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Listen to Audio (13:04)
"I guess if you coach a lifetime, you see just about everything. It was one of the biggest up-and-down, roller coaster football games I've ever seen. You've got to give Miami an awful lot of credit, they are a very gifted, very talented and very well-coached football team. And they never quit. We kept trying to put it away, put it away, trying to get a lead and they kept battling, getting back in and they proved how explosive and how dangerous they were.
"Clearly, the major story of the entire night had to be the big plays on the interceptions. We've been very fortunate. We've got some kids in the secondary that are very talented athletes. Not only can they play the ball well in the air, but clearly they can catch the football. And tonight, (the interceptions) couldn't have come at a bigger time. Kendric Burney made some just phenomenal plays. Our pressure early in the ballgame was very good.
"One of the things that we had seen them do when the pressure got on them in some of the other games, they started to do an awful lot of max protections. Play-action passes, keep one of the tight ends in, keep one of the backs in, some six, seven-man protections, sometimes even eight, and run two-receiver routes. And they've got two really big, explosive wide receivers like they've got, that still gives them a chance to make some plays down the field.
"I was very proud of our offense. We moved the ball from time to time, not clearly with the efficiency...but we kind of expected how hard it was going to be. They're pretty good on defense. We knew it was going to be a little bit of a tough contest from that standpoint. But at the end of the ball game, to be able to eat up over five minutes of the clock, make them burn up two of their timeouts and put some points on the board. We would have loved to score a touchdown, but three got it to nine and that was good enough."
On the defensive line getting pressure on the QB:
"It's been one of the strengths of our football program. We've got a good defensive line, we've got eight guys who we try to rotate and get in the ballgame. If you don't get pressure on Jacory (Harris), you see how dangerous he is. He throws the ball extremely well. The early pressure that created the turnovers was unbelievably instrumental in the win today.”
On Kendric Burney's interception at the end of the second quarter:
"Momentum at halftime, going into the locker room is unbelievably important. You may still be leading, but if they leave the field with a real positive feel...there's always hope for the next half. Stopping them and getting the interception, it certainly helped us...it obviously flipped the momentum back in our favor."
On making adjustments:
"Life teaches you lessons. I think this football team, in the Thursday night game vs. Florida State, learned a really big lesson about trying to finish ballgames. About how important it is to play all 60 minutes, no matter what the score is at halftime.”
On becoming bowl eligible:
"It's a huge step for this football program. The goal and objective every single year is to get better as the season goes on. No matter what cards are dealt to you, you want to be better, you want to build on the momentum. There's been some unbelievable things happen in this program over the last 30 months. Facility improvements, recruiting improvements, the jam-packed stadium improvement, everything that is going to be done in the future (to the stadium), going to a bowl game last year...that's how you do it. You get momentum, you get a wave of enthusiasm going, and you ride it, and you keep doing it."
On the fumble on the long interception return:
"I didn't think there was any chance it was going to be reversed. (Burney) got tired, pitched it to Melvin (Williams), and Kendric said Melvin's eyes got real big. That's a play that playmakers make. You see it every day in the NFL. (Burney) looked around and I think he actually saw someone he didn't want to pitch it to. That's what made him start to bobble it. Then he pitched it to Melvin and Melvin got tired. They were all mad because they had to go out and cover the kickoff and play defense again. But thank God for the points."
PART I Listen to Audio (2:47)
PART II Listen to Audio (2:08)
On having so much success against Jacory Harris:
"We new he was a great quarterback. We knew they had speed and a great passing attack that is one of the best in the ACC. We just prepared well and great things worked out for us."
On having a career day:
"First of all, you always got to give God the glory. You know, everything worked out well. In my life I have never had three picks. So it was big. You know, having my family on the sideline and it being senior day, it was just big."
On the interception/fumble to Melvin Williams:
"Getting the chance to give Melvin the ball, him being my roommate, that made me more happy than any of the picks and anything that I did today."
Listen to Audio (3:08)
On having Ryan Houston in the backfield in the fourth quarter:
"Especially late in the game, it is really difficult to tackle someone that big. He runs hard, but he is really shifty as well. He can make somebody miss and still get up the field. Just having that guy back there and going into a situation where we have to move the ball up the field and eat up the clock. It just gives everyone on the team confidence."
Listen to Audio (2:51)
How the game was won…
“Finish the ball game. There’s a lot of games – especially at Virginia and Florida State – where we had the chance to win the ball game and we just didn’t capitalize. Now, we put it as one drive at a time or one play at a time and just play your best on that play. If you’re tired, just suck it up and do your assignment, and then we just execute.”
On the victory…
“I say that we did it for the seniors. It’s Senior Night and I know if I was a senior, I wouldn’t want my last game on Kenan Field to be a loss. We just put together a great game plan. We had rough weather this week, but we took a lot of mental reps.”
On the running game…
“We did a lot of runs early and it didn’t go for big yards like we wanted to in the first half. But Coach said we should keep going at it. And the runs in the first quarter that’s giving us two or three yards in the fourth quarter were going to break for five or six – and that’s exactly what happened.”
Listen to Audio (1:18)
On his fumble recovery touchdown…
“Me and KB [Kendric Burney] were just playing out there and the next minute I get the ball in my hands and I didn’t know what to do. I guess he just wanted to get us, the defense, a touchdown – what we’ve been doing all year.”
On preventing a collapse, similar to the one against Florida State…
“We didn’t talk about it [at half time], but we knew deep down inside that that nasty after Florida State [game] we didn’t want that again. So we all just buckled down and got to it. We didn’t want that nasty taste going into Sunday and watching film and being like ‘Man, we could have won this game.’”
Have you ever been a part of a play as unique as the fumble return?
“The Music City Miracle [game] – I was there when that happened… I knew it was going to be a freak play, because I seen him and he just threw it to me. I was like ‘This is about to be freaky.’”