"So we are back to the drawing board so to speak, to try to maybe simplify things even better because we didn't play very fast. We didn't play with as much energy and I think it is all due to perhaps overloading them a little bit. I'll take credit for that, trying to get ourselves in position to try to match their speed. They're extremely fast. You have to be really perfect when you fit plays, both runs and passes, and obviously we didn't do a very good job of that, particularly the start of the second half.
"But I'm really proud of the way our team fought back into the game at the end of the first half and I felt like we were going to go out and win a ballgame in the second half. The exact opposite happened in the first two series.
"I think we showed once again that this team will fight and fight back towards the end of the game. I'm proud of some of the things we did at the end. I'm happy with the way Matt Baker played at the end. You know, Jarwarski Pollock is third in the nation right now [in receptions]. Dexter Reid is leading the ACC in tackles once again. Darian Durant set another record. The wide receivers, the young wide receivers, played well. Mason both on catching the football on offense and returning the football with a lot of energy and a lot of excitement on the kickoff return. I think it is interesting to note we are averaging close to 36 points, 450 yards per contest in the last three games offensively. So we are doing some good things. We're just not doing enough as a team to get a W.
"I'm excited about this week. Virginia has had some big wins already this year. They had some big wins last year. Their quarterback is back. They have got some good defensive players that can make some big plays for them. They're well-coached. They're special teams are very good, so we are going to be up against it.
"It is a great rivalry, I guess the South's oldest rivalry. The 108th time we have played. So I hope we can go out and play very well this week and get back on track, get a win if we can. But I want to play the way we have mostly played offensively. I want to play the way we have mostly played on special teams. I want to see us play better defense. We will continue to play players. We played 64 players in the game against N.C. State. 25 on offense, 24 on defense and some individuals on special teams. Our team I think will be very excited about playing against this team. I think our team feels still very good about some of the things we are doing, we just need to keep working, grinding away on the others."
Q: What does Darian Durant do for this team in terms of what he gives out there as an example for everybody else?
A: "If you could see the hit he took over there on the sideline against N.C. State and see him bounce right back up, not many people would have gotten up from that hit. That was a big-time football hit over there. They got flagged for it, which they should have, but he is just an incredible competitor. He is leading the team in the passing game and I also think he is our leading rusher. Darian has continued to grow. He didn't have quite the game that he wanted to have, or we wanted to have up at Wisconsin. He bounced right back and played a great ball game against State. As I said we are dependent upon him to a large extent, but most offenses are on a quarterback. It is just his competitive nature that is most impressive to me."
Q: Are you going to simplify things on defense?
A: "We may have overloaded a little bit on defense last week, trying to get ourselves in the perfect defense for that formation, or that formation. Like I said that is my fault. That sometimes overloads the mentality. There's a lot that happens so fast out there in front of you, if you watch there is lots of shifts and motions and we wanted to be in the right defense. We had some audibles on defense, and maybe we audibled a little too much. There is not much crowd noise on defense over there, so we thought we'd get those vocal audibles. But we were not as sharp as we needed to be. We are going to try and simplify things a little bit."
Q: Turnovers -- not getting them has been a problem. Will that get the ball rolling somewhat to come up with some turnovers?
A: "There are a lot of great defenses out there that play great defense because there's short drives, because they got a turnover on the fourth play, or the seventh play or the ninth play. Those are usually teams that have great team speed that fly around the football and get a lot of players around. We are running hard, but we are not always in the right position to make that play. We are not getting enough guys to the football."
Q: Last year you had a lot of injuries, were very thin. You could see why you struggled on defense. Now you have got more bodies, why are they not seeming to get better?
A: "That is a question I ask myself. I think one of the things is the opponents that we have played so far are doing quite well. Right now we are ranked with the nation's toughest schedule with the people that we have played. That might have something to do with it. I wouldn't say that we are a lot deeper. We are playing more players, that is not always good. I'm playing sometimes too many players. I'm trying to get kids opportunities to see if they can help us win on defense. The continuity factor is not as present as you would like to have. We made progress against Wisconsin. We made progress against Syracuse. We took a step back against State."
Q: How is Bobby Blizzard's health?
A: "He feels good. He feels good today. He did not have during the game any weariness. I think he played approximately 30 plays, which is what we thought we wanted to play him. He's a little rusty, but I think he's real anxious to play this week."