Johns: We Have to Play with Confidence

UVa quarterback Matt Johns talks about the offensive struggles ahead of No. 9 Notre Dame.

Virginia football is set to face its second top 15 opponent in a week. After facing 13th ranked UCLA last weekend, the 'Hoos will now look to to this week's matchup against No. 9 Notre Dame. 

"That kind of sets the tone of the caliber of team that we're going to play again," UVa quarterback Matt Johns said. "So I guess it's good going into it because we've seen that type of team and how capable they are, the playmakers they have and what they have up front. I think that sets a tone for our team and [shows] how we have to elevate our game." 

Johns and the Cavaliers will be once again play on the national stage, but that does not bother the signal caller. 

"Notre Dame's a team that travels well," Johns said. "They have fans all over the country. It's going to be a packed house, and that's what we came here to play in front of, big crowds, and we're really excited for the opportunity ahead of us.

Although playing in a packed stadium is always a special moment for athletes, Johns says it will be an even more special night for him. 

"I have two friends on their team: Josh Adams, he played at my high school, and their right tackle, Mike McGlinchey, I grew up and played lacrosse with him," Johns said. "So those are two guys I know pretty well, and I'm excited to compete against them. It'll be fun for our community back home to have a lot of ties to this game."

The UVa offense and offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild have received a lot of heat from Virginia fans for not being explosive - especially in the red zone, where the 'Hoos last season only coverted under 47% of their red zone opportunities. A problem that reared its ugly head against the Bruins last Saturday. 

“Every system has its flaws, but we like our system and we’re going to build off of it," said Johns about Farichild's offense. 

"You're not always going to get a touchdown," said Johns, "that's just football. But when you're in the red zone three times, we needed to put the ball in the end zone. I think that's a game-changer. That turns into 21 points instead of nine, and that flips the switch and maybe gives us some more momentum going into the second half."

But as always the Virginia Cavalier sees potential in his squad. 

"Fortunately we finished the game strong. That's a credit to our players. We're not going to give up. We scored on our last drive, and we've got to build off of that."

In the end the team needs to believe they can acheive its goals. 

"We've just got to play with confidence and play to the best of our ability."

Johns goes into more detail in the video above. 

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