Drew Weatherford sat down to speak with the media Monday afternoon. He spoke about the evolution of…
Drew Weatherford Q&A
A: "Once the ball is snapped, you don't think about it at all. This week at practice I will definitely focus on being more careful with the ball and ball placement and things like that. But in the heat of the battle, I really wasn't thinking about not throwing another pick or anything like that. If you play like that, you won't play very well and you won't make many plays. They just did a good job, to be honest. We had a couple of mess ups execution-wise. Me, personally, and other people on the field caused some of the tipped balls and some of the interceptions."
Q: You seemed pretty distraught after the loss, how do you move on and have you moved on from it?
A: "That is the case every time you lose. You are always going to be disappointed. Everybody on the team feels like they could have done something better to cause us to win that game. It really took me pretty much the weekend. Once I came back in on Monday, I realized that we had another week ahead of us and a season ahead of us and that there is no reason to linger on it."
Q: What was it that Virginia did defensively that created so many problems?
A: "At times they would blitz, you know they would bring a lot of people and sometimes they would just sit back and that was pretty much the biggest thing. It wasn't so much of what they did; it was more of what I did. Going back and watching the film, it was more my mental mistakes than them really doing a bunch of crazy stuff."
Q: Did they do anything to confuse you?
A: "No, they really didn't. They played really hard and made a bunch of plays as you've seen but they didn't do anything to confuse me out there, to be honest. I just didn't make a lot of good decisions."
Q: Do you think that some of the interceptions resulted from you just trying to hard to make a play? Like on that one interception…
A: "Well the same play we had ran a couple of times…I had actually hit Chris (Davis) earlier on that same play for like I don't know 25-30 yards and it was the same look but what happened is instead of it being a zone coverage, the guy turned and ran with him. Because every time he would run with him for a little while but then he would kind of stop and come over the top and he expects the safety to pick him up. But that time, they were just playing man under and he just ran with him. So it looked exactly the same and I threw it pretty much where I thought I threw the last one but it just so happened he ran with him instead of dropping off and letting somebody pick him up."
Q: Was that the same play that you got picked in your first interception? And was it the same coverage as the first time?
A: "It sure was….No, the guy who picked my ball the first time was a corner. He actually was over the top of it and I got hit and it kind of went high. This time it was the underneath guy that usually drops off. He actually turned and ran with him and basically just…I think he wasn't there Chris ( Davis) would have been able to come in and catch it.
Q: Did Virginia take a different approach than Syracuse and Wake Forest, who used a lot of blitzing?
A: "I feel like they did. I feel like they are more vanilla. I hit the backs several times and they were going to let me take that all night and I felt like I could have done a better job of that, checking down and hitting the backs instead of forcing so many things."
Q: Was throwing the ball 59 times a matter of trying to play catch-up?
A: "I think it was a combination of a lot of things. I think it was kind of what they were giving us but at the same time I think that we had the feeling from the first half that we were going to have to score a lot, you know, more than 26 points to get it done. They were moving the ball, they were scoring, they looked good and we knew that we had to score fast and we thought that was the best way to do it."
Q: What are you going to miss the most from De'Cody Fagg this weekend?
A: "Just his sure-handedness…being a big body out there not afraid to go across the middle. He pretty much catches every ball I have thrown to him this year. We will definitely miss that but it's just time for other guys to step up and we have other guys to step up. Joslin Shaw will do a really good job, I think. If Chase Walker needs to play, he's very good as well."
Q: When you talked about realizing in the first quarter that you were going to have to put up a lot of points, was that the first time this season that's gone through your head?
A: "Yeah, but it wasn't necessarily the first quarter but the first half in general. They were just dong a great job. It didn't seem like we could stop their quarterback and we really didn't have an answer for it. We were rushing them really well – got him out of the pocket – but he just kept making plays. It just seemed like that night, nothing could go wrong for them offensively. It didn't seem like it was going slow down.
Q: Do you feel more pressure now as a offense since the defense has shown weaknesses?
A: "I don't think there's pressure because we feel there's a responsibility to put up points as an offense. It's not like, I guess, the feeling that's been around here in the past that they kind of knew the defense would hold it down. We take pride in putting points up on the board and we believe that we can do that. We are good enough to do that. It wasn't necessarily pressure by the lack of play by our defense other than just the expectations of our offense."
Q: What does it mean to you that this offense leads the league in passing?
A: "It's just a tribute to the whole offense. From the offensive line to the receivers to the backs to me making some good plays at times. To me, I haven't really paid attention to the stats, I just care whether we win or lose.
Q: You go from playing in a packed house at Virginia to Duke, who may have 15,000 people there. Does that make much of a difference?
A: "It sure will. When that happens sometimes, the emotion isn't there on both sides. Duke has played at places with lots of fans and things like. Coming off a loss, that ought to be motivating enough for us to go up there and really be focused to play and make a statement."
Q: What does Duke show?
A: "They do everything. They'll mix it up a lot. They'll bring both safeties, corners. They'll bring the house, all their linebackers. They also drop off. They show a lot of different things. Their safeties don't give you a good look of what they are trying to do. They are always walking back and forth before the snap. They don't really stay in place so it's hard to read what they are doing."
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