What happened in the fourth quarter when you guys were really moving the ball AND getting into the endzone?
I think we got composed. We were trying to rush a little bit early in the game. We realized that it was a long game. We came out in the fourth quarter that they couldn't stop us and we were going to try to move the ball running it or through the air. It didn't matter.
Did you all know you were averaging almost nine yards per carry in the first half when you talked at half-time and running more in the second half?
We knew it. If not for the turnovers, it would have been a whole other ballgame, and we knew that. We felt like we could run the ball on them the whole game and just needed the opportunity. The defense got some key stops and we were able to run the ball.
What do you think about Ronnie McGill going out with a hip pointer twice and coming back and doing what he did?
He's a beast. He's a beast. We call him man-child because to be so young and that powerful is not a common combination. Hats off to him he made some heck of a runs.
What accounted for the turnovers in the first half--were you just nervous or anxious or what?
I guess you could say a little bit of both. That's going to happen in first games. I'm just glad we got it out of the way now. We can focus on Virginia and focus on those mistakes.
Players have said that you are a calming influence on the field. Were you the one calming them down out there today?
I've been through that so many times before with turnovers and getting down and getting backed up. I just wanted to keep the guys calm. We had some young guys in the huddle. I just wanted to keep them calm and let them know, 'We can overcome all these things if you just stay focused.'
I got hit on the second play, took a helment to the hip. I went in and didn't expect it to keep hurting after that, but it started to hurt again so I had to go back into the locker room. I really don't know how I did all that in the fourth quarter [laughing].
Does it hurt?
Yeah, it really hurts. I've never had one before and I've got to give credit to all those people who've played through them.
It feels real good, but it was a whole offense thing. Jacque had 120 yards too, so you have to give credit to the offensive line and keep doing what we're doing.
Do you expect to be able to do similar things next week?
We always plan on running, but early in the first half we were passing a lot. We went into the locker room at halftime and coach said we were going to pound it, and we did.
Did you hear the booing going into the half?
We did kind of, but we just tried to block it out, listen to the coaches at halftime and play our game.
Did you think you were going to play after the second time into the locker room?
After the way it felt, I thought I was just going to the sidelines to cheer. I got on the bike though and it warmed up and started feeling good so the fourth quarter came and I went in. The trainers asked if it was all right and I said yeah, and even though it hurt, but the adrenaline kind of took over.
You had a big game today. What is it like to do well statistically as a team and an individual?
As a team, we know we have a good offense. I think Darian Durant is the best quarterback in the ACC, and when he throws it like that all the receivers can catch it.
What happened on that fumble?
I don't really remember it all that much. I caught it and got hit, made a guy miss, and then I must have gotten hit from behind or something. I think I may have been switching it up, and gotten hit, but all I really know is I fumbled.
Are you looking forward to Virgnina?
We haven't really looked at Virginia too much, I just know that they have a really good defense. I do know that we can't go over there and turn the ball over, or we'll get beaten. We just have to go into practice and focus on executing and we'll be fine.
What was it like being featured so much?
I played a lot late last season, so I was just excited to be able to get in there and do what I could to help the team. The catches and yards are not important, it is the team that matters in the short and long term. If you lose, no one remembers stats.
How was the first game?
As far as a group of receivers, I thought we had a very nice game. We had a rough first half, but I thought that we bounced back well.
What was it like getting thrown to so much?
It is something that i wasn't expecting, because with a group this talented you can't expect to get the ball all of the time. When you do, though, you have to make the best of it and that is what I tried to do.
What are your thoughts on Virginia?
I haven't even thought much about that yet, we've been focused on this game.
What are the differences between kicking in college and high school?
The atmosphere and the crowd is much bigger, but the scrimmages have gotten me used to kicking here. I just try to focus on each kick.
Is the speed different?
Not really, mainly the speed at which the ball is snapped. Our long snapper does a great job of getting the ball there accurately and quickly, which gives me a bit more time to focus on the ball and making sure that I hit my spots.
It was great to get out there and not have to face up with our offense anymore. We overcame some adversity, which shows the type of team we are. We don't ever quit.
What was wrong in the first half?
I'm not really sure what went wrong in the first half, but we came out in the second half more intense. We had a great speech in the locker room from Coach Sanders and Coach Gutenkunst (sp?), so we came out more intense and focused and played better.
What did they say in the locker room?
I can't really go word for word [laughing].
You seem to have had some big hits.
That just comes naturally as part of the game. You can't go out there soft, you have to come with all you have and do the best you can.
What did you think of William and Mary?
I think they were a great football team. I played 1-AA myself, so I know there are some great players out there. They came in with a lot of confidence that they could win, but like I said we overcame some adversity and got the job done.
Did you block that punt?
I think I just pushed my guy into it, I don't think I touched it. It was a key play, though, a big momentum swing.
What was the transition like to D-1?
Football is football, just a lot more fans. There were a lot more dedicated people out there supporting the team and it was a great first experience.
What was the problem in the first half?
It was a mixture things, mixed tackles, mixed up coverages, and getting lined up wrong. In the second half, everyone calmed down and got onto the same page.
Did you feel better about the team after that second half?
Yeah, it was an effort thing. The coaches stress effort, and in that second half there was the effort we need. Everyone was hunting for the ball; it is an effort game.
You seemed to get into the backfield and pressure the quarterback as a team, but didn't get a sack.
Yeah, I think we were playing up in the air too much. We were playing off of one foot too much, and that meant we couldn't make out cuts. He would look around and see us coming, and he would cut and because we didn't have both feet on the ground we couldn't cut until late. By then things were gone, and we didn't have any containers on the back end.
You seemed to get emotional a few times out there on the field.
That is just my style of play. If I get excited, then that can rub off on everyone else but if I am not excited then I can't impact anyone. If feel like I made a good hit and get excited, then I think the whole defense can get excited and play better.
Do you think the O line played up to the coaches expectations of the leaders?
I think so, because we just did what we needed to and kept going. Coach Connors was so hyped, because one of the keys to our program is staying strong in the second half and especially the fourth quarter and you saw that today. Definitely made it a lot easier on Ronnie McGill.
When he went out twice...
He went to the locker room? I was unaware of that. After hearing that, that's why we call him Ronnie Franchise.
What about having two 100-yard rushers?
It definitely builds our confidence, knowing that we have strengths in numbers and strengths in more than one man that can get the job done.
Confidence in the line?
Yes, that is our goal to have a 1000 yard rusher and if we can continue like today we could have two. What I am looking for is one, though, one is good enough for the moment for me.
What was half-time like?
There was no slandering in the locker room. We had faith in our abilities to come out in the second half and get the job done. Of course there was frustration, coming in from the first half with the adversity of four, four turnovers. We ran over it in training camp that with four turnovers you have a 15% chance to win, and it showed out mental toughness to get out there and execute.