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Nov. 28, 2015

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Virginia vs. Virginia Tech
Nov. 28, 2015
Mike London Quotes

Opening statement:
“That’s a tough way to lose a football game. I’m disappointed for our guys and our seniors who are leaving. I thought we gave it an unbelievable effort. We dealt with adversity all season long and we were put in another situation where we had to overcome some things, but we weren’t able to do it at the end. I’m proud of our guys and I’m humbled to be the coach of this team. It’s always tough when you lose close games to your rival, but I want to congratulate them and Coach Beamer. He’s a class act. It’s back to the drawing board for us.”

On the fake punt call late in the first half:
“There are certain looks and audibles you can call out there that would affect that play. They lined everybody up inside so we could block down and bring everybody around. They did a good job of responding to it by running downfield and tackling [Nicholas] Conte and we came up about a yard short. We needed to execute one more yard and we did not.”

On his thoughts on his future at UVA:
“My thoughts are on this game and on our players right now. It’s tough addressing those guys in the locker room right now. I’m thankful and humbled to be the head coach of this team and to have the opportunity to influence young men’s lives. During the course of the season, we played a challenging schedule. We played some tough teams and some tough games. We won some close games and lost some close games. But I’m so proud of the character that those guys have shown over the course of the season. It’s about them and not me. It’s important that they understand that football is a tough game. There are consequences for many things. But I told them, ‘You’re going to be husbands, fathers, sons, employees, and employers for much longer than they will be football players. Your identity is not tied to being just a football player. I understand that we are graded by wins and losses, but you’re so much more than that.’ That’s what I told them, so I’ll leave it at that.”

On Virginia Tech’s big plays down the stretch:
“On that pass to the tight end down the middle, we had to get a hand on him and disrupt his release. We didn’t get a hand on him. I think they had like three plays for about 141 yards and everything else was almost less than 100 yards. Those explosive plays turned the tide of the game.”

On getting pressure on Michael Brewer on defense:
“We tried to mix it up with different line stunts and twists. We were effective early on getting to him. We disrupted throwing lanes and knocked a couple balls down. They did a better job with protection in the second half. They played well when it counted at the end. We were favorable statistically in a lot of areas, but ultimately it’s about the scoreboard at the end.”

On Matt Johns’ interception at the end of the game:
“Matt had been playing well leading up to today. Even in this game, he did some nice things. But your quarterback has to be accurate and facilitate the run after the catch. Matt is a guy who will take a lot of responsibility for these things. He’s a competitor and is hurting just as much as anyone in that locker room right now. We’ve been there before in that situation and we’ve practiced it time and time again. I had complete confidence in Matt to execute there.”

On Canaan Severin’s touchdown catch in the fourth quarter:
“As you all know, Canaan hurt his shoulder in the previous game and was in a lot of pain. He’s the first player I’ve seen in awhile to come back after his shoulder came out and had to be popped back in. I thought his play was outstanding. That’s the kind of guy Canaan is. He’s a tremendous competitor and individual.”

On when he will meet with athletics director Craig Littlepage about his future:
“Whenever I’m called to meet with him.”

Virginia Player Quotes

Senior Defensive Tackle David Dean

On Virginia Tech’s ability to match scoring drives:
“I think we just had some mental mishaps. Virginia Tech guys just stepped up and made plays. We didn’t play our responsibilities and when you do that in games like these you pay for it, and we ended up paying for it.”

On what Coach London told the team after the game:
“Just preaching about adversity and sometimes things don’t go your way in life. You have got to learn how to deal with it, you have got to respond with a positive response and just keep moving on.”

On whether Coach London spoke to the team about his future:
“No. That wasn’t talked about at all. We were just focused on the seniors, and letting us have our words, and just talking about how for the younger guys it’s their turn to take over Virginia football and step up and become leaders.”

Junior Running Back Albert Reid

On describing the scene in the locker room after the game:
“It was emotional. We lost. Virginia Tech is a rival school. We have a lot of seniors that had an emotional game because it was the last game they will play in college, so of course it was emotional. Guys have got to go on and have other opportunities in life. It was just a tough loss for us.”

On the depth in Virginia’s backfield:
“I love our backfield. It’s a tight backfield, we are a family, we push each other, we work hard for each other, and that’s why we are the way we are now. We always go out and support each other, so I feel like our backfield, no matter what the depth is, we are all playing for each other.”

Junior Punter Nicholas Conte

On whether he thought he reached the first down on the attempted fake punt:
“No, I knew. I was right there on the left side and the marker was right there and right when I hit the ground I turned my head to the left and I saw it and I knew I was short.”

On the feeling within the locker room after the game:
“Obviously it’s sad for our seniors, but it’s time for us to build up the team that we have going into next year and to tell the seniors that we love them and to move on.”

On whether Coach London mentioned to the team about his own future:

On the experience of playing for Coach London:
“It’s been amazing. He was basically one of the only ones who gave me an opportunity, even as a walk-on just to be out there on the field. All of the positive things he has for us to say and all of the support he has for us, it has been really, really good.”

On what Coach London preaches on other than football:
“He kind of goes more into being a man, showing class, going to class, treating people with dignity and respect. He is really big on making sure that we all ‘protect our personal brand,’ is what he calls it, on and off the field. He is always interested in what is going on off the field, making sure that he grooms us to be the best men we can be, and to make sure that we get our degree from the University of Virginia, which is one of the best in the country.”

Junior Running Back Taquan Mizzell

On the increased offense in the second half:
“I just take my hat off to Virginia Tech. They did a great job out there today and we just came up short.”

On Coach London’s message after the game:
“He didn’t do too much speaking. A lot of the seniors got the chance to talk. They were still proud of this team and just happy to be a part of it. He said how proud he was of this team and wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

On Coach London’s job security:
“We just have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully we will have him back. I would like to have him back, of course.”

Junior Quarterback Matt Johns

On evaluating his first year as starting quarterback:
“There was a lot of hard work that went into it in the offseason. As an offense, these past five games have been the most productive that we’ve been in a long time. Moving forward we need to keep getting better.”

On how close this team is to success:
“Too close, I would say. We are very close. It’s one of those things where we just have to get over that hump and we’re going to keep working and fighting until we get over it.”

On scrambling less in the second half:
“They were getting a little bit better pressure and we were getting more down the field reads. When that happens, it takes more time to see something open up. They had already been on me at that point, so I wouldn’t be able to run. Or the guy would be covered and we’d throw it out of bounds. They did a better job of getting better pressure in the second half.”

Senior Wide Receiver Canaan Severin

On his shoulder injury:
“My shoulder hurts, but I knew it would get better down the line, I just knew. A week wasn’t ideal for me to come back but I’m a competitor. I know my guys are competitors and they needed me. I’m a captain, one of the captains of this team, and I was trying to do what I could for the team.”

On his touchdown catch:
“I had to make a play. Matt Johns, he said the ball is coming to you. The ball was coming to me so I had to make a play for him. That’s my main man.”

On if he knew he was inbounds during the touchdown catch:
“You don’t really know when you’re on the field. The ref said out-of-bounds, but Olamide [Zaccheaus] told me I was in. I said ‘how do you know that.’ He said, ‘I saw, I saw!’ I saw the replay and sure enough, Olamide was right.”

On the emotion of the game and the season:
“Being a captain is a privilege. It’s an honor. Yesterday, I sort of told my story to the team. I hope guys are inspired. I hope guys know that if people count you out or whatever, you can bounce back. You can get up. Throughout the summer, me leading them and the other captains leading them, I think they really grasped that. We’re so close in all these games. I’m tired of saying that. But we lose by six twice, lose by three, it’s really tough. It’s tough.”

Frank Beamer Quotes

Opening Statement:
“Really proud of our football program. First of all, let me give Virginia credit. I think they’ve done a great job. They’ve played tough and have had some tough losses but they’re a good football team. I think they coach them up. I think that game showed everything we try to do at Virginia Tech. Relentless. I love that word. I thought that we got down, found a way to come back, got down, found a way to come back again. We went up at the end and did some good things in the kicking game to get field position. The defense played great and the offense made plays when they needed to. Everything that we talked about: hanging in there, don’t give in, play your best when it counts. That all came through today. I told them in there, I really appreciate them letting me be a part of this thing. It’s a great group of coaches, a great group of kids. If we didn’t come out on this end [of the game] I’d be saying the same thing. Winning or losing doesn’t change the kids you have or the coaches you have. I’m really proud of that. I have to say thanks to the administration. Whit (Babcock) and everyone else could not have treated me any better. They treated me better than I deserved. I really appreciate what they’ve done. How many of you were here when I got my tooth knocked out? Well today I got a little blood but you ought to see the other guy. No not really. A little celebration but it’s a good lip deal.”

On enjoying the second half versus getting caught up with everything that is happening:
“It was a great game. It was two good football teams battling back and forth and making plays. Like I said, give Virginia credit. It just worked out. Our players and coaches made it work out. We got the ball to bounce our way at the end. Maybe some things are just meant to be.”

On the father-son moment on the sideline after Chuck Clark’s interception:
“Oh my goodness. The emotion and the ‘wow this has come true.’ For a guy like Chuck Clark who is such a good player, person, and leader to make the play, it made it even more special.”

On Virginia’s fake punt attempt:
“We were concerned because we were trying to double their headhunters so we didn’t have many people in the box. It was a lot of yards, fourth and sixteen. We would be in punt safe it was any closer. I knew going in that what we were trying to do was a chance by trying to leave a guy in the box and bring him out later. They had the numbers over there. They had a good strategy I’m just thankful that it was a long yardage deal so we got them one yard short.”

On knowing this will not be his last game because of the win to become bowl eligible:
“I like it a lot better. I’ve gotten more than I deserve the past couple weeks.”

On his greatest moment while coaching:
“I think the day I married Cheryl. I’ve been a fortunate guy. How many guys do you know that have been fortunate enough to stay in one place for 29 years? I’ve been at a place I love, at a place where all my family was able to get their degree. I’ve been lucky and so fortunate. I have a hard time telling you one moment. The good Lord has been good to me and has given me a lot of moments that are right up there.”

On the hit on Michael Brewer in the first half:
“Michael is a tough guy. He’s a winner, he battles, he hangs in there, he’s in control. He’s what you want in your quarterback. The number one thing for him might be his toughness, especially his mental toughness. He’s physically tough but he’s mentally tough too. I didn’t know that he was going to come back when I went out there. When I got there, they said he got the wind knocked out of him so that gave me some hope. But I didn’t know if it was worse than that. Thank goodness it wasn’t. He stayed in there and made some great throws when we needed them.”

On Brewer not being sacked the final two and a half quarters:
“The first thing we did was to challenge our offensive line. I talked to them at halftime. Coach [Stacy] Searels has done a great job and was saying the same thing. We just needed some time to get the ball downfield. We felt like we could take advantage of some throws but we needed to have time to throw. Part of that was throwing on downs that they might not think we were going to throw. I thought our offensive line did a much better job battling towards the end of the game.”

Virginia Tech Player Quotes

Sophomore Wide Receiver Isaiah Ford

On the emotions in the locker room:
“This team has been through so much. I think this game is a direct reflection of our season. We have been through ups and downs, but when adversity hits, one thing coach instilled in our head is to never give up, and to keep fighting, push through, and stay together when adversity strikes. That is what we did, and we were able to get the win. It felt great to get that win for the seniors.”

On scoring immediately after UVA scored:
“It’s funny how that works. Me, [Michael Brewer], and [Cam Phillips] talk about that a lot – when a team scores and we react and counter right back. We have done that quite a few times this season actually.”

On Coach Beamer holding the Commonwealth Cup:
“That was a priceless moment. Those are the moments you tell your grandkids. Just to be a part of something like that was truly special.”

On the importance of the win today:
“From my standpoint, I played well last week, but to not get that win in [Frank Beamer’s] final game at Lane Stadium was crushing to me and it really hurt my feelings a lot. So I just came out this week and said I’m going to do whatever it takes to make sure that we don’t lose to UVA.”

Senior Quarterback Michael Brewer

On Virginia’s defensive front:
“They were a problem up front. We knew going into the game that they are good up front, and that we were going to have to do some things, whether it be roll the pocket, quick game, establish the run game, or do something to soften them up and get them tired. Unfortunately, that didn’t really happen in the first half. We took some shots, but we knew that eventually we could keep grinding it out and we would make those big plays that we’ve practiced for 12 weeks now.”

On not scoring much early but surging late:
“I think it was more of what UVA did. They played great up front, especially early in the game. They were able to get a lot of pressure on me, they were stuffing up the run game, throwing off our timing in the pass game, and their secondary played better than they have in the past. That is part of it. When you are playing in a game like this, you just have to keep chopping wood, stick to the basics, and eventually some of our shots will fall. That is what happened.”

On the rivalry:
“It is a rivalry game. It is a game of momentum. It switched back and forth constantly, and then we were able to come out on the winning side of it toward the end.

On big hit he took from linebacker Mark Hall:
“I feel like this game took about five years off of my life, but I’m all right.”

On the status of his ankle injury:
“I did this last week in the game against North Carolina. It is just something I have to deal with, and I’ll be all right.”

On extending the bowl game streak and playing another game under Frank Beamer:
“It’s awesome. Going into the game all we wanted to do was win for [Frank Beamer]. We knew that it was 11 [wins over UVA] in a row coming into [this year]. On the road, and all the stuff surrounding this game, at the end of the day we really just wanted to win this one for Coach Beamer.

Senior Nose Tackle Corey Marshall

On Frank Beamer’s emotions as time expired:
“He was pretty ecstatic. That is a culmination of a great career. All the things he has done for us, I think he just felt all of that rush in at that moment. It was beautiful to see.”

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