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Oct. 31, 2015

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Virginia vs. Georgia Tech
Oct. 31, 2015

Virginia Head Coach Mike London Quotes

On the feeling in the Virginia locker room after the win:
“There are a lot of elated guys in that locker room. It’s great when you can play a close game against a tough opponent and come out on the winning end. We did some good things out there today, but we also did things that didn’t work to our advantage. Again, we found a way to win a tight game in the end. I’m happy for the players in that locker room that went through that because it shows that you can overcome things and not have that ‘here we go again’ mentality.”

On the performance of Matt Johns:
“It’s all about improvement. The thing about Matt is that he doesn’t let the highs get him too high or the lows get him too low. He responds to the challenge. He was on the sideline encouraging his teammates and the players rallied around him. Georgia Tech did a good job on that interception dropping a lineman and the lineman made a play. I thought Matt bounced back well from that. He used his feet a little more to extend drives and he played within himself. I love Matt Johns as a quarterback and as a leader for this team. We’re all going to have to play better to do things that are going to help us continue along this path. There’s a maturity Matt has that resonates with these guys and they’ll follow him.”

On stopping Georgia Tech’s rushing attack:
“The defensive coaches did a great job game-planning to this specific style of play. Kelvin Rainey played an outside linebacker position and we switched Micah Kiser and Zach Bradshaw there. Micah was an outside linebacker today and Zach was backed off the ball a bit as a middle linebacker. We played some different techniques up front which allowed us to cause some issues and some confusion in terms of the quarterback’s reads. They’ve been running that offense for a long time and they’ve probably seen every defense known to mankind. But I thought we did a really good job today of doing some things to hit the quarterback and take out their leading rusher. It was a culmination of effort, game plan and execution.”

On controlling the line of scrimmage and time of possession:
“I thought that was key because they are a ‘grind it out’ style of offense. One thing they’ve shown more this year is that they’re willing to throw the ball. We wanted to make sure that when we had the ball, we wanted to create opportunities for us to take time off the clock and score points. We got down to the one-yard line a few times but had to settle for field goals. We’ll need to work on red zone offense moving forward.”

On the offense mixing up the play calls on the opening drive:
“We started off well in the first quarter last game with some different looks and wrinkles. We wanted to mix up the formations and drive the ball to give us an opportunity to get on the board first.”

On pressuring quarterback Justin Thomas on defense:
“There were some times where we got after him and made him move his feet. There were a couple times where he was running and throwing off his back foot and they resulted in some incomplete passes. A lot of our success on third and fourth down situations was due to us dialing it up on defense. We wanted to make sure we put pressure in his face. I thought we did a good job hitting him and making him run. I think that was a large part of the defensive plan we had today.”

On the feeling on the sidelines during Georgia Tech’s final drive:
“It’s always important to show a level of calm and composure. Everybody knows I’m a very energetic and passionate guy but sometimes I can do better in times like that. That’s one thing I wanted to show. I wanted to project a level of confidence and calmness and the guys responded with their play toward the end of the game.”

UVA Player Quotes

Sophomore Linebacker Micah Kiser

On defense as a whole:
“We all just did our assignment. Everyone just does their job. We’ll take them out of the run game. We pretty much did that today. Only 150 yards rushing and (a lot) came on one play. I think we did pretty well out there.”

On defensive switch with Zach Bradshaw:
“It was fine. We’ve been playing pretty interchangeably over the last couple of weeks. We both know each other’s assignments so it was fine.”

On moving forward against Miami next week:
“We just had a lot of fun out there today. Guys were flying around making plays, rushing the quarterback, fumble recoveries, we almost scored a touchdown on the first series. Just having fun. We’ve gained a lot of confidence and a lot of guys have been having way more fun. That was a big thing for us early on in the season. We weren’t really making plays. We were playing tight. But now we’ve loosened up a little bit. So hopefully down the stretch we can keep that going.”

On going back out after the onside kick:
“We were just saying ‘we got to finish.’ We knew it was going to come down to us finishing the game out. Offense wasn’t really scoring a lot in that second half. But we just said, “Hey, if they don’t score we are going to win this game.” So we just went out there, bowed our necks and got it done at the end.”

Senior Linebacker Mike Moore

On the win and its impact on the rest of the season:
“We look at the schedule and you look at the rest of the teams that we have to play and mentally you know that you can win every game. So you just have to go into every game knowing that you can win the game.”

On handling quarterback Justin Thomas:
“He’s a very good athlete. He can move back there and he can throw the ball. We got in his face as much as we could when he was getting the ball. We made him move his feet as much as he could throwing the ball as much as we could. Just trying to rumble him up a little bit. “

On last two minutes on the field:
“It’s definitely tiring being out there for that many plays. But you know you got to buckle up, get your helmet and just keep going hard.”

RS Junior Quarterback Matt Johns

On the importance of this win:
“Everyone is always asking ‘what is the locker room like?’ This group stays positive. We needed it. We needed to get this win. We knew if we did what the coaches asked and played smart football, we would get it. Sometimes penalties like that will hurt you, but at the end of the day that’s football and you just have to limit them. I thought that we played smart football today and it was a big bounce back for us.”

On big play to Canaan Severin:
“Our run game was doing so well today, so I was getting out of the pocket a bit and getting some of the nakeds [bootlegs]. So I was hitting the flat routes and they finally started to see what we were doing and they jumped in with their defensive end. I was either going to run and I was kind of looking back to take the cut back and I saw Canaan [Severin] in the middle of the field wide open and he just made a great play to come back and score.”

On controlling the clock:
“That’s what our defense is capable of doing. They did a great job of that today and I am so proud of those guys.”

On running game:
“That’s what we are capable of doing. That’s our potential. When you reach your potential, it’s a special thing. All three of our running backs played so well today and I am so proud of those guys. The credit goes to the offensive line. They deserve it. They played their tails off and it was a lot of pun to play with them today.”

Senior Wide Receiver Canaan Severin

On touchdown pass from Matt Johns:
“I don’t think that play was really designed for me, but he looks for me. He’s counting on me.”

On the running game:
“It’s good because it opens up other options for us. It opens up the fakes and it opens up the pass game. We have a lot of ways to run the ball so it’s really good for us. We showed up and executed today.”

Sophomore Tailback Daniel Hamm

On locker room:
“We were celebrating a little bit. It was good to get the win. Being 3-5 is not where we want to be, but we are heading in the right direction. It’s coming together.”

On moving forward:
“We get the film rolling and back on the practice field on Tuesday.”

Sophomore Safety Quin Blanding

On fourth down play:
“I just saw him stop and I saw that everyone else was covered and he was uncovered. I just dove because I knew I had to make a play. I saw where the ball was going and my best bet was to get the balls out of his hands.”

Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson Quotes

On falling apart after getting the ball to start the third quarter:
“We miss a read, bust a play on the second play, maybe we tried to throw a hitch that should have been converted and wasn’t converted. We were our own worst enemy. Then the next time we get the ball we fumble the ball, just too soft with it.”

On Defensive Tackle Adam Gotsis being injured on the first play from scrimmage:
“Adam has been our best player on defense. He is kind of a leader out there, so that didn’t help.”

On possibly coming out flat after emotional Florida State victory:
“I don’t know, there wasn’t a lot of energy really in the stadium. We talked about that, we knew it. That’s no excuse, you have just got to play. When you’ve won three games, you shouldn’t be flat about anything. We’ve got a lot of young kids, and I’ve done a very poor job of teaching them what it takes to win. Still the bottom line comes down to turnovers. That’s what it comes down to, if you win the turnover battle.”

On missing tackles against the run game:
We missed a ton of tackles. Their back is a good back, and the play that killed us was the speed sweep that we worked on all week, and we had guys rolling down out of the secondary and corners that were supposed to be firing and we couldn’t get it done. Guys couldn’t get off the block.”

On wide receivers getting behind the secondary multiple times:
“They were playing the run, and the one we missed in the third quarter, it was play action and we had the guy on the post wide open and it was huge. We had a couple guys wide open and we missed them, and that time was one of the times we had protection and we just didn’t make a play.”

On the offensive line having trouble run blocking:
“We didn’t have the ball a whole lot, and that was our own fault. When you fumble the first drive away, and then you fumble the second drive away in the second half, and they were consuming seven and eight minutes when they get the ball, there’s not a lot of turns. I thought that when we ran the option, Clinton (Lynch) hit one big play on the pitch, but there weren’t a lot of big plays. Some of it was misreads, some of it was the blocking.”

On Virginia Linebacker Micah Kiser’s pass deflection in the endzone:
“I don’t know how that’s not pass interference. The guy ain’t even looking for the ball. They can fine me if they want, but that was ridiculous. He’s face guarding and running into the guys and everything else.”

Georgia Tech Player Quotes

Redshirt Senior Safety Jamal Golden

On the team’s energy:
“There wasn’t quite as much [energy] as there was last week, but we kind of knew that there wasn’t going to be a big crowd. We knew there wasn’t going to be a lot of energy, so we knew that we had to bring our own energy. I feel like for the most part effort wasn’t a part. It was just we have to execute better.”

On missed tackles:
“We missed some tackles. They made us tackle in space, and we have to do a better job. It isn’t like we don’t practice that.”

On their inability to stop the run:
“We just didn’t stop the run. They ran the ball pretty well. We just have to fill our assignments, get in our gaps, stop the ball, and put them in obvious pass situations.”

On UVA’s multiple options out of the backfield:
“It makes you think. There is no question about it. But that is not an excuse for us to not do our job. We practiced that all week, and we knew they were going to give us a bunch of different personnel groupings, a bunch of shifts, a bunch of motions. We just have to see what we practice and get to the ball.”

On the emotions after winning a close game last week and losing this game:
“We are just disappointed. We know that now that we lost today we are only going to be able to finish even throughout the regular season. We just have to go out and work because we don’t want to be the first team in 19 years not to make a bowl game.”

Redshirt Senior Corner Chris Milton

On the problems in the secondary:
“I think we did some good things. There are always things we need to work on. So we are going to go back and watch the film and try to get better from it.”

On the problems stopping the run:
“I’m not sure. Everyone messed up. You can see the outcome and see that we didn’t do the things that we should have done to win the game. We have to go back, watch the film, and reevaluate ourselves.”

On Virginia:
“They are a good team. We knew that coming in. We knew they ran the ball pretty well and when they did throw the ball, they caught a couple passes. Just a couple things we have to work on, and I feel like we are going to get better at it, so I think we are going to be all right.”

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