BUTCH DAVIS & HAKEEM NICKS
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Listen to Audio (18:38)
"It's disappointing to lose the game. But I'm very proud of this football team and the strides that we've made as a football team. I was very proud of the way that we played and the way we responded to everything they threw at us. The speed and the tempo that West Virginia has in their offense is very difficult to replicate in your practice. I thought that our players settled down and got into a groove and played significantly better as the game went along.
"You can't say enough about Hakeem Nicks and the performance that he had. Just an unbelievable, phenomenal performance in excess of 200 yards, three touchdowns. He was solid, the bigger the stage the bigger he plays."
On T.J. Yates' interception:
"It was a snag route. We were trying to grab some of the underneath guys and have the opportunity to get a high-low type of combination. The pressure was a little early maybe and I haven't had the chance to talk to T.J. so I'm going to just say what the play was. On every single play that we call, he has the opportunity to make a decision, to read the play, whether it's high or short, outside or inside.
"He made some great decisions and some great throws today and you just hate to see that the game ended today with an interception with the performance that he had... We put a tremendous amount of pressure on our quarterback. I would venture to say that he probably changed the play 75 percent of the time today when he went to the line of scrimmage. He did a nice job, so you can't fault him for his performance today."
On Shaun Draughn's late fumble:
“You have the chance at that time with the lead to maybe go down and score certainly take it to more than a touchdown. We were hopeful that he got his knee on the ground before it came out. It’s disappointing when something like that happens. You hate it for Shaun and you hate it for the football team, when he made so many ggreat runs today. I thought that one of the major keys for our football team was the ability to pound the football and run the football. We didn't want to get into a three-and-out contest and give their offense a lot of opportunities.”
On what West Virginia did to limit his touches in the second half:
“After the first half, I drew a lot of attention. They played very well. They kept a safety over top and kept him deep, and kept the corner [up] – it was like a two-man press.”
On playing at home:
"I just wanted to go out in front of my home crowd and pursue the game plan that we've been practicing for the last two weeks. All I did was make plays when my name was called."
On his future:
"I'll sit down and think about my future after I talk to Coach Davis. Once we get back into town, we'll talk. He will play a big role in it. He's been great all year with us. We love him and it will be based off his feedback that I get."
Listen to Audio (8:27)
On how this game helps this program going forward:
"Coach [John] Blake broke it down for us so well in the locker room. He said you can't have a testimony if you don't go through a test. And I think this was a test. You can't tell anybody how to deal with something if you've never been there. So I feel like this was a test for us and hopefully we'll have a testimony for it next year."
On Noel Devine:
"My God... Noel Devine is one of the quickest people on Earth, I think. Just his ability to stop and go. He has short little, itsy-bitsy steps, but he gets to where he's going real quick. And he did a good job of doing that and creating cutback lanes."
Listen to Audio (3:36)
On how West Virginia adjusted in the second half:
"They backed up on us. They're not dumb -- if we go deep with Hakeem a whole bunch of times, they're going to back up and that's what they did. They backed up about 40 yards on some of those plays. They played good defense and dropped eight back into coverage a lot in the second half."
Is the interception about the only thing you're thinking about right now?
"Yes - pretty much."
Listen to Audio (2:07)
What's your plan now until the draft?
"Probably start training and get my body right. Working on all of the small things that I need to."
On how tough the last five or six minutes of the game were for him:
"It's tough, but anytime the offense had the ball, we were trying to get the ball back to our offense as fast as possible. We weren't panicking or anything - we just wanted to get the ball back to the offense."