Players' View: 'To go out with a bang...This is what it's about in November'

D.J. Reader: 'We like to go out there and try to out-do each other'

Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly carries the ball for a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson quarterback Chad Kelly carries the ball for a touchdown in the fourth quarter at Scott Stadium in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

Clemson-Virginia, from the players' point of view:

Clemson DT D.J. Reader

On the defensive unit's confidence: “We feel really good. We have some great guys that all like working together and competing. We like to go out there and try to out-do each other. It has been great competition between all of us.”

On facing Georgia Tech's option: "We are ready for it. We play really good run defense and it is what we like doing. We have a lot of sacks, so I think it will be good for us.”

Clemson WR Sammy Watkins

On QB Tajh Boyd’s performance: “Tajh controls the offense and that’s what he has been doing. All the five years he has been here, that is what we expect out of him and he played a great game. He was doing the right things with check downs and finding the right people.”

On the aggressive passing play calls: “Our coaches have been leaving us on the edge and did a great job calling this game.”

On a strong November finish to the season: “That’s what we plan on doing, keep finishing and staying healthy. With a bye week, we will get back to film, get healthy and get away from football for a week. We need to go out with a bang and have fun. This is what it's about here in November. You got to show everyone that you’re a top ten team now and not just in September.”

Clemson DB Jayron Kearse

On the defensive success: “We feel like we let ourselves down by letting them even get on the scoreboard. We came in thinking shutout and gave them a touchdown. We got it together and decided that they were not getting in the end zone anymore.”

On his personal improvement his season: “In my first game against NC State, I was not doing the things I needed to do, but now I’m understanding things more and they are putting me in the right spots to make plays and I am understanding the game more.”

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd:

On playing in front of friends/family in Virginia: “It was great to come down here and get a victory, that makes it 4-0 against my home state, which is sweet, but at the same time, we wanted to play the type of football that we are capable of playing, and that was the biggest thing. We have four games left, and we want to play our best football in November.”

On the momentum created by the defense: “The defense does a great job and puts us in situations with great field position to go out there and capitalize. Hats off to those guys. They have been performing outstandingly and it was great to see the offense get going today.”

On his personal performance: “It was fun, especially trying to peak towards the end of the season. It was good for the team, a confidence-builder for us. Our offensive line did an outstanding job today. We ran the ball really well and a lot of guys got a chance to play. We are going to need everybody in this last stretch of the season.”

On having a freshman CB covering Sammy Watkins: “You have to know your personnel. They had a young guy matched up with him and when you have a guy like (Watkins) with space, he’s going to have an opportunity to make plays. Sammy did an unbelievable job. You kind of just got to throw your arm up and he will have a chance to get the ball.”

On having fun: “I did, I did. That has been a big question of late. Every time I get a chance to hang with these guys, be on the field with the guys and talk to them is great. It is important to enjoy all of these moments”

On his advice to Virginia QB David Watford:

“Keep leading. It’s a tough time for him and their team, but at the same time, everything you experience in this life is a learning lesson. He has to take what he has this year and utilize it in the right way. And that’s what I expressed to him. He’s got to go out there and keep leading. I think they will have a tremendous team. They have a lot of young players right now. They’ve got to build around him.”

Virginia LB Henry Coley

On Clemson’s offense: “We just lost momentum, combined with guys not executing their responsibilities. They didn’t really surprise us with anything we haven’t already seen.”

On comparing Oregon to Clemson: “They are really similar, almost exactly the same. Oregon probably spreads you out a bit more than Clemson does. They hit you in the same kind of ways, perimeters, perimeters, perimeters.”

On moving forward: “We have no choice but to keep our confidence up. There are still three more games to play.”

Virginia DT David Dean

On keeping up with Clemson’s offense: “They were starting to do the things that we saw and prepared for in our game plan. Early on, we had some good success keying in on their plays and stopping what they were doing.”

On the 96-yard touchdown pass: “It’s tough, but we have a motto saying ‘You just have to forget it and move on.’ We had to go out there the next drive and try and stop them again.”

On building team momentum: “We definitely have to stop the big plays, that’s really been hurting us. It’s definitely tough having to go up against an offense on a shorter field.”

Virginia DB Anthony Harris

On the first half emotions: “I felt like guys were on their assignments and playing well. I felt like the energy was on our side. The energy was intense, we felt like we could go down the field and capitalize and move the ball a little bit on offense.”

On reacting to the final score: “They ran some good stuff out there, they ran some good schemes, but we also need to be more consistent. Guys were missing tackles, including myself, which led to two scores. Guys have to be more consistent with knowing our assignments and coverage.”

On Boyd’s play: “He is a good quarterback, he is experienced. He knows how to read coverage and knows where to go with the ball. He knows when to press different situations. We showed our hand a few times, which you can’t do with a veteran quarterback, and he took advantage of that. We had him backed up, but we showed our blitz and he did a good job of checking out of it and making the right decision to go downfield.”

Virginia RB Kevin Parks

On the game: “I felt like we came on fire and everything was clicking when we were tied 7-7, but we had a lot of three-and-outs and they forced the issue there. We had the defense off the field a little too long. We always want to play defense with our offense, but we had too many three-and-outs and I think that was the difference tonight.”

On what went wrong when Clemson pulled away: “We didn’t make the most of our opportunities, whether it was making catches, making the right reads or anything like that.”

On Clemson vs. UVa’s other opponents: "They’re a pretty good ball team. I think they pass the eye test. They were pretty big across the board, the whole team. hey are a very good ACC team."

Virginia QB David Watford

On the offense’s struggles: “A lot of not being able to execute falls on my shoulders. Coach had a great plan, and after seeing what we were able to do last week, we came out ready to go. They disguised a lot of coverages and caught me making errant passes and forcing certain things I shouldn’t have.”

On the game being competitive early: “We thought it was a game all throughout halftime and going into halftime. Coming out of halftime knowing we would get the ball back, and even before halftime getting the ball back with a little time, we thought we could score and get the ball back after the half and score again to get back in the game.”

More on the offense’s struggles: “It is very frustrating. We didn’t execute. My role as a leader on the team and as quarterback is too keep the team on the field no matter what I have to do- running or passing. I have to keep the team on the field and move the chains.”

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Comments » 2

rsb8931#286014 writes:

UVA has way too many fans that wear bow ties and saddle oxford shoes to games with their starched, collared shirts for them to have a good football team. It ain't never gonna happen.

TigerNE writes:

in response to rsb8931#286014:

UVA has way too many fans that wear bow ties and saddle oxford shoes to games with their starched, collared shirts for them to have a good football team. It ain't never gonna happen.

It will be difficult for them to be the top of the ACC, but their fancy dressin' fans at least fill the stadium up mostly. Compared to Miami which struggles to even fill up their venue half way most games.

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