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Golden's post-game comments after Va. Tech win

Al Golden's post-game Q&A with reporters after the 30-12 win over Virginia Tech.

On his impressions from the team’s performance…

"I'm excited. I feel like we healed up, I feel like we grew up. Holding them to 12 points is significant without Denzel [Perryman], without Deon [Bush], I think some other guys stepped up. I'm real proud of their effort and the fact that a lot of the young guys are not young anymore. They had a good look, they prepared well, we had good practices. I felt good coming into the game, and the kids responded."

On the importance of a bye week...

"We all seemed fresh. Let's all be real - that was really hard. The first eight weeks, and the opponents we ended up playing out of conference and away, that was difficult. I just think last weekend we got them back. We only practiced two days in the bye week. Good sense of mind, good focus and good energy. I thought they were really resilient tonight. They were tough."

On the lopsided time of possession and score...

"We had good field position because of one Duke [Johnson] return and a turnover I believe. Obviously there are a couple of red zone opportunities we didn't convert early, or it could have been even bigger at the half. Nobody got down. Even when we sputtered on offense in the third quarter, the whole third quarter basically - hats off to Virginia Tech, I thought they did a great job, they had a great scheme, gave us a lot of problems there - our guys hung in there and had some big drives to end the game."

On the play of the team’s defense...

"We held them to 12, and we gave up about a 75-yarder - it looked like he started here and ended up in Coral Gables. It was just one of those deals. Our MIKE linebacker was matching around and he fell down and it just opened up. I'm real proud of how resilient they were. We weren't great on third down on either side early in the game, but we ended up getting another takeaway down there on the goal line. There were a lot of guys who stepped up and really did a nice job for us when they got an opportunity today."

On being in first place in the Coastal Division...

"It's critical. I know everybody wants us to be national champions yesterday and get back to the BCS games and all that, but the reality of it is that the pathway through that is the Coastal. It's almost like we have to re-educate our team that that's how you get there. You get there by getting to Charlotte, and then you have a 50-percent chance of going to a BCS game. That's what we have to do, we have to educate our team, because our fanbase doesn't really understand that right now. They look at the Notre Dame game and it's all in or bust. This game coming up against Virginia is critical. It's truly critical for us. We have to get focused, get right, and get back to work."

On the fourth quarter spark on offense...

"I think we stayed with it. We found a couple of runs that worked. It started with Rashawn's [Scott] conversion on the third-down play. That was big. He and Stephen [Morris] read each other's eyes and made a big play there, and then we got some runs going. I thought Mike [James] and Duke [Johnson] ran really hard, and then obviously knocked them off the ball a little bit."

On winning games without explosive plays...

"We're better on defense. It showed that we're making enough plays on defense that we don't have to have prolific, explosive plays and still win. Obviously the punt block helped. We have to do a better job covering kicks, but it showed we could win in a different way. We didn't quite have enough against North Carolina to pull that one off. It's nice to do it this way."

On the improved play of the team defense...

"I thought our defense hung in there. They did a great job in the redzone and ended up doing a good job on third downs late in the game. We got a couple of sacks, we started to get after their quarterback - that's critical, We haven't had that from a four-man rush. Olsen [Pierre] came up big the one time, and a couple other guys did a really nice job of getting to him. It makes all the difference in the world. Finishing with an interception was great."

On Deon Bush’s injury...

"Deon's been struggling with some stingers. We'll evaluate him, but I think the best thing to do was to shut him down. It was on fire for him. There was some pain. Denzel just wasn't quite right. We'll put him back in a boot, and hopefully in nine days he'll be ready in Charlottesville."

On a strong special teams performance...

"They looked good in the return game. I think it was Gabe [Terry] that blocked it, right? We put him in a different position this week and challenged him, and Rayshawn [Jenkins] and those other guys, he just went out and did it as perfectly as you could do it. He stayed low, got his hand down nice and low. We missed on some of those opportunities earlier in the year. Mike [Barrow] has been working the heck out of it. Mike designed it, and the kids went out and executed it. I'm really excited we had a chance to do that finally."

On wearing orange uniforms with orange pants...

"I wanted them to have fun. It was a tough eight weeks. We had a chance to get a break, catch up on school, and get healthy. I just wanted them to have fun. It was a little surprise for them. I think they were excited about it. I guess that means we have to keep wearing it, I don't know. It was good."

On the success of trick plays...

"That was big. Dallas [Crawford] did a nice job, and he threw it really well. I guess you could argue he should have thrown it in the flat to Duke. But he made a decision and Kind of zinged it in there. I keep saying it, Dallas is coming on now. Dallas is starting to do a good job for us and grow up. I'm excited about Dallas. Obviously Dorsett made a great decision getting us some more depth and throwing it across the field to Stephen [Morris]."

On the expectations inside his team’s locker room...

"We're trying to learn a process and get better. We've been focused on the Coastal. That's what our focus is right now. I'm glad I'm coaching at a place where the expectations are high. At the end of the day, When you can meet the expectations of your fanbase, you're going to be in a great spot. We're going to keep doing it. We just need a little bit of patience because of how young we are. We're growing up. Guys are fighting hard, they're working, they're getting better. I'm excited. A lot of guys stepped up today that hadn't - Curtis Porter, Jalen Grimble, Tracy Howard early in the game, [Rayshawn] Jenkins in his coverage. I can go on and on. Guys stepped up, and guys that are going to be here for a long time, and I'm excited about that."

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