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Sept. 15, 2012

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Pitt vs. Virginia Tech, Sept. 15, 2012

Head Coach Paul Chryst

Opening comments:

“I’m very proud of the team. I loved the way they competed. I’m really happy for the players and unbelievably proud. Things went the wrong way for us and we battled back. I’m very happy for them and very proud.”

On getting the first win of the season:

“A season is a journey. You can’t get to one part of it without getting through others. This one day we did what we needed to do and came out with the victory. Everything you go through builds you, and our guys responded today.”

On playing a ranked team like Virginia Tech:

“It was one day against a very good Virginia Tech team and we made enough plays to win. We have to keep going.”

On winning the turnover battle:

“Why do you get a pick? It has everything to do with everyone on the field. It can be a defensive back away from the ball. It can be pressure on the quarterback. Those picks are team takeaways.”

On the performance of Rushel Shell:

“I certainly knew he was capable of that. We love the way he ran. I loved the play of the offensive line and the look in their eye today.”

On the importance of being balanced:

“If you can stop the ball on their defense and you can stop them with your defense, it’s a pretty good way to play. If you can be balanced, it’s helpful.”

On being in the post-game locker room for his first win as a head coach:

“It felt pretty good. I got to hear the fight song. It was pretty neat.”



Quoting senior wide receiver Mike Shanahan:

On bouncing back from two losses to open season:

“I never thought we ever lost ourselves or what we were trying to do and accomplish. I thought this game was proof of that, all the hard work and we just kept grinding at it and it finally showed up today on the field.”

Quoting senior quarterback Tino Sunseri:

On the play of the offense:

“Those guys did a heck of a job in the backfield being able to be a receiver and also carry the ball. You have to give credit to the offensive line; they battled all day, opened up holes, gave protection and gave me time. I think the player of the game is those guys up front.”

On why he was successful today:

“We were able to execute the game plan and we knew what we could do if we stuck to the plan and we were able to.”

On bouncing back from two long touchdowns by Virginia Tech:

“Offensively, we just talk about being able to answer. An offensive team needs to be able to go down and score points because if you keep on scoring points that defense keeps on getting more and more confidence and that’s what we want the defensive guys to do, play with confidence. We knew we’d have their backs if anything happened and that’s the heart of a team. The biggest team sport that you can possibly play is football. The offense has to pick up the defense, defense has to help the offense and the special teams and the whole nine yards. I felt like it was a good team win today.”

Quoting junior linebacker Shane Gordon:

On being involved with the subsequent stops on 3rd and 4th down in the 4th quarter:

“I was so hyped because it felt good to get off the field. That’s a big momentum swing when you stop 4th and one by inches like that; it’s a big momentum swing for me and for the team too. Virginia Tech, I don’t know how they felt, but it was big momentum swing right there.”

Quoting junior wide receiver Devin Street:

On using this game to set the tone for the rest of the season:

“I think it’s a good win, but we still have a lot of work to do. I think it gives us some momentum for Gardner-Webb, but I think we still have some work to do.”

On what he was talking about with Tino Sunseri as he was coming back on to field after getting hurt:

 “He’s a fighter. A game only comes once a week, so you know we can’t miss opportunities. We were just talking to each other, saying we have to keep the momentum going.”

Quoting junior defensive back Jason Hendricks:

On why the defense was able to cause four turnovers:

“Well today we just executed our plays. The other games we didn’t execute in the right spots, but today we were in the right spots and made plays.”

On if they did anything different in practice this week:

“We just worked on making the right plays at the right time. That’s what we really focused on, just getting the calls communicated.”

Quoting senior running back Ray Graham:

On how it felt to get the first victory of the season:

“Exciting man, it felt real good. As always, it’s a blessing to just be out there and do what you love. It felt real good just to get that first one.”

On if the team has found who they truly are:

“I would say every game we improved and got better. I just think we can be a great team and the only team stopping us is ourselves. We went out there and didn’t look back, we just made plays. At the end of the day we have what it takes to be a great team.”

Quoting freshman running back Rushel Shell:

On if he expected to come out and run for over 150 yards:

“I just came out and played as hard as I could, and I trusted my teammates. Before we played the game, we talked about just going out there and believing in each other and playing our game and not letting the other team control how we played.”

On if fans should continue to expect a physical running style from him:

“That’s just the type of runner I am, so yeah that’s what you can expect.”

On if this helped erase some of the anguish from the previous games:

“Well beating Virginia Tech, they’re a very good team that was ranked number 13 in the country, so this just shows everyone that we can compete and just haven’t been playing like we should’ve been.”


Quoting sophomore defensive back Kyshoen Jarrett

On Virginia Tech’s mindset heading into the second half:

“When we came out at halftime, we eliminated the score as if it was 0-0. We wanted to just come out and play like we needed to play. Help our issues and set it off better. I just did my job.”

On the defense’s troubles with stopping Rushel Shell:

“He’s a tough back, a physical back. We just have to wrap, gang tackle, and make sure that we’re reading our keys.”

On letting up Ray Graham’s first touchdown:

“I should have been more disciplined, just know how to tackle. That’s definitely my fault. I take full responsibility for that, obviously. It’s just being disciplined and not messing up.”

Quoting redshirt freshman linebacker Ronny Vandyke

On his team’s mood in the locker room after the game:

“We lost. We have to congratulate them. We just know that we have to regroup, it’s a team thing. Football is the ultimate team sport from my perspective. We need to regroup.”

On what Virginia Tech needs to do moving forward:

“This loss…this is serious now. We have to turn it up if we want to get to that championship level. We need to turn it up as a team.”

On preparation being the difference maker in today’s game:

“They came out the most prepared and they came out to play. We can’t just come out here, especially in an away game, thinking we’re just going to take it. We have to come out there fighting harder than our opponents. They fought harder than us.”

Quoting junior quarterback Logan Thomas

On Pitt’s defensive performance:

“They played good defense, have to give them all the credit.”

On balancing the offensive approach:

“We try to be a pretty balanced offense. Running is just part of the offense that we need to do. Right now I don’t know what we need to do. We’ll fix it Monday on the practice field and be ready to go.”

On what Pitt did to win today’s game:

“Their first two games they didn’t play as hard as they did today. They’re a good defense. They’re strong, they’re physical, they’re fast, and they make you make mistakes. They did that today and that’s why they won the game.”

On keeping the game close through four quarters:

“We thought we had a shot the entire time up until the very end. We moved the ball all day and we got inside their 40 and we were just stopped. I don’t know what it was but hopefully we can see it on film tomorrow and on Monday and we’ll be able to fix it.”

On Virginia Tech’s defense giving up 35 points today:

“It’s tough, they’re a great defense and they still are a great defense. They just had a bad day just like we had a bad day. They’ll bounce back. We’ll be a stronger team next week.”

On missing Marcus Davis across the middle in the third quarter:

“That was huge. I kind of beat myself up after that one, still will. He was wide open and would have scored if I would’ve hit him. I wish I had it back.”




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