Press Conference: UVA football players talk after UNC loss

unc-uva2Interviews with UVA football players Quin Blanding, Greyson Lambert, Kevin Parks, Anthony Harris and Darius Jennings after the Cavs’ 28-27 loss to North Carolina at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

 

Freshman safety Quin Blanding

On UNC’s onside kick recovery after scoring go-ahead touchdown:

“It was tough. We let this one slip away. When they came out, I kind of knew they were going to do something funky. For them to recover it, it blew my mind.”

 

On miscommunication that led to illegal substitution penalty:

“I think there was some confusion between the linemen on who was in and who was out. We’re one big unit, so that’s just a mental error. We have to fix it.”

 

On whether this loss could be a tipping point in the season:

“Not at all. We just know we have to come out next week and be ready to play.”

 

On the defensive alignment on UNC’s game-winning touchdown catch:

“It was just a miscommunication between myself, the linebacker, and the cornerback. That’s pretty much the bottom line of it.”

 

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Greyson Lambert

On interception in the fourth quarter:

“It was a screen pass. I tried to look off the defender before I threw it and I saw the lineman there. I probably should have thrown the ball in the dirt or maybe tried to maneuver around in a different way. Ultimately, I didn’t get it there, and that’s my fault.”

 

On fading off after a hot start on offense:

“In the second half, we didn’t execute like we wanted to. Also, their defense made a couple adjustments here and there and their punter did a great job flipping the field and pinning us down at the one-yard line a couple of times. A lot of things happened, and it definitely falls on our shoulders to execute.”

 

Senior Tailback Kevin Parks

On the game:

“The name of the game is to just keep playing. Things did not go the way we wanted them to today. It hurts, like getting a knife to the stomach, but we have to get back out there in the morning and see what type of men we are made of.”

 

On the miscommunications:

“Our guys just were not aware on the sideline. We have to give credit to the Carolina coaching staff for calling the onside kick. They called and made the plays they needed to win the game.”

 

On the loss as a tipping point:

“I myself have to be very positive, guys on the team look up to me and see how I act, so if I act negatively the guys will see that and things can go downhill very fast. It is up to me and the seniors to keep our hopes and vibes up and to keep playing hard so that the team can feed off of our positive energy.”

 

On Mike London’s reaction:

Coach London is a very positive guy, but I would be angry too if that happened to me as a coach. He is staying positive and knows what he’s doing so I will stand behind him one hundred percent, and so will the other coaches and our team.”

 

Senior Safety Anthony Harris

On stomaching the loss:

“We just have to go back and look at the film and continue to get better.”

 

On the defensive effort and the last UNC touchdown:

“It’s tough to give up a play like that right in the middle of the end zone and give them the lead on that play.”

 

On the onside kick and last minute penalty:

“Things like that will happen in the NFL as well as at the college level. Those are situations we just have to continue to communicate about and continue to practice so we can prevent that from happening again.”

 

On the loss as a tipping point:

“I don’t see it as that right now. We feel that we can continue to go out there and win some games and continue to compete. It was close, and we could taste the victory, it’s just all about us staying together and making the extra plays. It’s always tough to be in the game and lose by one score.”

 

Senior Wide Receiver Darius Jennings

On the offensive effort:

“We always say as an offense that three points isn’t going to get the game done. Having two turnovers hurt us and they kept pinning us back on our own one and two yard line, but we just have to keep getting first downs and try to put points on the board.”

 

On Carolina’s defensive adjustment:

“I didn’t see anything. I think it was more on us just not executing like we did on the first few drives. I think we hurt ourselves a lot today; we had spurts where we would play well but it just wasn’t enough to win.”

 

On the onside kick:

“I always try and warn the team if I see them tipping off an onside kick. On that play I didn’t see anything but we had talked in the huddle that it was that time of the game and that we should be ready for it. Our guys were alert but they just made a great play.”

 

On the receivers and losing Gooch:

“Gooch is a heck of a player and one our senior leaders. He’s been here for five years so him getting hurt definitely hurt our offense but our mindset as a receiving corps is that it’s just the next man up. We all play as a group and we all play as a team, so when Gooch went down we felt that we have more than enough guys able to step up and make plays.”

 

On the season as a tipping point:

“We just have to stay united. Our seniors have seen the highs and lows here, and things can go downhill, but I think that this team is different than the previous teams that I have been on and our mindset is just to correct what we did today tomorrow and get back at it.”

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