Post-Game Quotes

Sept. 29, 2012

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Louisiana Tech Head Coach Sonny Dykes Quotes

Thoughts on game

“That was a crazy, hard-fought, tough football game. First of all I have to give Coach London and his staff credit. They did a really good job. We were going to have to take away the run coming in and throw the ball and they did a really good job scripting some plays. I thought Rocco played very well early. I think he started eight for nine and he shredded us pretty good. Again, I think that has a lot to do with their game plan. They had a great game plan. They did a really good job of giving him some throws to be successful. We knew coming in it was going to be a physical football game. They are a big, tough football team. We had some injuries early: Justin Ellis, one of our better DBs, went down early and Soloman Randle, our middle linebacker, went down early. We’ve had some pretty significant injuries to our linebackers in the last two weeks. I was really proud of Chip Hester. I thought he played well and really did a heck of a job filling in that middle linebacker spot. It was a crazy game. I saw everything that could have happened happen. Never say never. Returning a kick to the one-yard line and the team couldn’t score. The way the game ended I hate. You hate for two hard-fought teams to fight as hard as they did and have it end that way. It’s good to get a win. Virginia is a good football team and I think they played really well tonight and this is a great moment for our football program.”

On tension on the field

“No, nothing like that. Coach London was great and his staff was great. It’s just that the way it ended in the last two minutes with substitution infractions, you hate for that to happen. You hate to see a game end that way. We wanted to get into an open set and try to draw them offsides and they had their kick returner out and I can understand why. They assumed that we were going to punt the ball. At that point, I didn’t feel comfortable punting the ball as we were having ongoing discussions on whether to punt it or go for it. I pretty much knew we were going to go for it.”

On how Virginia outgained LA Tech

“I’ve been on the other side of those games too and they are tough because Virginia probably outplayed us today. I think the difference was we did a better job taking care of the football and causing some turnovers. What I’m really proud of my players for is being able to weather that storm. Our kicker was good and we were down by only four at the half and we were able to weather that storm. We felt it was good to be down only by four at halftime. We were pretty fortunate today.”

On team’s mindset on the road

“I think honestly, it’s the biggest cliché in the world, but we just like going places and playing, just trying to win and not worrying about who we’re playing against or where we’re going as much as they are giving us a challenge as we play good football teams and we try to find a way to win. It was incredibly ugly tonight but I’d rather win ugly than lose pretty.”

On turning around game after trailing early

“That’s when we got the turnovers. They were huge and gave us a lot of momentum and created some big scores. That’s kind of the way we’ve played this year. If you look at us in the third quarter, we’ve been a very, very good third quarter football team and we’ve just tried to hold on to our rear ends in the fourth quarter. It’s kind of what’s happened to us against Houston. It happened a little bit against Rice. We haven’t been a great fourth quarter team but the good thing is we’ve made some good plays down the stretch and it’s got us a win.”


Louisiana Tech Player Quotes


Senior Quarterback Colby Cameron

On playing from behind:

“I think our offense feels like we can score pretty quick. With three quarters left in the game and down that much, I feel like our offense is pretty confident that we can score and come back.”

On the second quarter 94-yard kickoff return:

“You never want to have first and goal and not score. It’s a big momentum change for them. I think it just shows you the resilience of our offense and defense to get back on the field. It’s a good lesson for our team, to have something like that happen and not be able to score. It shows that our minds are still in it and we’re not going to panic when stuff does go bad.”

On possibly being ranked:

“We are just going to keep playing no matter what. It is a great accomplishment, but at the same time there are teams that are in the top-25 and then get booted out the next week. For us, I think we are just going to take it on a week-by-week basis, and that can really put us in good positions in the future.”


Senior Running Back Ray Holley

On the team’s winning streak:

“I think we’re doing a great job, we are on a roll. We are trying to keep the ball rolling, but we’ve got a ways to go. […] I think we are impressed, but at the same time we are humbled. Being from the Western Athletic Conference, it’s a great thing for our team. Most of all, we are humbled by being able to come out here and play with these guys.”

On playing on the road:

“It’s the mindset we’ve got going these days. We’ve played well on the road in the past and I think we are going to continue to do well because that is what we believe. If you believe something enough, and you repeat it over and over, that’s the result you are going to get.”


Senior Linebacker Chip Hester

On his third quarter interception:

“Sometimes you are in the right place, and the football gods bless you. I looked back and the ball was coming right toward me, so I took it and did what I had to do.”

On being perceived as an underdog:

“We pride ourselves on coming to bigger schools and being a blue-collar football team, being hard working guys. We thrive on being an underdog and invading stadiums. That’s how we look at it and playing our hearts out every game.” 


Virginia Head Coach Mike London quotes

On the final play and illegal substitution penalty:

“From a technical standpoint, they put their punt team on and we put our return team on. Khalek Shepherd went to the back to receive the punt. Somewhere along the way, I guess they decided to bring their regular offense in. Due to that, however, you have to be allowed the opportunity to substitute your correct personnel into the game. As they brought their regular offense in, Khalek was 40-50 yards away. Normally it is the technique of the umpire to stand over the ball and allow the substitutions to take place. We ran one of our corners on the field, because their regular offense was there. But, 50 yards downfield, was our punt returner, who should have been given the opportunity to leave the field. The official counted 12 players on the field, outside of the absence of knowing what’s going on with the personnel going in and out. A penalty is called. That’s the technical aspect of it, my interpretation of how it went down.”

On the emotional aspect of the illegal substitution penalty:

“It wasn’t just that play. It was great to see the guys fighting back into a position where a touchdown wins the game. You look at that play, or other plays, and there are other plays that occurred during the game that had we executed better than we did, we may not even be talking about this ending as it is right now. We have to look at how we do things and who’s doing it, and keep this team’s head up. There’s no place else to go.  We’re here, and I’m going to coach this team hard. I’m not going to give up on this team. I’m not going to allow them to give up on themselves. It’s a tough loss, but you know what, it’s a long season. There are a lot of positive things to take from this. I appreciate the fans that stayed out to the very end. It means a lot to see people jumping up and down and making that noise at the end. Just hang with us. To the fans: hang with us. Don’t leave. Hang with us. We’ll be fine. We’ll be all right. We need your support. I’ll coach the guys harder; I’ll coach the guys better. We’ll be representatives of this University.”

On interceptions:

“I don’t know the gist of the interceptions. I know one was an issue with a route that wasn’t run correctly. Phillip (Sims) came in and showed an arm, and threw it deep. He hit some guys downfield and we saw some amazing plays. It was good. I believe Adrian Gamble was one who caught a touchdown pass, and it was great to see a young player like that. We talked about receivers and how they had to step up, and it’s evident that Darius and Gamble, and even Tim Smith on one pass that was just slightly overthrown, can go vertical. They did a good job. I thought Phillip did a good job coming in and handling the part of the offense he had to handle to move the team.”

On personal fouls:

“You talk about playing smart. The second guy always gets caught. There was a lot of chippiness going on out there, a lot of talk and just stuff that we don’t need to get involved with. You’ve got to be smart. We talked about being physical, but also playing with poise. You can’t have however many penalties we had. We had six last week, and it’s amazing that the number is where it is. I’ll take responsibility for that. We’ve got to play with better poise and be smart about what goes on. A lot of stuff on after the play, but you’ve got to just be smart about how you react to those types of things.”

On evaluating quarterbacks:

“I haven’t seen the tape. I can’t make any decisions about that right now. So, as we go into watching the tape, and the decisions that we made on the quarterbacks and the receivers, then we’ll have the opportunity to make that kind of evaluation. Outside of making the evaluation based on seeing tape, knowing the call, and the assignments of those involved with it, it’s hard to do that.”

On Louisiana Tech’s second-half pressure:

“It’s a style that they run. They’ve been successful at it – the pressure it puts on, particularly the balls on their hatch close to their sideline, to hurry up, get you lined up, and look over to the sideline if you’re in a particular defense to call another play and try to attack the defense that you’ve shown. So, the tempo of it can get you gassed, particularly when you’re trying to substitute if you can. You’re running your guys from your far sideline over to the other side. It’s a strategy that a lot of other teams use. It’s a strategy that obviously worked for them.  You got tired a little bit in there. As I said, toward the latter part of the game, we woke back up and started playing again. I give them credit. It’s a very good team, a very good offensive team. All I can say is that I’m proud of this team. I’m not going to quit on this team.”


Virginia Player Quotes


Senior Linebacker Steve Greer

On defending Louisiana Tech’s high tempo offense:

“It’s something that we worked on in practice and we prepared for it. I think we were ready for it for the most part. We gave up some big plays, but that’s what their offense does.”

On defending Louisiana Tech’s screen-pass game:

“That’s tough because it’s kind of a dual-threat. You have to defend the run up the middle but they can also get the ball on the perimeter pretty quick. We have to set the edge and make tackles.”

On the game-ending penalty:

“It’s a frustrating way to lose. As far as defensively, we like being put in that situation. We had a goal line stand and we take pride in that.”


Junior Quarterback Michael Rocco

On if he thought his day was over after his third interception:

“You’re always hopeful and I wasn’t sure but that’s the way it went down.”

On whether Louisiana Tech made any defensive adjustments in the second half:

“No it was the same thing. We had a lot of yards, a lot of penalties and a couple turnovers. We prepared the way we wanted to, but things happen that you regret”

On his third interception:

“I stepped up in the pocket and I really couldn’t see what was out there. I trusted my receiver getting to the hole and I didn’t see the linebacker.”


Senior Running Back Perry Jones

On whether he thought the offense could come back to win:

“We definitely knew we had a possibility to win the game. Unfortunately we didn’t get the ball back.”

On the offensive game plan:

“We knew that coming into the game that they were going to play us hard and score as many points as they could. From the offensive side of the ball, we wanted to come in with the same mindset. We knew we could move the ball on their defense and Coach Lazor came in with a great game plan. Unfortunately we didn’t make enough plays to win the game.”

On his touchdown pass:

“It felt good. We have been practicing it for weeks now. That was something I knew Coach Lazor was going to call in the game. I’m glad we executed.”


Sophomore Quarterback Phillip Sims

On not getting the ball back at the end of the game:

“It was real tough. It’s pretty much everyone’s dream to be in a situation like that: two minutes left and the chance to help your team come out with a victory. Coming into the locker room and seeing the look in our eyes, you never know what may have happened with that time left. It’s a hard pill to swallow.”

On whether he thought they could score to win:

“In that situation I had all the confidence in the world in my teammates that we were going to put points on the board. The defense did everything they could to get us the ball back. We wanted the ball but it didn’t come out in our favor. I’m proud of the way everyone fought today.”

On whether he was making his case to win the starting job:

“That’s definitely not what I was trying to do. I try to help my team when called on. No matter what situation, a lot of people could say that they put me in for junk time that the game was over. I go in every play to get better and that has to be your goal. If you go in to make this play or that play, it’s in the dirt. That’s not what your goal should be. You should try to help your team get better.”

Virginia Assistant Coach/Player Quotes

Offensive Coordinator Bill Lazor

On gaining 625 total yards and still losing: 

“We gained a lot of yards and scored a lot of points, but the key is self-inflicted wounds. You’re talking about three turnovers and 16 penalties. I’m not sure how many of those penalties were on offense, but we were clearly impacted by them. The disappointing thing is that we hurt ourselves, and not taking credit away from Louisiana Tech because I thought they played hard, but the penalties and turnovers really hurt today.”

On the play of quarterback, Phillip Sims:

“I thought Phillip played well. I think the number one thing he has to do, and sometimes it’s hard when you’re inserted in the heat of battle, is to play on time. He has to learn how to get the ball out of his hands fast. I think he did a good job throwing the ball accurately downfield. He gave our guys a chance to make plays down the field. I thought that was impressive. It looked from the sideline like he had good poise in the pocket and we’ll keep working on it. Every week he’s here I think you’re closer to seeing him be able to execute the whole offense.”


Sophomore Tailback Khalek Shepherd

On the infraction at the end of the game:

I’m not sure what the actual infraction was. I really wasn’t sure what the flag was for. From what my teammates told me it looked like they had their punt team and their offense on the field at the same time. I guess they wanted to see what we were going to do and then do the opposite. I didn’t have a clear view from my vantage point. It just looked like a regular punt so I thought we were good to go. Then I saw everyone waiving for me to come off and I just ran off.”

On dominating the game early but still coming up with the loss:

“There isn’t anything we can do about it now. We have to put the game behind come Sunday and next week just be ready to play the next game. You can’t harp on a loss too long. You have to put the blinders on and get ready for the next one.”

On gaining 600-plus yards today:

“We got the “L” and there is nothing we can do about that now. We just have to go back to the practice field and sharpen up the offense more and more and try to get better.”




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