Sept. 16, 2006
2006 VIRGINIA FOOTBALL
Western Michigan 17, Virginia 10
September 16, 2006
Virginia Head Coach Al Groh:
On Western Michigan's game plan:
"Western Michigan knew exactly what kind of game they had to play, which was play a good sound solid game, see if Virginia would do enough to help them win. Obviously, we did everything necessary to help them win. And we were well below unacceptable in every phase of the game, from me on down. It's got to get better than this."
"It's like being caught in quicksand. When you can't score any points, you can't kick it through, you can't throw it in, and you can't run it in, it makes it pretty hard to win. Teams that we're playing are recognizing that, playing a certain kind of game. They know that they don't have to score a lot of points to win. We put them in a position to get 14 (points) today. That's good smart planning on their part."
On playing three quarterbacks:
"We were planning on doing whatever the situation during the course of the game indicated was necessary. What I saw out of the three quarterbacks was what I see everyday - not enough production."
On Jason Snellings's play:
"Jason did a nice job. Unfortunately, we lost him for part of the game. When he came back in, he was able to create some plays for us, but his unavailability certainly didn't come at a good time when you need somebody to make a play offensively."
Western Michigan Head Coach BILL CUBIT:
On the conservative offensive strategies of UVa and WMU:
"Well, we kind of tried to play it the same way offensively. We couldn't make mistakes. Fortunately, they made two. We didn't make any and that's the difference in the game. We wanted to make sure the clock was going down because of our quarterback situation. But our kids came up with big plays. The kicking game did a good job. ... The bottom line is to win the football game and I don't really care how we win it. ... As a head coach, I'm going to do whatever I have to do to get a win."
More on the conservative offense:
"It was because they're struggling on offense too. I told them to make sure that we didn't make the turnover to give them a big advantage. We had a couple of close calls that were scary."
On the WMU defense:
"I felt really good the whole way through. I felt confident that they couldn't sustain a drive all the way through. I think our defense came up with some big plays in the red zone. When you change ... three quarterbacks, they're searching for answers, too. You get a spark here and a spark there, but it's kind of short-lived at times. I don't think our guys gave them a chance to get in a rhythm."
On UVa's future:
"I still think they'll be a good football team. I think they've got a chance. I think they found out some things today, and I think they're going to be fine."
On WMU's injuries:
"[Louis Delmas] goes down and E.J. [Biggers] goes down, and of course we're playing without Ryan [Cubit]. Desman Stephen goes out there and intercepts a ball for a touchdown. Last year, he didn't travel half the time. ... The one thing I know with our kids, they'll play hard. ... I think it's a great testament to their character ... and the kids' commitment to what we're asking them to do because we're not the imposing group you've been around. ... It just seems that the guys who step in are hanging in there."
On a win over an ACC opponent:
"To me, it's a win. We never talk about winning or losing. We just talk about playing hard and then don't back down from anybody. Am I happy about it? Yeah. I think I'll be happier probably after the season. Right now, our whole focus is we've got to get ready for Temple. ... We're not good enough to go out there and just think we're going to win a game. It just doesn't happen."
On the play of QB Thomas Peregrin:
"It's really hard for [junior-college] guys. Our offense is really intricate, even though it looked about as boring as you could possibly say today. There's a lot of checks going on out there, a lot of stuff that needs to get done. You know, the more he plays, time in the system, the better off he'll be."
Virginia Junior Tight End Tom Santi
On his role with the offense:
"I enjoy my role, getting to do different kinds of things. Once we start clicking a little bit more, I think we'll have a little bit more success."
On his relationship with the Quarterbacks:
"I don't think I have any more of a connection than anybody else. Sometimes it just happens that I am open. For the most part, they do a good job of getting the ball to the open receiver."
On what they will be working on in practice:
"I think the biggest thing we need to work on is working together as a team. You can't ever win a game without good teamwork, without good collaboration between every position. That's the biggest thing we need to work on."
On the successes of the Western Michigan defense:
"They did a good job of mixing up their blitzes. They played a good game, they wanted it, and we just didn't do a good job of stopping them."
Virginia Sophomore Linebacker Antonio Appleby
On defensive side of the game:
"We played well. We're mad at the fact that their defense outplayed ours. So, we have to look at the tape and correct the things we did wrong and get ready for next week. The only important stat from the defensive side at the end of the game is the amount of points scored. We didn't win the game, but we can't sit here and dwell on that. Obviously, we have to do something more and better so we can get to the point where we can create even more points."
Virginia Freshman Quarterback Jameel Sewell:
On what he was thinking as the starter for the second half:
"Just win. I was thinking just win."
On the offense's second half performance:
"I liked that our offensive line was giving the running backs creases to run through, and the pass protection was pretty decent. It was just the little things and we would fall apart. There were individual things that we needed to do all around."
On the Western Michigan defense's successes:
"They did a great job bringing rushers from the outside, frequently more than one off the outside edge."
On the offense's focus in practice to prepare for Georgia Tech:
"Blitz pick-up. It's as simple as that, just blitz pick-up. Georgia Tech likes to bring a lot of blitzers, almost every down, so we are gonna focus on the blitz pick-up."
Virginia Junior Defensive End Chris Long:
On the defense's overall performance:
"I don't think [our successes] amount to anything because we didn't win the game. There were corrections we could have made on defense to put our offense in a better position to win the game. We gave up a couple of long runs, and there was one screen play that went for awhile, and we weren't able to make the stop at the end, so we are disapointed as well."
On keeping the game close:
"Well, you know, you say that every week there is a tight game. Somebody is picking up the slack a little bit, so today we tried to keep it close. The offense was moving the ball nicely on some drives, but things just weren't coming together, so we just had to keep it tight and hope the ball would bounce our way, but in the end it didn't."
On the Western Michigan offense:
"They did a lot of stuff, some of the things we knew they would do, and they also came out and ran a variety of plays [we didn't expect]. They called an impressive game and they're a really good team."
Virginia Senior Running Back Jason Snelling:
On the offense's rushing performance:
"The line blocked well today and they opened up some holes. I was just trying to run downhill and just hit the holes, hit them hard, to try and wear them out. It worked well, but it just wasn't enough today."
On what they expected from the Western Michigan defense:
"We prepared for everything they showed today. We were working on it all week, but some of the things we just didn't execute well."
On what they will be working on in practice:
"Protection and finishing the game. The defense stopped them quite a few times and gave us good field position. The offense didn't execute and that is pretty much the story of it."
On quarterback Jameel Sewell:
"I fell like he played well. It was his [first real chance], and he was out there trying to make plays. The things he didn't do right, he at least was doing them hard, and he made some good plays out there. I think he has a bright future and I think he played very well."
Western Michigan Sophomore Free Safety DESMAN STEPHEN
On their leader, Louis Delmas, getting hurt and coming out of the game
"It made us come together actually. It made us want to come and play even more for him because when he was in there, he played his hardest. It pulled us together as a team."
On his interception in the second quarter
"It was just a matter of the coach putting us in the right situation at the right time. We had other guys who gave a great effort on that play. It was just me being in the right place at the right time and being aware of my surroundings."
On the big win
"It's big. It gives us the extra boost for the bigger teams later on in the season. They beat us last year so to come back into their stadium and get this victory was huge for us. We don't want to stop here, we want to concentrate on the team that we have next week and focus on them."
Western Michigan Senior Linebacker AMEER ISMAIL
On UVA changing quarterbacks three times
"Whoever they put in there, we were trying to put pressure on them and make some big plays. It was to our credit that if one quarterback isn't getting the job done, the next guy, he brings a little something different, and we've just got to be able to adjust."
"We're just playing hard no matter what."
On the big win against an ACC team
"It's a great win for us against a great ACC school and we just have to use that and not let it be just one game of victory this season. We'll hopefully feed off that for next week."
Western Michigan Junior Quarterback THOMAS PEREGRIN
On starting the game and if it was easier than last game
"I don't think it's ever easy but (our) defense kept the pressure off of me. I always have to prepare as if I'm going to start. (I) Can't thank the defense enough for taking the pressure off us."
On the big win
"I just want to come out with a 'W'. Luckily, like coach says, we need to score enough points to win and that's what we did. The defense was able to get us some big plays, and the special teams were just huge for us."
"Whatever we need to do to get the 'W', that's all that matters."
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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