their lane and they found the lanes. We tightened it up and tried to make sure everyone was executing.”

On playing North Carolina Thursday:
“Yeah it’s a quick turnaround and UNC is a good team. They have a good offense so we are going to have to watch some extra film in order to get ready with the short week.”

Sophomore Quarterback Phillip Sims

On the offense today:
“I think we had a great game plan coming into this week and we just felt confident in executing it. Both of us did a great job in the first half and throughout the game getting the ball to different guys and making plays when we had to.”

On his touchdown run:
“It was a quarterback lead to the left and they pinched the defensive line in, so I bounced left and there was a linebacker standing there waiting on me so I cut it back. I didn’t think I was going to make it into the endzone, but it happened.”

On the team’s energy:
“It was a big time win, two weeks in a row, guys stepped up and made plays when their names were called. We have expected it from ourselves all season long and I think we are finally starting to come together. It’s finally showing on the field on Saturdays.”

On the possibility of playing in a bowl:
“This is something we never gave up on. Going to a bowl game was never out of our reach as far as we were concerned. Winning these last two games has really put us in position. This is a tournament now, you win and you’re in, you lose and you go home. This is the situation we put ourselves in, but we have to make the best of it and come out on top.”

On his performance:
“It was decent. There are some things I could have done differently, but it was all right.”

Sophomore Cornerback Demetrius Nicholson

On the team not losing hope after starting 2-6:
“That was our whole motto coming in to these last few games. The only people that matter are sitting in the room, that’s what Coach London tells us at meetings. Outside the room you will have people that will root for you when you’re doing well but will leave you when you’re not. As long as we stick together as a team, anything is possible. We have been going off of that and have made a nice little run here.”

On Coach London’s optimism:
“It would have been really easy to get down after our losing streak, but Coach London stays optimistic about everything. It trickles down to the rest of our team and when we start winning people start believing. The more you believe, the better you do.”

On the defensive effort today:
“We did pretty well. There are a lot of plays we wish we could have back but overall we fought all the way until the end. We never gave up and hung our head after giving up a big play. The offense kept scoring and we got them the ball back when we needed it.”

On getting the tackle to end the game on special teams:
“It was a great feeling. I knew there were six seconds so I knew the time would run out and we just had to get him (Duke Johnson) to the ground. It was one of the best feelings ever.”

Sophomore Wide Receiver Darius Jennings

On the comeback:
“All along we kind of knew deep down that the game was in our hands. We had to take control of our own destiny. Once we got the ball with two minutes left, we knew we were going to go down there and come out with a win.”

On finding space in the back of the endzone:
“That’s just something that we practice. Just in case there is some room back there, the quarterback can throw it up and we can still land in bounds.”

On the receiving corps coming together:
“That’s something we have been working on all year, it’s something we stress. After our six-game losing streak, we rallied together and said we are going to start from scratch. We worked on technique, all the basics, and it has proven itself these last two games.”

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