“Looking at the film, we had a good solid win over a conference opponent on the road and that’s always a good thing. We’ve put it to bed and we’re moving on and preparing for the next one here at home. We’re looking forward to getting back to the Tar Pit and playing in front of our fans and students and excited about the next ACC opponent. I will start with if you want to talk about injuries with our people I’m not going to talk about them so you might as well not bring up the question.”
In terms of missed assignments defensively, have you seen an improvement on film from your team in recent weeks?
“Yeah, we didn’t give up near as many big plays. I tell you what I think in the last three weeks you’ve seen us get a little bit better at that. Early on, that was one of the things that was really hurting our defense because you start taking away those huge plays that we were giving up and we were playing pretty sound. It was just getting our guys to focus each and every play and understand that there’s never a time when you can take a mental break in a game. There’s not a time where you can say you know what this isn’t a big play so I can take a mental break. I think some of that was going on. Some of that was happening. As our guys have matured and we’ve gotten a little bit better and more confidence I think they’re locked in on every play.”
Have you seen that defensive focus issue other places previously?
“Oh yeah. I think you go to any staff in the country and they’re going to tell you that we can’t give up big plays and be successful on defense. I think early on we had some problems with it and I think our guys have done a good job the last three weeks and have focused hard on it. I think the defensive staff has done a nice job emphasizing it daily and I think our kids have finally bought into it.”
How pleased were you with both of your quarterbacks playing through pain Saturday?
“You know they’re both tough kids. Both of them played after they got some pretty tough hits. They both came back and played. I thought they both played well after they came back in too. It wasn’t like they came back in just to be out there. They did a nice job. They both managed the game well. They both put the ball where it need to go and distributed the ball other than the first throw of the game. I thought we did a pretty nice job of taking the ball where it needed to go.”
How impressed have you been with the freshmen class and their collective performances so far this season?
“That’s the fun and exciting thing about it. I talked to them after practice yesterday about the impact they’re having on this football team. You’ve got Khris Francis, (T.J.) Logan, (Ryan) Switzer and Bug (Howard). Now you’ve got Lucas Crowley playing more at the center spot in a few series there. Then you’ve got…I don’t want to forget anybody. There’s (Brian) Walker, Des Lawrence and Mikey Bart. Those guys got a lot of extensive time in that game. Not only are they just playing, they’re making plays. They’re making plays in the game. That’s big for a true freshman. That’s really big. Especially in a game like that.”
Do you think the playmaking of the freshmen is due to the “light” coming on or just being put in position to make plays?
“I think it’s just they’re getting more reps. They’re starting to feel more comfortable. Now they’re just out there just turning loose and playing. They know what to do. They’re not worried about whoa there are a lot of people in the stands. They’re a lot of things that go on in a freshman’s mind during a game. Once they relax and just play then you see the athleticism come out. You see who they are and you see why you recruited them in the first place. That’s fun. That really is. That’s fun to see in these young kids.”
Comments on Eric Ebron’s increased involvement:
“it’s been a point of emphasis for us to take advantage of his skills. A little bit of it is our offensive staff has done a nice job taking advantage of a few thing s we’ve seen and some instances. Then there’s some other time we’ve tried to get him the ball where they’ve took it way. There were numerous times where they had two guys with their eyes on Eric. I understand that but then you get to see a guy like Bug. You get to see Quinshad (Davis) or one of those guys to come through and make a play for us.”
Thoughts on Tommy Hibbard’s performance and the special teams:
“What did we have? Four punts inside the 11-yard line, I think? That’s four possessions that they have to go over 90 yards or 89 or whatever that is. That’s tough on an offense. It really is unless you’re getting some big explosive plays. It’s huge weapon for us. Then the stop of the fake punt on the first punt of the game was a game changing play. That’s what we’re looking for. That’s what we have to do in our special teams weekly.”
Comments on Virginia:
“We’re watching the film till late last night and I kept waiting to see what was wrong because in every game you go late into the third and fourth quarter and they’re in it all the way. Then it’s like something just happens and they give up some explosive plays. They’re playing a lot of young kids and they’re playing hard. They’re sound on special teams when you look at everything. Vic (Koenning) was telling me he feels like their offense is really pretty good. The running back is doing a really good job. Defensively, I think they’re pretty good upfront and they’re playing a lot of true freshmen and a lot of sophomores on both sides of the ball. Again for us, it’s we’re going to have to play really well.”