UVA coach Bronco Mendenhall on win over William & Mary

Opening Statement:
“I was glad to have another victory. Certainly, to start our home slate with a win is very positive. It was noticeable the support we had today. I liked the energy and the attendance I saw at Scott Stadium. I really noticed the student section. I would love to continue to capitalize on that and play in a manner where our fans keep coming and are engaged at the level they were in the first half. I was pleased with the scoring in multiple phases… Our defense adjusted and played really well in relation to a very challenging scheme and had to work extra to be prepared. We saw and had a chance to evaluate quite a few of our depth players, which, to do well in our league from beginning to end, they are going to have to have a role. I liked what I saw from Brennan Armstrong at quarterback. I liked what I saw from Mike Hollins at running back. I didn’t see a defensive standout to say ‘Man, I really like that player.’ I’ll have to look more specifically at the film. Overall, a good win and a great personnel assessment tool going forward.”

On Joe Reed as a return threat:
“Joe [Reed] is the best kick returner that I’ve had a chance to coach. He’s got amazing speed and just has a knack and great vision and is very dynamic. I was surprised that the ball was kicked to him. I was hopeful it would be. We thought William & Mary was very aggressive on their kick [coverage] and we were impressed with that from week one and thought they had strong culture and were really aggressive. Our intent was then to run around them and come to the field. It was executed well and blocked well. Also, not just Joe Reed, but I really like Billy Kemp at punt returner.”

On winning convincingly as the favorite:
“It’s a unique challenge in itself – going on the road to Pitt and all the focus being on that the entire off-season and then to have that success and turn around and play a team that I think is well coached and a good football team. On paper, we should win the game and should be favored to win the game. To play and win convincingly is a challenge and it is a test and it reflects maturity and experience. I take that as a step in the right direction – being able to adjust from week to week on the different challenges that come our way. To do it on a short week was tough. I was happy overall with the way that we performed.”

On the UVA defense asserting itself quickly on the opposing quarterback:
“[Mathis] is a very good football player and is very dynamic. I think they have two good players at quarterback. I think their scheme is very strong and well thought out. What we believed in watching the one game on tape is that if [Mathis] was allowed to have a head start and get in the open field, that’s going to be a challenge – and we saw that in scrambling early. We actually wanted to stop him before he ever got started. It increased our amount of pressure, which seemed to be effective and get his eyes from going downfield to the rush. For the most part, that is what we wanted to do.”

On this being the most mature team Bronco has had at UVA:
“I would say it’s the most mature team I’ve had at Virginia…I’ve seen them growing in that regard. I see it by their daily work ethic. It doesn’t take much motivation to encourage them to prepare. They understand the value of special teams and the leadership they show and they understand the areas they need to improve on. They’re receptive to the feedback I give them and then they go to work on it and then they apply it. This group, at least at my time at UVA, has now been the most mature group…I think we’re seeing that manifest just in the first two games.”



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