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Listen to Audio (9:00)
“Obviously it's very disappointing to lose a game like this. We played so well for the first 30 minutes of the game, then played so poorly for the second 30 minutes of the game. We knew going into the game that playing Virginia Tech is a tight fit. It always is. They're the type of program that they are not going to give you a lot of things. You're not going to run up and down the field offensively, you're not going to dominate defensively and get all these spectacular special teams plays. It's going to be a tight fit and you can't waste opportunities.
“You can't have opportunities in front of you that give you a chance to win a ball game and not capitalize on them because they will come back to haunt you. You can't miss a field goal. You can't get the ball inside the 35 yard line - I think we had it down there three times today – and come away with no points.
"It's too hard against a good football team. Virginia Tech is a good football team. They are fundamentally sound, very well coached. Their players play hard. They are not going to surrender. You are going to have to play the entire 60 minutes. As we stood in front of you 10 days ago and talked about beating Rutgers the formula was protecting the football and creating turnovers. Obviously we lost the turnover war today. When you turn the ball over four times it is almost impossible to win ball games.
"I think our players pressed a little bit late in the ballgame when the momentum shifted. Is that due to being young and inexperienced? I there's some validity to some of that stuff. I think some it is you have to play one play at a time.
“I think the defense played very well for long periods of time until they just wore out. Special teams wise in most respects you would call it a wash for the day. I think Terrence Brown did a spectacular job today as he has done all year long. He's such a gifted kid in his ability to place the ball, and keep the ball out of people's hands.”
On being the more talented team on Saturday:
“Let me tell you something – talent doesn’t mean anything. Talent just gives you a chance to win. Performance is what it’s all about. If you don’t play well, you can have the most talented team and still not win.”
On Virginia Tech moving the ball in the second half:
“I think they started to make some plays. We didn't tackle as well. One of the things we did so very well in the first half was tackle well. Whether it was one-on-one tackles or gang tackles, there were several times where they would almost make a first down and we would make a tackle and they would come up a yard short. We were flying to the ball. We didn't tackle quite as well later in the ballgame.”
On not capitalizing on scoring opportunities:
“One of the things that is frustrating is you're not going to get four, five, six yards a down every single snap against Virginia Tech. It's not going to happen. I've watched it for the better part of 10 or 15 years When you get big plays and we had some, you've got to follow it up, you've got to get a first down, you've got to make a couple more plays and you've got to get the ball in the end zone. When you get a big play opportunity you've got to capitalize on those. If you lose the turnover war and you make a lot of penalties, you are probably going to lose the game.”
Listen to Audio (2:41)
On the defense's thoughts after the offense failed to take advantage of numerous scoring chances:
"I just thought we had to go out on defense and get the ball back for the offense and try get it on the Virginia Tech side of the field. We played pretty decent on special teams, so I thought if we can just win two phases of the game we can win it."
Did the defense tire out toward the end of the game?
"I wouldn't say that we were wearing down. It was just a little bit of miscommunication. We wanted to changes some things up at halftime, and we just had some miscommunication on our part on the field... But I wouldn't say we wore down, though."
Listen to Audio (1:53)
What changes does this team need to make going forward?
"I think that we don't change a whole lot, to be honest with you. I think we played our butts off this afternoon. Some things just didn't go our way... I'm sorry, but I'm just a little frustrated with the way things unfolded. I feel like they really took that one from us, and it really hurts deep down in my heart to lose to these guys in my senior year on this field."
Was there one play that was the turning point?
"I don't think you can single out one play but I think there was just a series of events that just put them in a situation to take it from us."
Listen to Audio (2:27)
What were your thoughts when T.J. Yates went out?
"I knew Mike was coming in - I never doubted him. I knew he gets snaps with the ones in practice, so I feel like he came in and did pretty good for his first game."
Did you think you had the ball on that last interception?
"I thought I had the ball pretty good, but the ref made the call and that's how it went."
On the costly turnovers:
"We just had some turnovers that we feel like we shouldn't have had and that we've got to work on to get eliminated. Coach always says the turnover battle will win the game."
Listen to Audio (3:23)
Information pertaining to his brain surgery:
"Well, I got a brain tumor, and it was on my spinal cavity and building up fluids in my head. It was causing me to pass out. So the doctor went in, and where the tumor was at, it was dangerous to take it out, so he drilled a hole where the fluids could still run through... After a couple of days, they [went back in] to see if it was flowing regularly. If that wouldn't have happened, I would have had to [insert] a shunt, and I don't think that I would be here."