The following are player quotes after the 30-28 heartbreaking loss to Top 25 Wake Forest in Winston-Salem.
DT Peria Jerry: (On how he felt in his first action since knee surgery) It was good. I just wanted to get a few reps today to see how it felt and now, hopefully, I am back fulltime. (On the final Wake Forest drive for the game-winning field goal) They capitalized and we didn't. They made the plays and we didn't. We had a couple of chances to stop them but we didn't make the plays. (On the Rebs' fight in the game) We battled them the whole game, but we gave them too many gifts. They are a good team and you can't give them the opportunities we did and expect to walk out with a win. We will not hang our heads though. We will come back strong. (On how much leadership he could provide from the sidelines) The guys were listening to me and playing hard, whether I was in there or not. We gave it all we had, we just didn't make the plays at the end when they counted.
QB Jevan Snead: (On his 4 TD passing day) I got good protection from the line and the receivers were going and getting the ball, but there were several plays we left out there we could have made. (On the final drive he engineered to give the Rebs a late 1-point lead) It felt great at the time. I thought we had the game won. But in the end it came down to the plays we didn't make earlier in the game that were the difference. We still have a lot of learning to do, but I was proud of that last drive because it showed a lot of heart and I knew everyone in the huddle was composed and determined to score. (On his interception) I just did not see the safety coming across the field. (On having on his scrambling shoes) I had to scramble a little last week so it wasn't as foreign to me this week. It's no big deal. I was still anxious about the game like I was last week, but I felt a little more poised in the pocket. I wasn't as nervous. (On his final TD pass to Cordera Eason for the go-ahead score) They had the original play covered so I just tried to buy some time for the receivers to find a seam. I went one way and they cut me off so I went back the other way and got the ball off to Cordera, who had kept working to find an opening in the secondary. (On the running game being sporadic) It didn't work as well as we had hoped, but we'll get that working too. Wake Forest was a good defense, but we gave them too much. Coach Nutt said before the game that we had to limit our mistakes, but we made them on offense, defense and special teams against a team that loves when you play that way.
DE Kentrell Lockett: (On the DL play) We played better than we did last week. It was simple, we just did what we were supposed to do and didn't have a whole lot of mental errors. They hit us on some plays but they only had like 340 something total yards. We were more focused than we were last week. (On the last minute where Wake drove for the winning field goal) We really didn't do anything terribly wrong, they just hit a few weak spots in the calls we had. That ball going through the uprights was a dagger, but we have to come back next week and get it going again. (On missing a sack late by a blitzing safety) It was a great call by Coach Nix, but we just missed the tackle. That would have been a completely different game if we had made that sack. (On the effort) We played four quarters today. We didn't last week. That's a good sign. We could have made a few more plays, no doubt, but it wasn't from a lack of trying that we didn't win. (On the team) We are a good team. We have talent, speed, pretty good depth. We just have to learn to stay focused all the time. When we are, we can play with anybody.
WR Dexter McCluster: (On the game) This one was tough. We have been waiting on a breakout win and we had this one in the bag, but we beat ourselves. We didn't execute like we know we can, but we are getting closer. The thing I like is that we fought to the last second. (On the interception he threw) I should have run the ball, but I thought I could get the ball to Mike Wallace on time, but I didn't. That one is on me. (On the Rebs' last drive) We just had it in our minds that we were going to score, no matter what. I could see it in the eyes of every player in that huddle. There was never any doubt and that felt good, man. That felt good. (On the pluses) No loss is positive, but it showed me we can play with anyone and all we have to do to win is finish. Coach Nutt has been preaching that since last spring. We let him down tonight, but we won't do it again.
TB Brandon Bolden: (On a couple of hard hits that hobbled him, shoulder and ankle) I took some good shots out there today, but I'm fine. I'm ready to practice and play. My shoulder was numb for a few minutes, but it's fine now. (On the run game) Wake Forest played a good game against the run. Sometimes there was a seam and sometimes there wasn't, but we hit the holes as hard as we could. (On the game) We just need to work harder. We aren't the best yet, so that means we need to work harder. I was very proud of my team because they never quit, and we never will. We will rebound from this.
WR Shay Hodge: (On his TD catch) Jevan trusted me to go get the ball and threw it up under pressure. I just went and got it. I am glad Jevan has that kind of confidence in me. But we didn't win so that doesn't mean much to me right now. All it tells me is that I needed one more touchdown catch and then we would have won. (On the Rebs' last drive) I didn't know who was going to catch the pass for the go-ahead score, but I knew it was coming. The feeling in the huddle was not like any we have had around here. We even got a couple of penalties and still scored against one of the best defenses around. We are just going to get better and better. I can feel it because we have the right attitude. We made too many key mistakes. I felt before the game that we could play with them and beat them. (On not letting this loss get them down) I see a different attitude in there right now. We are devastated that we lost, but you can also feel that we are going to bounce back and get back on the winning track.
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