UVA football coach Bronco Mendenhall on win over No. 15 Miami

bronco mendenhallOpening Statement

“One of my favorite things is just to see our players happy and our coaches happy. They work really hard, we ask a lot of them and have now for two-and-a-half years. They’re becoming resilient and they are becoming confident and they acknowledge and see that happening. For me and my staff, it’s just fun to watch them transforming, not transformed, transforming and to see them feel that and sense it. It was really gratifying to see the energy of the crowd. I think it was the best crowd since I’ve been a coach here. I’m not talking about the numbers, I’m just talking about how engaged they were. And that atmosphere made a difference; it makes a difference. And I sensed maybe a beginning of what this really can be and more and more folks catching on and maybe believing this is for real and that this is going to happen. And so I just was proud of my team. And again, when you’re in ACC football you have to make enough plays to win and the games will be close, they will be competitive and that’s what we did. Really proud of our defensive staff again. The young guns on that side of the ball, I’m just as happy for them as I am for our players. Three of them were my former players, and to see them now passing that culture on is super gratifying. And to see [Bryce Perkins] just battle back and forth and find a way to help us with [Brian Delaney] emerging and kicking field goals to help us beat Miami at home, which was a pretty phenomenal thing and a turn of events I don’t think any of us could have predicted. So, overall, just a great night for Virginia football – for the players, the fans, and for the coaches.”

On motivation after the win

“Well, the shear number and quality of recruits that came to this game exceeded that of any game we’ve had in my time here. And when you play well and you show and they can see what it is, yeah, I think you gain significant momentum. We don’t have to send them an edit, we don’t have to write them a note, they can see and experience and feel what Virginia football is in an authentic view. It absolutely helps, especially when it’s earned and it’s not an accident and it’s not a fluke. We won the game and that has to be acknowledged.”

On the defense’s response to turnovers

“It’s huge. It looked like they wanted to play and they were anxious to play regardless of the circumstance and they felt confident. I sensed that during the week and that they delivered was phenomenal. The fourth down stops as well, they just kept answering the bell. Miami is a turnover producing, momentum gaining, change of possession exploiting team. Our defense answered and didn’t allow that all to happen. They squelched the momentum before it ever got away from us. My hat’s off to our coaches and players, secondary especially, making just tons of plays down the field.”

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