Q: How was the flight back?
A: The flight back was the same as after a normal game. We didn't come up with the win but I don't think that guys were moping around on the plane or anything like that. We realize that we still have a lot of season left to play and with that in mind, I don't think that the mindset of the guys was negative. I think everybody is still looking to a positive outcome from this season. It's not over yet and we realize that.
Q: Could (Marques) Hagans have played any better?
A: He's a great player, a great competitor and a great athlete. He went out there and he brought his 'A' game when they needed it. We thought we could come back from what he did to us in the fist half but it was a little bit too much. I guess we just got overwhelmed and couldn't come up with the victory.
Q: Could you all have played smarter?
A: Well, we will have to look at the film. But I am sure we can see what we have to do better after we look at it so that we can correct the mistakes and get it on track for next week.
Q: Is there any concern by the defense because for the last two weeks, teams have been able to put up points and yards on you guys?
A: I don't think so. We'd like to do better. We've faced two potent offenses and probably the (two) best that we will see maybe for the rest of the year. We expected more of a run game from Virginia but their quarterback was doing the pass thing and they were getting that so they didn't need to go to the run game. Wake Forest came in as the number one rushing team in the ACC and came out as advertised but we did get the victory in that one.
Q: Coach (Mickey) Andrews always mentions takeaways, but you guys haven't gotten one the last two ballgames. What do you attribute to that?
A: The past couple of games we haven't created turnovers and coaches have mentioned that in practice. As a defense we try to work on stripping the ball from running backs when we are doing plays versus the scout team but in the game it just (sometimes) doesn't go that way. You wish you could get more but it hasn't been going our way as far as turnovers are concerned.
Q: Is that something that you guys have to get better at now because you need to give the young offense as many chances as possible?
A: Well, I don't know if it's necessarily that we are not doing the same things to create turnovers that we did in the first games. It could be that those two teams are just really good with the ball and they don't create a lot of turnovers. Like with the Syracuse team, they were very good at not creating turnovers but when we played them there were a lot of turnovers – it just depends. There are so many variables.
Q: Wake Forest, I don't think, had any turnovers against Boston College in the rain…
A: I think that's a huge factor in it too. Some games you just get a lot of fumbles, a lot picks. Like in the Boston College game, A.J.
(Nicholson) was in great position (for his two interceptions). Marques
(Hagans) didn't throw any dumb passes and he made a lot of smart decisions. Since they didn't run, we didn't have too many opportunities to stand the running back up and try to strip the ball from him.
Q: How much did you play on the left side last night?
A: I played a little bit more on the left side in the second half than I did in the first half. Pretty much it just depends. I will go back and forth depending on what package we had and the situation and down and distance.
Q: How often have you been over on the left side this season?
A: I have been on the left side every game this year. I don't know if I have any sacks from that side but I know I have a lot of pressures and knockdowns from both sides. I am just as comfortable playing on the left as I am on the right.
Q: Was there a change in strategy after you saw that (Hagans) was going to scramble a lot?
A: Actually, we had the strategy going into the game to contain him.
Watching film, we realized that he is better when he gets outside of the pocket as far as creating plays by running because he is a very mobile quarterback or throwing to maybe his first or second read. But he just breaks our angles with some of the things that he'll do. You can be rushing at his up-field shoulder like you do every other quarterback, he'll step up to cause you to turn your angle in more and he'll realize that you did that and spin out and he's gone. He pretty much breaks down a lot of angles you will have on him with his speed.
Q: The losses on the road that you guys have had the past few years seems to be because of unbelievable quarterback play. What can you do about that?
A: Well, I think in the second half we did a great job of coming out and making our adjustments. We played a lot better in the second half and we contained him. I don't know if I got both my sacks in the second half but I think we changed some things up and we came out and everybody stepped it up a notch. In the first half it was kind of like we had to see what we were dealing with and then we went in and made some adjustments. I was proud of the way the guys came out and responded. Even though we were down, I never thought we would lose.
The whole time I still thought it was possible for us to come back - until the last turnover and they ran the clock out.
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