Virginia vs. Miami Postgame Quotes

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 18, 2006

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Virginia Coach Al Groh

Opening Comments: I'm proud of the way our guys fought and executed. It was really awesome to stand out there and watch the total team effort. It was going to take a real strong effort - offense, defense, special teams collectively - to beat a team like Miami. We fought as hard as a team can fight, and we executed like a big-time team.

On Jameel Sewell's play: Jameel ran the ball well. He threw the ball with accuracy. Most particularly, he ran his team well. He did a real good job of managing the clock, managing some field position circumstances. He was real field general for us today.

Jason did a great job again of running the ball. This is a team that no one has been able to run the ball on. We said early in the week that we were going to commit to running the ball, and if we couldn't run the ball today we wouldn't win the game. We made a commitment to doing that, and that's all with the players. The players deserve all the credit for that.

On the game's first drive: One of our objectives going in was to keep them off balance throughout and that clearly occurred. I thought Michael called a great game. We kept them off balance all the way through. Those were the things we were going to do, and we were going to trust the players.

On the bye week: It allows you to expand your preparation dramatically. The whole team can be on top of stuff. But that only occurs if the players really apply themselves to what we give them.

On Greenbaum's fourth-quarter field goal: It made it a three-score game. That was a great drive right there. We would like to have finished it off with a touchdown, but it ate up a lot of time. The play with Kevin (Ogletree) on the reverse put us in pretty good shape. It made it a three-score game and that gave us a lot more space.

On Virginia's defense: The defense has made a lot of progress this year. It's kept us in a lot of games. It's part of the formula for how you win in this league. We only had two takeaways, but obviously one was very instrumental in the game. That was the one that set up the second score and let us to operate the game in an entirely different fashion.

Virginia Player Quotes

Junior Defensive End Chris Long:

Thoughts on the game: "Coach Groh talked all week about offense, defense, and special teams, and that is exactly what we needed. Everybody executed in all three aspects of the game, and we were nearly perfect. We did give up a big play, but we all did enough to get a big win."

On Miami's touchdown: "We were very upset because we really wanted to shut these guys out. We let a couple of shutouts get away from us this year. I think this is a sign of things to come for us. We took some pressure off of these older guys that are just playing their hearts out out here who won't be back again next year."

Freshman Quarterback Jameel Sewell: On today compared to the Florida State game: "Today we approached the game not wanting to be embarassed since we were embarassed against Florida State. It's something we don't want to go through because it hurts so bad. Some of us didn't play well, I know I didn't play well, and I just wanted to turn that around and make it a special day for the seniors."

On the importance of beating Miami: "Miami is a powerhouse, no matter what is going on. They have had to go through some unfortunate circumstances, and we have really felt sorry for them, but we knew they were going to come out hungry. We had to match their intensity and just go at them."

Senior Running Back Jason Snelling:

On his last game at home: "It has just been great. Four years, really five years for me, just goes by so fast. Being able to come out and beat a team like Miami just feels good. I am really happy for the fourth and fifth year seniors."

On the rushing game: "Miami has been a run stopping defense all year, but we knew if we just kept grinding and wearing on them, then we would be effective. In the end we were able to do that, and I got to give credit to my linemen. They did a great job and I was just able to make some plays." Junior Tight End Jonathan Stupar: On his greater role today: "It is weird when you have three tight ends who can all do a lot of things. Tom (Santi) was banged up a little this week, so I had the opportunity to go and make some plays for the team and do what I could do."

On offense today: "I thought we did a great job today. The line, we pretty much dominated the whole game. The wide receivers made some big catches and Jameel (Sewell) played incredible today. The offense was really just together today."

Senior Cornerback Marcus Hamilton:

On his last home game: "Today worked out very well. It was exciting to go out there one more time and get a chance to get a victory today."

On defensive performance: "Nate Lyles came out and just set the tone. He is a tone setter and he does that all the time. It was big to see him go out there and get a hit on that guy and let them know we were going to be there all 60 minutes."

On the fourth down stop in the fourth quarter: "That was big, because if they got that first down, who knows what would have happened. We got a stop there and it was big, it let them know we weren't going to quit and that we weren't happy with just 14 points."

On his Miami's touchdown and his interception: "It was my fault on the touchdown, I didn't play my coverage right, so I take the blame for that. But I was in position to make a play on that last play to end my home career here, so I am really happy about that."

Miami Head Coach Larry Coker

On the game: "Really not a lot to say there. We just got beat. The better team won the game today. We didn't do things to win the game. We didn't tackle well on defense. We didn't do enough things on offense to give ourselves a chance to win. We had a couple of turnovers. That's about it. The best team won the game. They outplayed us."

On injuries: "We're pieced together. We left some linemen at home. Our starting left tackle has been out for a few weeks. ... We didn't have the energy on defense. We didn't have the energy on offense. If our tank was empty, it's my fault. Somehow we need to find a way to fill it up."

On Virginia: "We played a good football team today. They mixed things up and their quarterback is going to be a special player. Let's give him some credit."

On recovering from the loss of Bryan Pata: "It affects different people in different ways. Obviously it was a very draining week with the services on Tuesday and Wednesday. But the bottom line is sometimes when you make plays you develop energy, and we just didn't generate enough plays to feed off of one another. ... I don't want to use the excuse that the drain of the week cost us the game."

On the Nov. 23 game vs. Boston College: "I think the way we've got to approach it is we'll go to work tomorrow. We'll have to be on a mission. Boston College is a good football team. We've played them for a number of years -- we're both from the same, old league. It's our last home game for our seniors, so hopefully that's something we can rally around."

On bowl eligibility: "I don't think about that at all, I just think about how we play. As I said last week, if we play as well as we can play, the bowls will take care of themselves, and that hasn't changed."

On a first half personal foul penalty on Lance Leggett: "I was extremely upset because I thought we were going to go in 14-7 at half. We had driven the ball into great position and I thought we were going to score. I was just very upset, very upset. You can't do that to your team."

On Miami's defense: "I was disappointed with the defense. I thought we misaligned some, we weren't sharp and we missed a lot of tackles. Again, we've got a lot of players out on defense. We weren't a good defense today."

On Virginia QB Jameel Sewell: "He kind of played at will. He made some nice throws, did a great job with the screen game. If you had to pick a player of the game, I might pick him."

Miami Player Quotes

Sophomore Quarterback Kirby Freeman

On the loss: "I'm sick of losing. Miami's sick of losing. This football team's sick of losing. You know it's been like this all along; we've been busting our tails in practice. We're doing what we need to be a good football team. Things aren't clicking. UVa played a great defensive ball game. When Miami goes into any city to play football, they are going to play their best game. They played their best game today, and they beat us."

"Like I said, we're sick and tired of losing. It was kind of difficult as quarterback to make things happen. I tried to be conservative and make things happen, but on one play we had two linemen go down and that's difficult. When you've got your linesmen in front of you blocking their tails off and trying to protect you and you lose two of them in one play, all of the sudden you have to change the way you play. It's a trust process and to a quarterback that's everything. We should have been fine, and we weren't. They are smart football players. They did a lot to wreck our game plan."

On the team's energy: "I'll tell you right now we don't have a lot of energy. A lot of things happened last week. God bless Bryan Pata and his family, but that's over. We're playing with that inside of us now because the sun comes up, the University of Miami goes back to school, and we've got to get successful."

Sophomore Defensive End Calais Campbell

On the outcome of the game: "I didn't play as well as I thought I should have played. I let my team a little bit. It was a tough loss, but there's not really much we can do about it. We have a big game next week on Thanksgiving."

On the team's energy during the game: "Personally I felt like we did have energy but the plays just weren't there. We were just playing badly. We could have played a whole lot better but we didn't."

On being drained during the game: "I can't use that as an excuse. There is no excuse. We didn't play as well as we should have. I didn't play with as much energy as I usually do."