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Sept. 26, 2015

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Virginia vs. Boise State
Sept. 25, 2015

Head Coach Mike London Quotes

Opening statement:
“Obviously, we played poorly tonight. You can’t have five turnovers. After our first play from scrimmage, it all went downhill. That’s another good football team, but we can play better than that and we have. The (bye week) break for us now is to take care of ourselves, get some guys healed up, and get ready for our first conference game against Pittsburgh. This game isn’t indicative of the effort we’ve given in the past. There are a lot of things we need to correct moving forward.”

On opening play:
“You have to be able to bounce back from these things. It’s about how you respond. They got seven points just like that and it started to snowball from there. It’s about keeping your head up and moving on to the next play. We couldn’t get stops when we needed to. When it got to third down situations, we weren’t very successful. They made plays and executed on offense and defense and we couldn’t counter.”

On offensive line struggles:
“They put a tremendous amount of pressure on our tackles and made Matt [Johns] step up in the pocket. When you do that, you have to make sure you can see clearly downfield. I don’t know how many sacks they got, but they got after us. There was enough pressure that caused us to move and run and try to pull the ball down to convert but we couldn’t get the first downs. That’s another good defense. That’s a team that’s very athletic.”

On penalties:
“No penalties are good penalties, and particularly on special teams. This is an opportunity for us to coach and teach our players proper technique. For us to instill that is critically important. There were a lot of penalties on special teams and in the return game in particular. We have to go back and make the adjustments or make the moves to get the right guys in there who can perform and execute.”

On state of the team after loss:
“You can stay united or stay divided. There’s enough talk about being divided and finger pointing and wondering who to blame. You can fall into that trap or you can stay united – a team can continue to bond and strengthen itself in terms of resolve. We’ve gone through a four game stretch here where we’ve been tested. We have an opportunity to address our issues with this bye week coming up. We’ve got to stay together. With conference games coming up, we haven’t been good enough at 1-3. We’ve had spurts where we’ve played well but we have to play better. It’s about unity. When there’s divisiveness and finger pointing, teams corrode. We have to make sure we stay together and it’s still the early part of the season. There is disappointment in the locker room and the leadership in there talked about it at length after I finished speaking with them. We’ve got to regroup and get ourselves back in the mindset of having a can-do attitude and we have to embrace that.”

Virginia Player Quotes

Junior Quarterback Matt Johns

On the locker room atmosphere:
“The first thing we said is ‘Don’t point fingers.’ This is a team effort and it was a tough one tonight, but we just need to move forward.”

On the early interception:
“It was just a stupid play by me really. I was trying to throw the ball in the dirt and the guy kind of saw me around. It got away from me and they scored, but I didn’t let it affect me. I came back and threw the touchdown to TJ (Thorpe).”

On TJ Thorpe:
“After the touchdown they started doubling him a lot and dropping a lot of guys into coverage while really only rushing three, so that was tough not having him downfield as much.”

On the offense:
“The problem was caused by a little bit of both us and them. They are a very good football team and once they stopped our run and knew it was a passing down they started covering well down the field and dropping into the holes. Credit to them for stopping us.”

Junior Linebacker Zach Bradshaw

On the locker room:
“It was pretty positive – as positive as a locker room can be after a loss like that. We’re really focused on moving forward into conference play. The week off will be tremendously helpful for us, giving us the extra time to prepare for Pitt.”

“The captains were mostly saying that we have to keep our heads up and that we can’t let this loss get to us. We did not play well at all, so if we continue to play like this, obviously, we are going to have a similar season as the few in the past. We have to keep our heads up and stay unified as a group without pointing figures. We have to move on.”

Senior Wide Receiver TJ Thorpe

On his touchdown catch:
“I don’t care if I made one play or a thousand plays. If we don’t win, it’s never going to be enough. But just being back out there felt pretty good. I got considerably more plays this game than last game. That was definitely something that I really enjoyed. I look forward to building.”

On the Boise State defense:
“It wasn’t really them as much. I take my hat off to them. They had a good scheme. They started off playing one-on-one. After the touchdown, every time I was in the boundary for the rest of the game, they had a linebacker over me with the corner behind him. It definitely made it difficult to get into routes. That’s why Matt (Johns) was sitting back there, but no one was open.”

Junior Running Back Taquan Mizzell

On Boise State:
“I feel like they were the best team we played. They’re a good team overall, defensive-wise and offensive-wise. We knew they were going to be a good team regardless of the ranking. Everything we saw on film, we saw out on the field. They’re a pretty good team. Don’t take anything away from them.”

On his touchdown catch:
“On that play they just brought pressure and manned up. I don’t think they played a lot of man tonight, but the one time they did, I just had to beat my man, get open and get the touchdown.”

On the bye week:
“It’s really big. I think it came at the perfect time. We just have to regroup, get everything going again and we’ll be all right.”

On biggest thing to improve for offense going forward:
“Overall, we just need to regroup. We just have to make sure we get we confidence back. It’s about to be a big stretch going into ACC play, so we have to get everything back rolling.”

Senior Defensive Tackle David Dean

On Virginia mistakes:
“We have to restructure during the bye week. Practice, meetings, we just have to continue to fix the little mistakes we’re making and find what makes us better as a team.”

On what Virginia talked about in locker room post-game:
“Just leave the game behind. Stay focused. Just to not get down on ourselves and stay together. When teams lose, they have a tendency to separate and form groups that keep pointing the finger at each other. I have full confidence that that won’t be us at all.”

On the bye week:
“After these last four games, I think it’s good for us. We just need to look at what we did poorly the last four games and what we did well, and then just build off of that.”

Boise State Head Coach Bryan Harsin Quotes

On mentality going into game:
“We needed to figure out a way, on the road, to play better and create more momentum. You can’t create it any faster than getting a touchdown on the very first play of the game. Our deal was to get fast start and we needed to get things in our favor in a hurry, not just from the defensive side but from the offensive. Either way we wanted to create the momentum for our quarterback, for our team, for the mentality that we wanted to play with and we did exactly that.”

On the defense:
“We are really proud of the defense. You have five turnovers, two touchdowns and a safety. We don’t do gameballs, but if I had one it was for the defense. If you play like that, that’s a game changer. That made a whole lot of difference and our offense took advantage of those turnovers. We were able to put points on the board.”

On quarterback Brett Rypien:
“I think Brett did a very nice job tonight. The thing I was most proud of Brett was when he got hit, he got up. Not just for the sake of getting up, but that’s the number one requirement when you play quarterback is toughness. Get up. And he continued to do that. He took some shots tonight. I know he felt them, and we need to protect him, but he got back up, he kept competing.”

On team as a whole:
“I’m proud of our staff, with the travel, and the whole week of operation. I’m proud of our players with the travel, and having to handle school, tests, football and just their focus. Overall, I’m really proud of our guys.”

On the game and rest of season:
“I think that this springboards us, into that [league play] with plenty of things to continue to get better at. It’s not perfect, I know that, and I know that we are still a work in progress.”

Boise State Player Quotes

Junior Linebacker Ben Weaver

On making big plays on defense:
“We’ve needed to have one of these games all year. We haven’t scored on defense. We’ve been lacking in the turnover area so we made that a point of emphasis, especially on the road. They were going to come out with momentum and by starting out with turnovers we were able to make that momentum for ourselves and get the ball back to the offense.”

On the team’s fast start:
“It was good but you cannot stop. We scored 17 points that fast and they can do it just as well. We had to come out and make sure we played a full four-quarter game.”

On Brett [Rypien] leading the offense:
“He was the ultimate leader out there. I know how difficult our offense is, so to see him out there and running it the way he did, make the decisions he did, it was really exciting. The kid is a baller. He plays like that all the time and makes plays.”

Sophomore Running Back Jeremy McNichols

On the fast start for Boise State:
“It was very important. The past few weeks we didn’t get out as fast as we wanted. The past few games we didn’t even start out with a first down. We just wanted to come out fast and finish.”

On Brett [Rypien] making his first start:
“I think he did great. He took control of the offense. Everyone rallied around him and that gave him confidence. He did great tonight. Coach [Bryan] Harsin and the offensive staff have been getting him ready since camp. As a freshman, it’s tough. Last year I was only getting four to five plays [as a freshman] but he has to remember the whole playbook. That’s his job. His poise was most impressive to me. He got hit, he got up, he operated. He was confident. We were fast on offense and finished all of our drives.”

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