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Nov. 22, 2014

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­­Virginia vs. Miami

Nov. 22, 2014

Virginia Head Coach Mike London Quotes

On the game:

“What a great win for this team. We never doubted ourselves and we always believed. It was great to watch a game like that unfold against a very good football team. I am so proud today of our effort on all phases: offense, defense and special teams. I am happy for our players – they deserve it. It is short lived, because we have a quick turnaround and have to go play our last regular-season game on the road. We are moving forward and moving on.”

On the halftime mentality:

“We had the mentality that we were ahead, and if they don’t score anymore – we will win the game. In the second half, we scored points, got turnovers and did a lot of good things. That’s what you want to see – you want to see progress.”

On Khalek Shepherd’s performance:

“It was an outstanding performance. Khalek is a selfless guy. I can’t say enough about a guy who has played his last home game and who has been such an instrumental part of our offense. He did a great job today.”

On the strong defensive performance:

“The defensive coaches had a great game plan. I believe Duke Johnson is one of the best running backs in the country and he was held under his rushing average. Our players did a good job of taking their assignments. Turnovers, sacks and fumbles – the type of defense that we need to continue to play.”

On Canaan Severin’s TD catch:

“That was a phenomenal catch, one of the best catches I have ever seen. I am so happy for him.”

On team not capitalizing on early momentum:

“Our goal was to eat as much clock as possible. Our running game was doing a lot of things for us. At that time in the game, it was about taking time off the clock.”

Sophomore Linebacker Max Valles

On how the defense contained Miami’s offense:

“The biggest thing is we stopped Duke Johnson and the running game, which forced them to pass. [Brad] Kaaya is a great quarterback, but he’s young, so we put him in a position where he had to throw a lot. We got them out of their offense.”

On creating takeaways:

“It’s definitely good to get back to creating turnovers. That was us all season up to the Pittsburgh game. We got back to that.”

On how the team prepared:

“We’ve got 25 seniors and this is our last ride. As one of the younger guys, I felt like I had to give it everything I had. As a team, everyone did his job tonight and it was a great win.”

Sophomore Quarterback Greyson Lambert

On what he said to Canaan Severin after his touchdown catch:

“Honestly, I just ran over there and brushed his shoulders off a little bit. I didn’t really have words. It was crazy.”

On converting touchdowns in the red zone down the stretch:

“We were able to run the ball pretty well all game. Some of it was the play design. Coach [Steve] Fairchild did a great job calling the plays, especially with that edge sweep to Darius [Jennings].”

Junior Wide Receiver Canaan Severin

On the TD catch:

“I was surprised I even caught it to be honest. Greyson put me in a good spot to make a play and I made it. Lucky for me, I don’t think even the safety thought I was going to get it so he went behind me for the pick. Everything fell in place.”

On the win’s importance:

“It was a big game. It was senior night and our record was 4-6, and we know that as a team we still can be bowl eligible, so the fact that the game was a do or die situation really made it big, so we came to play.”

On the locker room:

“The locker room was ecstatic. That’s what we needed. When you lose four in a row, you need something to pick you back up. It would be easy to just put our heads down and say ‘we lost four in a row, let’s just play these last two and be over with it.’ But that is not what this team is about.”

On the second half:

“We knew that we just had to come out there and play hard. We know that we have struggled in the second half in games this year, so we knew that we had to play rough and put some points on the board. Especially when we are facing an offense like Miami with their elite athletes. We knew we had to score against them and our defense did a good job of holding them.”

Senior Tailback Khalek Shepherd

On Kevin Parks’ injury:

“First we just had to make sure that he is okay and that nothing bad happened to him. I already knew what he told me after that, with our next man up mentality I had to play well for him. He had confidence in me and I know that Coach Fairchild has confidence in me. I just had to show up and perform.”

On his performance:

“I guess you could say that it was my best personal performance but I am not even looking at that. I’m looking at us as a whole team, and we came together today because we had a common goal that we were trying to reach. Our backs were against the wall and we just had to keep fighting.”

On the win’s importance:

“Getting a win is great. These past few weeks we have been busting our tails and things haven’t really gone our way, but tonight it seemed like the ball was rolling in our favor because we have been working so hard day in and day out to be successful. Our motto since day one has just been ‘take it one game as a time.'”

Miami Head Coach Al Golden Quotes

On the team’s preparation for the game:

“Obviously we started out the game with a 7-0 lead. Even when they came down and responded, we were able to hold them to a field goal there. So yeah, I would say we were ready to play. We knew what they were on defense. We didn’t protect Brad [Kaaya] well enough. We didn’t run the ball well enough. We didn’t convert enough on third down. And when you factor in the turnovers, we just had the defense on the field too long. We got beat in all three phases today.”

On explaining the team’s penalties:

“I can’t. I’m going to watch them all and then I’ll decide how I’ll address it with the team. I can’t explain it right now.”

On Virginia’s desperation coming into the game:

“We knew exactly what Virginia was. Virginia played a hell of a schedule this year and we knew exactly what they were. We watched them against Florida State. They played really well on defense, but they turned the ball over. They didn’t turn the ball over tonight. We didn’t create any takeaways and we didn’t convert enough on third down. We didn’t possess the ball and our defense was out there too long so their yards came. They’ve had an excellent defense all year. They stopped our run and they hit Brad [Kaaya] way too many times. We didn’t do a good enough job of protecting Brad. That’s my responsibility.”

On the effect of last week’s loss to Florida State:

“We cannot make excuses. At the end of the day, we got beat in all three phases of the game. It had nothing to do with last week. Last week had no bearing on how we played tonight. They played better than us.”

On Jamal Carter’s performance in his first career start:

“I think Deon [Bush] was playing well for us, there’s no doubt about that. We certainly missed Deon tonight. In terms of Jamal, I think he played hard. Obviously he had a penalty after the interception that didn’t help our field position at all. We just have to be smarter than that. I think he did a lot of good things and there’s a lot he is going to learn from.”

Miami Player Quotes

Sophomore safety Jamal Carter

On the game:

“We all knew we could’ve played better, but we can’t point any fingers. We have to play better as a team. We have to get it right in practice this week.”

On the injury to Herb Waters:

“I wouldn’t say we lost our concentration, but everyone was sad after that. He just waved to us and gave us a thumbs up so that we knew he was alright.”

Senior wide receiver Philip Dorsett

On the injury to Herb Waters:

“Like Jamal [Carter] said, it was really tough seeing something like that happen to one of your teammates and close friends. So you just have to pray that he is all right, and play for him.”

On Duke Johnson trying to inspire the team:

“He basically said, ‘whatever you have inside you, bring it out. Give it your all and leave nothing on the field.'”

On the high number of penalties:

“That’s just all starts with discipline. You can’t have that many penalties and expect to win. That is just not going to happen. It is something we have to fix in practice to make sure it doesn’t happen next game.”

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