Post Game Quotes
Southern Miss 30, Virginia 24
Sept. 24, 2011
Southern Miss Head Coach Larry Fedora Quotes
"First of all it was a heck of a football game. It was a very physical football game. We knew it was going to be coming in here. We knew we were going to have to be the most physical team in order to be successful. Give those guys credit. They made a lot of plays. They kept picking up first downs. Defensively we had a hard time getting off of the field early in thegame and early in the third quarter. We had three turnovers and three picks. It was big for us in the game. Offensively we didn't capitalize on some of those. We have got to do that. We didn't finish the drives. I thought they played well defensively. We couldn't run the football. We were not successful running the football, and it is hard to win football games when you become one dimensional, and that's what they forced us to be. Our team kept fighting and overcame the adversity that we had. I'm proud of the way they played on the road against a good opponent in the ACC."
On what made Southern Miss go for the fake punt:
"It's something we practiced and obviously it's a calculated risk. I felt confident that our guys would execute it. It just so happened they gave us the look we wanted. It was either call it off or stay with it, and we stayed with it and picked up a first down."
On possibly giving up the ball at midfield:
"My thought process was not to give them the ball at midfield and put our defense with their backs against the wall. We had donethat two weeks ago and really put a lot of stress on our defense. I said, `what the heck let's go right now.' I knew it was risk, but I felt comfortable with our guys executing the play."
On what the plans were defensively:
"It was getting more pressure and getting our guys to settle down. We weren't anywhere close to any receivers. Every time they threw the ball, there was nobody even close. They were picking up runs. When we finally settled down and started playing defense the way we can play defense, we were fine. There were no major adjustments to make."
On Southern Miss receivers:
"I was pleased. We knew it was going to be tough, but when those guys had to make plays, they made plays. We were like 10 of 21 on third downs. That's huge. A lot of those were third and longs that we converted actually."
Wide Receiver Kelvin Bolden
On the win:
"It was an accomplishment but we still have a long way to go. It's early in the season and Rice is coming in next week so we have to put this game behind us and move on."
Defensive Lineman Terrance Pope
On any adjustments Southern Miss made on defense:
"When they first came out, they scripted like 20 plays and were getting the ball out really quickly on short plays so we made some adjustments. We played a little more man-to-man. We started getting our hands up."
Defensive Back Marquese Wheaton
On preparation for the game:
"I wouldn't say we coached Rocco into throwing the ball a certain place, but we did spend a lot of time studying film this week. As adefensive back and a defensive unit, we played what we thought was coming so if we thought he was going to do a slant, we jumped on it. Throughout film study they showed a lot of tendencies so we just exploited them."
On defensive adjustments after Virginia's first two drives:
"They came out and did a few things differently than what we had seen on film so we regrouped and Coach did a great job of making changes on our end. On the back end, I want to say we started having a safety drop back to help out on the run. I told Coach that as far as the receivers go we can play them man-to-man. I didn't feel like they could run away from us so Coach let us do that."
On beating an ACC team:
"It feels just like the rest. There's no difference between beating the ACC and the rest of them. A win is a win to us no matter whether it is by three points, one point or 30 points."
On defending against Watford versus Rocco:
"We didn't even notice when they brought in Watford. I'm not sure about the defensive line and the linebackers but as far as defensive backs go, we didn't make any adjustments at all."
On Virginia's third down conversions:
"In the first and second quarters, they were converting third down after third down and I started getting worried. We couldn't get off the field. All we had to do was stop them on the third down and we couldn't do it."
On the fake punt in the second quarter:
"It was our game plan. We see it in practice. If they aren't disciplined then we are going to go ahead and run it. As a unit we can see that he's probably going to run it because they aren't disciplined. We didn't see anything on the initial line with Virginia but if Virginia's running all of their men down the field there is nobody there to force the punt."
Virginia Head Coach Mike London Quotes
On what went wrong with defense during the fake punt:
"It was trying to be aggressive on one particular side. You know, trying to cave that side to give them the opportunity to catch it.
"I think the game just boiled down to possessions. When you have three turnovers, that fourth down play resulted in another possession for them. It makes it difficult because that's an offense that's been pretty good because of the guy that's running it. It was unfortunate, and we just got to coach it up better and do better, still be aggressive, but at the same time be smart about how we do things."
On decision to play Watford:
"Without having the conclusions or the confirmation medically about Michael, I think, got hit in his midsection area and went in at halftime, came back out, thought he could go, and obviously on the last pick there showed that he couldn't. That's more of the reason why David went in and started the game that way."
On QB position:
"The quarterback is Michael Rocco. I'll find out what's wrong with him physically, and then after that, we'll talk about if he can perform. I'm worried about the young man's health right now. If he can't go, then obviously that question is `who's going to be the quarterback for this upcoming game?' Right now, there's no controversy. I'm more worried about the young man right now."
On 2-point conversion play:
"That was an athletic play (by Watford) - obviously, the drama with all of that, what happened to escape the rush that's coming at him. It showed some athleticism and some wear-with-all. Kris Burd ran, got across the goal line because that's all he needed. David made the throw on the run. That was a good play and weneed more plays like that from everyone on the team."
On Southern Miss's last few plays:
"I haven't look at it yet, but you ask what happened, and obviously it was a fake double screen: look one way, quarterback was very crafty and looked the other way and then start backing up. The defensive line started to pursue him andthen he just, with the touch of a good quarterback, kind of threw it out toLampley. We need to have a guy that sets the edge so the pursuing defense can get the guy. The defensive line needs to retrace their steps and turn back toward the line of scrimmage because of that. They executed the play perfectly. We got sucked in and drawn in, and then there was the run after the catch. Guys were falling trying to tackle him and he's elusive. He's done that in all the films we've seen. Obviously that was a tough one because if we stop him right there, we've got a great chance to do some thing."
On post-game message to team:
"They always stay at the middle of the field and say a prayer before they leave with George Morris, our football chaplain. As we all got there and all came out of the locker room and gathered around, we just talked about last week: close but not close enough. This week, close but not close enough. In order to change the perception of this program and this team in games like that, then we need to come out and win games like that. It's one of those things that the taste of losing doesn't taste very well when you're at home. You've got to do better. You've got to make those plays. You've got to get the coverages. You've got to stay onsides. It's different things like that. We just wanted to reemphasize that preparation for this week's upcoming opponent has to start in a film room, the practice field and everything that they do to rededicate themselves. These are close games, but you can be on the other side of a close game by just executing. So that's basically what we talked about, and that's what we're going to work on this week."
Sophomore quarterback Michael Rocco
On his performance:
"I just feel like I need to shake it off and go again. I made some decisions that I wish I could take back, but I can't. You've just got to move on."
On being roughed up by the Southern Miss defense:
"You've got to expect that you're going to get hit a little bit, and it happened today. I've got to shake it off and move on."
On first interception:
"I got hit a little bit as I threw. If I could've gotten it off a little quicker, it would've been a touchdown. I just undercut it. I got hit on the play, and it's no excuse to throw the ball into coverage."
Senior wide receiver Kris Burd
On close loss:
"Any loss is frustrating, especially when it comes down to the wire like that. In the locker room, we just talked about finishing on the other side. We had a lot of close losses last year. We've got to become a new team and a better team this year and take it as a learning lesson."
On last play:
"I dropped it. What it boils down to is that I'm a fifth year senior and a leader on this team and I've just got to make that play. I should've made that play. It's a play the team expects me to make, and I just should've made it."
On David Watford:
"I feel like he came in great. In a high-pressure situation and him being a freshman, it's a nerve-wrecking thing. I felt like he kept us composed and he executed."
On how the team can improve:
"Whenever we lose a game, we look at the little things and figure out what exactly it is that we need to work on. I'm pretty sure that tomorrow when we get in the film room, the coaches are going to break it down and let us know the small things we need to improve on."