Quarterback Darian Durant
“I don’t remember how the ball got knocked out or if it slipped out. As soon as I knew it came loose, I tried to fight for it. I think I lost control of the ball before I stretched out.
“We ran the ball outside some and inside some, so I can’t really pinpoint [strength or weakness in their defense].
“It’s disappointing for me because this is the last opportunity I will get to play these guys down here.
(On getting down 13-0) “We’ve been down all year, so it wasn’t a big deal for us. We knew what we were capable of doing and we closed the lead back.
(On lessons learned in a loss) “It just shows you what you have to work on. In the aspects of the game that you didn’t do well, you have to work on those. If you can learn from the mistakes, then games won’t come down to these situations.
Tailback Jacque Lewis
“They had the momentum a little in the second half when they got that kickoff and it kept going their way. We just came up a yard short, but we’re going to keep coming back and we’re going to keep fighting to try and get a win.
“This is more aggravating [than last week], because we played our hearts out and fought to the end. But a couple of calls here and a couple of plays by the offense that we didn’t capitalize on really hurt us.
“Throughout a game, you’re going to have mistakes. It’s very seldom that a team plays a perfect game. I don’t think the mistakes that we made today really cost us.”
Safety Dexter Reid
“We responded good at times as a defense. There was a lot of bending with their explosion plays. But for the most part, on some of their long drives, we were just able to hold them to three.
“Coach Huxtable and Coach Fleming would say that it wasn’t that we didn’t come out ready to play, we just needed a jump start. They were able to get a couple of explosion plays early in the first quarter, but after we settled down as a unit we were able to start playing.
(Regarding his facemask penalty on quarterback Charlie Whitehurst) “On a [similar] play earlier [in the season], Coach Bunting had told me to go for the strip. I saw opportunity – I don’t think he saw me – he slid up a little bit and I was going for the strip as I was going for the hit, too. As he slid up, my hand got caught in his facemask. He was about ready to throw. That was a crucial play, but fortunately we were able to buckle down and stop them.
“‘D-Block’ [Durant] is a competitor; he’s so relaxed and poised in crucial situations. I wasn’t worried at about it [the offense scoring at the end], I just busy preaching to my guys to hold them to three. I have just so much faith and confidence in D-Block. I don’t look at him as a typical quarterback. I look at him as one of the best quarterback in the ACC.
(On watching Durant’s fumble at the goal line) “From defensive standpoint, you’re thinking second or third man in, get the ball out.”
Safety Mahlon Carey
“The thing is we’re getting better. We’re always going to come to play. We just need to capitalize on things and try to make big plays. If that doesn’t happen, go on to the next play.
“I don’t think anything is missing. That’s just the way the game goes. You fight and fight and there is going to be a winner and a loser. We’ve just got to learn how to finish it. It’s going to come. It may not be this week, but it will probably be next week. That’s our mindset. We’re not going to hold our heads down. We’re not going to dwell on how close we have been. We’re going to come back next week and prepare just like we have been.
“Everybody wants to win, but my mindset is to finish this year on a good note and win out. I’m not looking towards the future, even though it is bright.”
Tailback Chad Scott
“I thought he was in and actually rolled over and had the ball in. When the ball was loose and they were scrambling for it, I thought the referee said he was down.
“This is a tough loss. We had a couple of games like this where were a play or to from winning the game. It hurts real bad, but we just going to look at the film, bounce back and come out and try to get a victory next week.
“We’ve been talking about getting a push from the offensive linemen off the ball and the running backs helping them out by setting the blocks. We worked on that real hard during the week and we came out and executed it today.”