Home Press Conference: UVA football coach Mike London

Press Conference: UVA football coach Mike London


London_1UVA football coach Mike London talks with reporters after Virginia’s 45-13 win over Richmond on Saturday.


Opening remarks:
“First of all, I am very pleased with the way the team played. I want to commend Richmond, they played really hard, particularly in the first couple of quarters. My hat goes off to Coach Rocco and his work getting his team prepared. I am very happy with our effort, especially in the second half. We caused a lot of turnovers today and had production from a lot of people. We had a chance to play a lot of players. It has been a long time since we won a football game, and my hat goes off to all the coaches and players who got ready for this. It’s short-lived because we have Louisville coming in next Saturday, but it’s a good feeling to have, that we haven’t had in a long time. We will learn from some of the mistakes we made and get better as a football team. I am very pleased with the effort and I look forward to competing and moving on.”


On the first win since last season:
“I am in it for the development of the players, on the field, in the classroom and in the community. When you see success on the field because of individual and collective efforts, you are very proud. I am very proud of the team and the effort. And now we’re ready to continue to get better and take another step forward. When it all comes together, it is gratifying to see that the effort by the players and coaches ends up with a victory. It feels good to win. Obviously we want to get used to this feeling and we want to have this feeling a lot. Winning is contagious and that is a happy locker room today. But we know that there is a challenge on the horizon for us, and we need to play better and do better coming up next week.”


On the quarterback situation:
“The quarterback situation worked out as planned. Grayson Lambert started. He has been the starter during the spring, summer and then August camp. It was good and he was productive. Matt Johns came in and he was productive. I was also happy to see David Watford come in towards the end of the game. We will look at the film. Moving forward, our situation is that the guys that are playing are the guys that are executing and performing, not just at quarterback, but at a lot of positions.”

On Henry Coley’s caused turnover:

“It was a big play. It is a turnover that sparks a change in momentum. Henry did it last game with a couple plays that changed the outlook as well. There were a lot of big plays on defense today. Quin Blanding recorded his first turnover. The scoop-and-score that happened against us last week occurred for us this week. We were in position with the fumbles. It was very productive and I like the effort. Richmond played well. They were flying around in the first half, but our guys hung in there. I wanted to run the ball, control the line of scrimmage, utilize a short passing game and take our shots when we had the chance. I was pleased with it today.”


On Darius Jennings’ success:
“Darius is a selfless person, in that he wants the team to succeed. It is easy for a guy after getting replaced to sulk or pout. But Darius realized that decision was in the best interest of the team. He worked with other guys and coached them. He never had an attitude or issue. It was great to see him with the touchdown catch last week and the success with his runback today. When you have a bunch of guys like Darius, who are leaders and great teammates who are worried about unity, then that is all that matters. It is contagious. It is great to see a young man like Darius have some success in these first two games.”


On the special team’s effort:
“First, our returners are guys that can make plays. Also, there was the opportunity to make blocks today. Kickoff blocks are some of the longest blocks in football. We executed well. Smoke and Darius were able to get us some plus field position, and that is critical. We have to play well on special teams and field position is always important. The caused turnovers today were critical as well. But, we had a couple of penalties on special teams that cost us. The first kickoff went out of bounds and that put the ball on the minus-35 for them. We are a work in progress, but it’s good to see these guys have success. They know that if they make their blocks, do their assignments and execute, then they will have a chance to be successful.”


On Richmond’s offensive game plan:

“They did not want their quarterback to hold the ball, so they got the ball out quickly and chopped our linemen to get our hands down at the line of scrimmage, it was working. But we mixed up coverages so we would have defenders in the flats. We did a couple things that put us in position to cause the quarterback to hold the ball longer. It was a good defensive adjustment. And when you cause turnovers like two we did, it changes the whole face of the game.”


On Canaan Severin:

“Canaan is a dedicated player. He has lost a lot of weight and is in great shape. He has made some terrific catches in practice. He is a guy that can go up and get the ball. He has been a very productive player for us throughout camp and in the first couple of games. It is good to see him have success. We are going to need him. We need those size receivers to go up and make things happen. I am very pleased with Canaan right now and the opportunities that he has had. He has benefited from all the hard work during the spring and summer. I am happy for him.”


On playing against former UVA players Michael Strauss and Michael Rocco:

“I know those two young men. After the game I hugged both of them and told them that I love them and wished them luck, along with Coach Rocco – as I’ve said we are very good friends. It has been a while since I’ve seen Strauss and Rocco. They have gotten acclimated to their team and their teammates. We have moved on and are doing what we need to do with our team. Both of them are good players and good people. They have good families and I wish them nothing but success.”


On the run game:

“The running game opens up the passing game and the passing game opens up the running game. We wanted to make sure that we averaged more than three yards per carry. When you can run the ball, throw short passes and then take vertical shots, it opens up a lot of things. That is one of the things that we tried to do today.”


On the defensive effort:

“You have to give Richmond credit. There were a couple balls that were thrown up in the air that we need to be more aggressive with. Both Richmond quarterbacks did a good job finding their open receivers and they performed well. We have room for improvement, but overall we had seven turnovers and a lot of aggressive plays. It was a positive part of the game. But we will go back and look over the negatives. Louisville is a team with a lot of great skilled players and we will need to sure up what we are doing for next week.”


On Daquan Romero and Max Valles:

“I believe Romero had an interception and a couple of big stops. Max did a great job with his pass rush moves. He was frustrated early because they were cutting his legs at the beginning of the game, but he overcame it and adapted to it, and was able to make some plays. Romero is a guy that has been around our program for a while and is a senior that is looking to go out strong and make a Virginia football legacy. With Max, the sky is the limit. He is a very good football player. If he is productive, then overall our defense will be productive.”



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