Tuesday Q&A with Al Golden

Read on to see everything head coach Al Golden was talking about Tuesday afternoon.

On Virginia:
We’re excited about going to Charlottesville to play a very good Virginia team. They’re physical, smart, and played a really good game against Florida State. They have a downhill runner, a big offensive line, and a quarterback who is very good in the play action game. It’ll be a great challenge for us.

On the nose tackles:
We’re more stout. We’re being more active. I don’t know if anyone is separating themselves but if I had to pick one it’s Calvin in terms of consistency and not making errors. All three of them are showing up in games and it’s a position that has clearly made a lot of progress for us.

On whether the FSU loss has been discouraging to players:
It’s disappointing but not discouraged. They know we’re playing much better over the last five weeks. I’m proud they laid it on the line. They went toe to toe and truly believed they could win the game. Our guys believed and attacked. It starts with me. We came up a little bit short. We have to learn from it and move forward. They gained a lot of confidence from it and they know how difficult it’ll be in Charlottesville in primetime against a team that is playing well.

On whether they made halftime adjustments:
We made a lot of adjustments. We stated getting longer runs because of their coverages. We started getting 7, 8 yard runs. We changed some of our route concepts. We had three balls batted down that could have been explosive plays. We fumbled on a 20-yard gain. We called lots of shots in the second half but we didn’t hit them.

On Trayone Gray:
He’s big. We keep putting his weight down to 215. He’s been going the other way. We’ll see where that leads him. He’s athletic and willing. He played a lot on special teams the other night. I’m encouraged about him as player. I don’t know what he’s going to be but I’m glad he’s with us.

On Brad Kaaya not spreading it around enough:
Brad is doing a good job distributing the football. Our overall output in the game was good. If we don’t fumble the ball in the 2nd half we have a chance to run a little more there. Any of those plays puts you over 500 yards against Florida State. We needed one or two more plays in the 2nd half. We had Stan open down the seam on another play and we had a ball deflected. We had Joe open on the sideline and it got deflected. It’s just a function of dictating where the ball goes and we have to execute.

On how recruits responded to the game:
They’re excited about it. They know we’re building, and know Florida State’s been ahead of us. We’re close and we need help. They know that. It was difficult in the past given our circumstances. Our guys are excited. Recruits echo that. A lot of freshmen are playing significantly and playing well. It was a great atmosphere.

On missed opportunities vs FSU:
We don’t have enough time. There’s one play here, one play there. The good news is that our guys came in with great attitudes and learned from it. Our focus is now on Virginia.

On knowing UVA coaches so well:
There are a lot of friendships there. Mike and I were together for a long time. There are a lot of relationships there. We know the challenge they present us. We know how physical they were last year.

On this week’s O-Line:
We’ll see what matchup we like. If we like Jon better outside because of their speed, and Nick inside, we’ll see how it goes. We did that last week and we decided to keep Trevor outside and it worked because we didn’t give up a sack. We just have to compete the ball a little better.

On the depth at RB:
We’d been going with three all year. Duke carried a big load in that game. It ended up dehydrating him a bit toward the end. Our guys are really anxious to get back on the field.

On the status of Gus Edwards:
Good. I believed right up until the kick that he was gonna go. He just did some things in pre-game that I wasn’t comfortable with and Ice wasn’t comfortable with but he looks good to go.

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