Video: Interview with UVA quarterback Matt Johns

uva uclaUVA quarterback Matt Johns talks with reporters after the Cavs’ 28-20 loss to seventh-ranked UCLA in the teams’ 2014 season opener.

 

Excerpts

On the fourth quarter, third down play miscommunication:

“They signaled in the play, I read the wrong line on my wristband. That was completely my fault. Bottom line, I called the wrong play. That’s it. It was a pass play and that’s all I’m going to say about it.”

 

On whether or not he was surprised when Coach London called his name to play:

“Absolutely. I was excited for Greyson. It was his first college start. It’s what we all dream about. I was a little surprised, but I couldn’t let my teammates see that and I wasn’t going to let them see that. So when I was put in the game, I said ‘Guys we’re going to score this series and we’re going to win.’ I felt like that gave us a good opportunity, but it wasn’t good enough. We’re going to bounce back.”

 

On his teammates’ play:

“My offensive line played great and my wide receivers played great.”

 

On whether or not he had taken snaps with the first team:

“Grayson got 90 percent of the reps, but Coach [Steve] Fairchild mixed us in there a little bit.”

 

On how the experience of the game was going to help the team moving forward:

“The energy and passion that our team brought was just unbelievable. I’m so proud of our guys on the offensive line and every time I looked up at their eyes in the huddle there was never a blank stare. They were like ‘Lets go.’ I was really proud of all my teammates on all the energy and passion that we can build off of for the rest of the season.”

 

On what it was like to play in such a high-caliber game against such a good team:

“They’re seventh in the country, they moved the ball at the end, and the proved why they are seventh in the country. I think that was a great testament to us, to show that we can play with these guys and that we can play with anyone. I think our team is really going to build off that the rest of the season.”

 

On looking comfortable:

“Absolutely. We needed a spark and we needed a big play. When the play was called I knew I was going to Andrew Levrone and he went up and got me one. The play that started our comeback was from Canaan Severin. We got the look we wanted, and he went up and made a great catch, and that sparked the drive.”

 

On potentially getting his first college start:

“I don’t know, that’s the coaches’ decision, not mine.”

 

On what he said when he first got in the huddle:

“I said, ‘Guys, we’re going to score here and we’re going to win this game.’ Unfortunately it didn’t turn out the way we wanted, but I liked that when I said it and they believed me. There was trust, and I trusted them, all other 10 guys in the huddle. I think that was really important. kevin parks grabbed me and said ‘You got this. Let’s do this.’ And I really appreciated that from KP.”

 

On whether Virginia has a quarterback controversy:

“No, that’s up to the coaches. They’ll decide that and we’ll leave it to them.”

 

On the game plan:

“When you look at it, we lost by eight, right? But, we were in that game because of our game plan. Coach [Steve] Fairchild called a great game all four quarters. We had some turnovers, but that was beating ourselves up. That wasn’t the game plan. You can’t control turnovers, but we need to limit those. We handed them 21 points and that’s rough. As a quarterback, I was really happy with everything that was called. There were no surprises. I was ready for everything.”

 

On how Grayson took the quarterback change:

“[Greyson] was awesome. When I came off the sideline, he was the first one to support me. He’s one of my best friends on this team. We were roommates all camp. He’s one of the reasons I had so much confidence going in. It’s unfortunate that it happened the way it happened, but he’s one of my best friends and I couldn’t ask for any support than he gave me.”

 

On his own mobility as a quarterback:

“A couple times when the play broke down, KP [Kevin Parks] was like ‘Don’t be afraid to run it.’ Before our first touchdown, my second college play ever, I looked back and I saw Myles Jack, and I said ‘Wow, I need to get away from that! I need to get away from him.’ So luckily, I got the first down and gave us a shot to score. But I mean, Greyson is the most athletic kid on this team.”

 

On whether or not he could have envisioned sitting in front of reporters after the game:

“I don’t know. Last night in our pre-game talk, Coach London said ‘Some of you guys are going to need to step up.’ He was right. A lot of guys did step up today. Darius Jennings had two big catches. That fourth down conversion and that touchdown in the corner of the end zone. Our offensive line, the question that you guys have been asking for six months now is what is the offensive line going to be? And guess what? They played a heck of a game and I’m proud of all of those guys. A lot guys stepped up today and I was happy with our effort and passion.”

 

Video

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