What Miami Hurricanes players, coaches said after Virginia win

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – NOVEMBER 18: Chad Thomas #9 of the Miami Hurricanes takes the field during a game against the Virginia Cavaliers at Hard Rock Stadium on November 18, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

[Five quick takeaways from Miami-Virginia]

[Live updates, commentary from the press box]

[Pregame notes, photos, videos, commentary]

MIAMI GARDENS — Comments from the Canes after the Virginia game.

Mark Richt

“They were ready to play. Not that we weren’t. We were ready to play, too. They just took it to us. … Not used to having people move the ball like that on our defense. … Offensively, we were hot and cold. Pretty typical for us.”

Richt said he appreciates his team’s heart.

“It’s hard to stay at a fever pitch,” he said. Richt showed players a video of highly ranked teams losing. Antrel Rolle spoke to the team Friday night and noted that even the best NFL teams can get “waxed” if they don’t show up.

In the run game, he said, “they whipped us.”

Ahmmon Richards “is not his full-speed self,” but Richt was pleased to get him going.

Richt has never been 9-0, so this is his first 10-0 season. “It’s a blessing,” he said. Miami is 10-0 for the first time since 2002.

Senior day comment: Richt said he asked his seniors to “just buy in,” and the young players will follow. “The guys that stayed are being blessed right now. Those guys have been through some rough times.”

Jeff Thomas was on the field for a punt return — when two No. 4s were on the field, drawing a penalty — because Braxton Berrios was “banged up. … He’s OK,” Richt said.

Kc McDermott

On the crowd, which was legitimately loud and packed: “We’re giving this city something to believe in.” He said tragedies and winners can bring a city together. They’re the latter.

Virginia “had a great game plan,” moving its defensive front and shifting linebackers to attack Miami’s zone-run scheme.

“Poise and confidence” is what this team has, McDermott said. “This team believes in our goal and the way we’re going to attack it.”

“Coach Richt has done a great job of hiring the right people. … That’s a huge difference between the old and the new.” He said Richt cares about players in a way he hasn’t experienced before.

On Travis Homer, first-time Turnover Chain recipient: “He refuses to say no” when he’s stopped. “I love to have that type of kid as a running back.”

Shaq Quarterman 

“It was difficult” getting the energy back after two night games, entering a noon game. “It took us too long.”

“A lesson was learned today.”

He credited Kurt Benkert because he “kept getting up.”

On Homer wearing the Chain: If anyone on offense was going to get it, I’m not surprised it’s him. “He’s relentless.”

“This train that we’re riding right now, we’re just trying to keep it going.”

Ahmmon Richards 

Richards said he does “feel better every game.” He anticipates being healthier next week at Pittsburgh, though  he said he hasn’t played in weather colder than last year’s Virginia game (50s).

Malik Rosier 

“I feel great. Happy to win. Ready to get some rest for the short week.”

“They did a good job of scheming us up. They took away Ahmmon on multiple calls we had.” He called Virginia “exotic.”

On getting through his father’s stroke: “It shows how much I love this game.  When I was out there, I didn’t think about my dad. My mind was blank. All I care about is winning.” Off the field, he said, “it shows that life is precious.” His family and coaches helped him focus, he said.

Rosier’s ability to move on from mistakes? “Definitely something I had to work on. When you’re battling for a position and you throw a pick, it’s terrible.”

On Pittsburgh: “I know it’s going to snow, and I’m not looking forward to that.” The only time the Mobile, Alabama native has seen snow was the 2015 Sun Bowl.

“Personally, I like noon games.”

Trent Harris 

Jaquan Johnson’s pick-six, withh Miami down 14: “Wasn’t even a big surprise.” He does that in practice all the time, Harris said.

“It’s been an awesome four years. … This season’s just getting started.”

RJ McIntosh 

Johnson “making that play, it was normal for us.”

“We weren’t playing the way we had been all year in the first half. … They came to play. They wanted to win this game. … We told each other we had each other’s back.”

Jaquan Johnson 

The interception was “a great play call by coach Diaz.” He wouldn’t reveal what it was. He said Kurt Benkert was moving in the pocket, keeping his eyes downfield and “delivering a perfect ball on the run.”

“We were talking on the sideline saying we need a turnover, we need a stop.”

Johnson said “miscommunication on the back end” led to the passing yard total. The 75-yard touchdown was the biggest play of the year against Miami. “Uncharacteristic for us,” Johnson said.

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