Press Conference: UVA head coach Mike London

UVA head coach Mike London talks with reporters after the Cavs’ 28-20 loss to seventh-ranked UCLA in the teams’ season opener on Saturday.





Opening statement:

“First of all, I’d like to say how extremely proud I am of this team. UCLA is a team that’s picked to win the Pac-12, be in the four-team playoff, and some have picked them to win it all. As I said in the locker room, when you can go toe-to-toe and play a good football team like that, there’s nothing to hold your head down about.”


On moving forward with the quarterback situation:

“We talked at the very beginning about execution, production and performance. We made the switch and obviously Matt [Johns] did a very good job in the time he got in there. He can get better as well. Most of all, it’s about players that can perform, and he rose to the occasion given his opportunity. Like any other position, you have to perform. We’ll continue to evaluate players and look at the tape, and the players that can help us will play. Greyson [Lambert] is a young man who understands that as the game is going, there are decisions made that are in the best interest of the team.”


On if he considered a kicking a field goal late in the game down eight points:

“We were in a four-down position there. We didn’t execute there. Unfortunately, the play that was called [on third down] was not executed. It wasn’t a run play. It was a pass play. Matt [Johns] misread the signals as they came in. As I said, you have a guy who had been playing a good game, and then the signal comes in and he makes an error. But, that game wasn’t won or lost in that situation. There were so many opportunities during the game.”


On Matt Johns:

“He’s done a great job running the offense. He studies the game and he earned playing time today. What you saw was a young man who showed some confidence and is willing to throw the ball. He also showed that he has some things to learn. I’m proud of him and all the other guys for their effort.”


On UCLA’s three defensive touchdowns: “Defensively, they were where they needed to be. They capitalized on our errors. You take away those errors and you have a very competitive game.”


On how the team responds after a difficult loss:

“This season is a long journey. There are a lot of people that picked the team we just played to win it all. No one is hanging their head in that locker room because they know we can play better and we can do better. The next step is the next opponent, and that’s next Saturday.”


On Virginia’s defensive performance:

“Knowing that we had eight starters back in the same system, I knew we could play better defensively. That quarterback [Brett] Hundley is as good as anyone out there. That’s why he’s a Heisman Trophy candidate. He can run, he can pass, and he did some things that show why he’s a special player.”


On conservative offensive play calling:

“We wanted to run the ball and control the tempo a bit. One of the things you can do is keep the clock running with some short passes. The game plan was put in place to keep us in the game. We felt pretty good about where we were at the end of the game. When you play a team like that, you want to construct a game plan to be productive in all facets. Obviously, we want to make those throws down the field. We’ll make sure that gets incorporated more and we have the opportunities to throw the ball down there, and create mismatches and advantages for us.”


On performance of the offensive line:

“I thought the offensive line did a great job. This team allowed no sacks to a team that has a prolific pass rush. We were able to protect the quarterback and get the ball out. I was particularly pleased with Michael Mooney in his first start and Ryan Doull on the inside.”



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