Q&A with Tony Elliott

"They are really patient," Tony Elliott said of the Virginia defense. "They play that umbrella coverage and keep everything in front of them, and then they always tackle well. What it boils down to is, can you execute and play mistake free football?"

Is there anything that the receivers can do as a group to improve on their performance this year?
Elliott: There's always things you can do to improve. The effort is great. We are playing hard and leading by example but there is still a lot of areas that we can improve on...like our splits and being disciplined when you are tired and making sure we are getting depth on our routes and stuff like that. We are getting better as a unit, I'd say.

What about potentially losing Airese Currie this week, how much does that hurt this unit?
Elliott: That's going to be tough. He's a game breaker. At any moment on any play he can break it wide open with his speed. When the defense sees that your speed is gone like that, they will play a little more aggressive, and we'll probably see more cover two situations. I think that we have enough good receivers that we can get by without him. Just as coach Bowden said, we are still in the race right now, so we'll need him back eventually.

Can you talk about having Yusef Kelly back in the mix this week at running back? How much will that help this offense out?
Elliott: I'm really looking forward to having Yusef back. Nothing against any of our other running backs, but he's a guy that's proven that he can get the job done. I think a different face in there could also help us out. As a receiver, you don't really pay attention to the running game as much, but we know that having a good one is critical to having a balanced offense, and that's something we need. So anything that they can do to get the running game jump started would definitely relieve some pressure off of us.

Virginia is a team that you guys have seem to dominate early in the game, but then they sneak up on you and beat you. What is it about their defense that gives you guys problems, especially once you get into the redzone?
Elliott: They are really patient. They play that umbrella coverage and keep everything in front of them, and then they always tackle well. What it boils down to is, can you execute and play mistake free football? As you can see, we've outgained them, as far as yardage is concerned, but they've always done better with turnovers. They are patient, and they wait for you to make mistakes. And once you make them, they capitalize going the other way.

Can you talk a little bit about the differences at quarterback between Charlie and Chansi Stuckey?
Elliott: Well one of the biggest differences is that Chansi is really excited once he gets the ball. He reminds you a lot of Woody Dantzler. He can take off and run, and he's very explosive and very quick. As far as him being able to throw the ball, I just haven't seen him in a game situation be able to the throw the ball like Charlie, simply because he's never been in that situation. That's the probably the biggest difference. Charlie is the leader of the team, he's our starting quarterback this year and he's done a good job. I'd really like to see Charlie out there because I'm used to seeing him out there, but I have all the confidence in the world in Chansi.

What's the mood of the team right now coming off a loss at Maryland?
Elliott: I think the mood is pretty good to be honest. Everybody realizes that Maryland didn't just beat us. They didn't whoop us either. I think everybody knows that if we correct those mistakes, we are good enough to beat everybody on the schedule. That's one of the things that Dabo (Swinney) preaches. If we go out and play mistake free football, the other team will have to play a perfect game to beat us.

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