Oct. 14, 2006
2006 VIRGINIA FOOTBALL
Maryland 28, Virginia 26
October 14, 2006
Virginia Head Coach Al Groh:
On the loss:
"That was certainly very disappointing, not only in the outcome - well, most certainly in the outcome. I feel bad for the players, who put so much into it for this week. I feel bad for the fans, who put so much into the game, who did a lot to lift the energy level of the team. We appreciate that. It's tough circumstances for them as well as it is for the players."
On making progress:
"We made a lot of positive progress in a week's time. We did a lot of things today that we haven't done previously in the course of the season. It's very disappointing that a more positive result didn't come out of all those things."
On Maryland's comeback:
"I congratulate Maryland on coming back. That was an uphill fight that they had. They deserve a lot of credit for doing that."
On the game's turning points:
"Clearly, the game hinged on two plays that made it very easy for them to get back in the game. The fumble recovery and the very short punt."
On Byers's fumble:
"It was an unfortunate decision. I'm sure he feels the same way. We really had emphasized on a number of occasions during halftime to be alert to avoid all those occasions that would let the other team easily get back into the game - a long pass, special teams plays."
Virginia Junior Wide Receiver Emmanuel Byers:
On the muffed punt:
"I didn't get my feet set, the ball was really high, and I took some steps back and I shouldn't have. It was just a lack of concentration. Now I just have to forget about it and show up at practice ready to play and get better."
Virginia Junior Kicker/Punter Chris Gould:
On thoughts on game:
"We started out strong. We obviously got up twenty to nothing. It seemed like it was only a couple key plays in the second half that hurt us, a muffed punt return and an sixteen yard punt. That really swung the momentum to Maryland and started the downhill shift."
On the missed field goal try:
"I hit it good. I hit it straight down the middle. I just didn't hit it far enough. There wasn't a bigger reason. Whatever it was, it just came up short."
On thoughts about kicking the potential game winner at the end of the game:
"Based on the 50 yard kick that came off good, came off high, came off straight, I was confident that I would be there for the team if given the chance. We just didn't get the opportunity at the end of the game."
Virginia Sophomore Wide Receiver Kevin Ogletree
On team's performance:
"I think as a team today, we showed some good things which were good to see. The result wasn't what we wanted by any means, but we made some strides today."
On second half:
"Obviously, they were down 20 to nothing, and at half time they were going to come out and make adjustments. We didn't move the ball when we wanted to, but when we needed a play in the second half, we made it. I'm not sure what their adjustments were, but they went into half time and they did some things, and what we were doing well, they adjusted coverage-wise or linemen-wise. I still wouldn't say we played a bad second half, but we were a couple of plays away from winning the game."
On preparing for North Carolina:
"We just have to have a short memory and come back tomorrow ready to work."
Virginia Senior Cornerback Marcus Hamilton
On the interception in the first half:
"I saw my guy motion over and then slide out towards the sideline. I was just able to get a good enough break on the ball to get a hand on it, and fortunately the tip came right to me."
On Maryland's second half adjustments:
"I really don't know what they did, obviously it is what they talked about in their locker room. But I know that the team we saw in the second half was a different team, they came out and played a different game."
Virginia Junior Defensive End Chris Long
On the defense's inability to get a stop at the end:
"You know, it's just frustrating. We played a strong first half, but they got it done in the second half. All of us could have made more plays. I had some good ones and some bad ones, but I know I left some plays out on the field."
On his leadership role in this loss:
"Well, anyone can be a leader when it's good, so I just try to tell my teammates to keep their heads up. But you know, I'm just the guy they send out there for the coin toss. There are so many guys on this team who play a leadership role."
Maryland Head Coach RALPH FRIEDGEN:
On the victory:
"It was a heck of a football game. We knew that Virginia would play very, very good against us. ... I'm very proud of our players, the way they hung in there. It was a tough, emotional thing after last week [and] then to come out and not play very well in the first half. When I was talking to them at halftime, I don't know if it was registered, but I told them we could play better, this game is not over. After a while, it sounds like the same talk everytime. I didn't throw any chairs. ... We got a break in the second half and were able to punch it in. Then, we got a drive going and of course the interception was huge. ... I was proud of our guys. They didn't quit, they haven't quit all year. They really deserve a win like this."
On what the win means going forward:
"I'm anxious to see what this team does. I've been saying all along that we had to win a big game, and this game got even bigger when you got 20 points down. It's tough banging your head day in, day out against the wall and not seeing anything for it. ... I'm just happy for them. There are some tremendous life lessons to be learned: when things aren't going your way, you just got to keep hanging in there and eventually if you keep working at it, sometimes things will turn your way. ... Every goal we had is still there."
On the impact of the punt muffed by Virginia:
"I will say that that was the spark they were looking for. We just haven't gotten anything like that."
On Keon Lattimore's long touchdown run:
"It was really good to see a guy take it the distance. You know what, Lance [Ball] almost did it at the end. I think Lance really was worried about staying inbounds because in the Florida International game, he ran out of bounds in that situation. It's something we practice. I think it was going through his head, 'Gee, if I get knocked out of bounds, coach is going to be unhappy with me, but I may score.' That was a big run."
On where the comeback ranks in his career:
"You know, when you've coached 36 years, you've got a lot of these. ... But this one is pretty special just because of what these kids have been going through. They were able to hang in there. After a while, as a coach, you starting saying, 'Hey, they're not listening. They don't hear me.' When they respond like this, you feel like the message finally got through. I've worked harder this year than I have in any year of my life. Al [Groh] and I were talking before the game and he's doing the same thing. He said, 'We busted our butts early in our careers so we wouldn't have to work this hard when we were 50.' Somehow, it's not working out that way."
On Virginia's failed two-point conversion:
"You see the hand in my pocket? It's my rosary. That's what I was thinking: I was praying."
Maryland Sophomore Linebacker ERIN HENDERSON
"It's always good to have the ball bounce your way every now and again. We had some tough luck, for the past few years we've had some tough luck. It's always good. Hopefully it's a turn in the corner and we'll be able to continue get these breaks down the road. Every now and then, it's going to take some luck to win games, sometimes we've got to have the ball bounce our way."
On being the first Maryland team to win against Virginia since 1990...
"I'm glad to be a part of that. It makes me feel that much better about coming down here and getting the victory. We're just excited to get this win. A lot of people counted us out once that first half got rolling. We hung together, we hung in there, and came out with the win."
Maryland Junior Tailback KEON LATTIMORE
"Things went our way, the ball started bouncing our way and we made the best of our opportunities."
On the atmosphere in the locker room after the game...
"It was so emotional. Guys were just all over the place, we were happy to get that sour taste out of our mouth after the loss last weekend. Anytime you come on the road in the ACC and get a victory like this its great for the morale of the team."
On what Coach Friedgen said after the game...
"He said he was praying for us. He can only coach, we've got to go out there and do it. Collectively as a group, the coaches, the staff, and the players, we're happy about this."
On the fourth quarter interception...
"I feel good but not satisfied. I worked very hard in there and given the opportunities I can do this week in, week out. It feels good, I enjoy celebrating, but I'm right back to work."
Maryland Sophomore Linebacker DAVID HOLLOWAY
On Virginia's fumbled punt...
"I think the punt really gave us momentum. We got us our first points and we kept building, building and building. We keep feeding off of it."
On what the win means to the team...
"It was a relief because we worked hard and our hard work paid off tonight. We got an ACC win, we're one and one. We still have goals to get as far as we can."
On the adjustments made during the game...
"We made little adjustments. We moved some guys outside, and that was really it. We just said come out fighting and refocused. Keep doing what we are doing and make little adjustments like that and once we got the momentum it worked."
Freshman Wide Receiver DARRIUS HEYWARD-BEY
On Keon Lattimore's run...
"That meant a lot. If he didn't break that, we'd probably be in overtime right now. I just saw the light out of Virginia just vanish. It really hit them hard when we scored right there."
On what it means to win...
"It feels good, I feels good to be part of that. It's big for us. It gives us a chance to go into the ACC. Going home against N.C. State, Florida State, we want to win. Confidence is so high we can't even describe it. We got that win that we wanted."
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