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Post Game Player Interviews: VT Hokies

After the victory in Blacksburg three sets of player interviews occurred. Check out the article below to see the highlights. From Brad Kaaya, Denzel Perryman and even Shane McDermott shedding light on his pregame antics.

The defense swarming to one of the failed screen passes.
The defense swarming to one of the failed screen passes.
Michael Shroyer

Post the monumental win versus Virginia Tech, Miami had a number of players come out and do interviews with the media. The first set out of the locker room were Duke Johnson and Shane McDermott.

As both sat down the first questions were directed to Duke and about his individual record breaking night against the vaunted Hokies defense. Once the first question was asked however to Duke about his rushing stats, Shane bristled and cut in "364.. I just want to make sure" the media laughed off the answer as we realized he was counting the overall rushing total. In response to the question Johnson gave the universal answer "we came out and did what we were taught to do, did what we were coached to do... Everything else just played itself out."

As the interview progressed McDermott actually was asked about the events that occurred during pregame warmups and into the Captains meeting. If you weren't aware, right before the walkup to the Captains meeting McDermott was seen jumping up and down and looking into the tunnel towards the rest of his teammates. "Well, you know... This is my favorite place to play for an away game and when they play ‘enter sandman' you know, I told everyone on the team when they play that we need to get (hyped) not them. That does not, you know, push us down or scare us. We need to get going and that's what I did."

Towards the end of the interview it became apparent that Duke had a slight head cold which he dismissed. "When you come from Miami and come to this cold weather you tend to get sick (it was about 45 degree's during the game) so just kind of sick, a little bit. But this isn't the ‘Jordan Flu Game.'"

The next set of players to come out were Denzel Perryman and Anthony Chickillo. Chickillo had an ice wrap on his knee but seemed fine besides that. The first question for Chickillo was about the near shut out. He smiled and responded "yea, you know we were upset we didn't get the shutout. We really wanted that but their guy made a good play on the ball and we shouldn't have let them get down the field like that." When the question was posed to Denzel he responded just like Duke did with the standard universal answer for the defensive unit " do you job and focus six seconds at a time." Later on Perryman revealed he had gotten slightly injured but it fueled his play.. "I was having lots of fun until I got hit in the ribs. Then after that I went into my little zone. Someone had to pay for it."

The last question posed to both players was again about the shutout attempt. If it would have finished a "clean sheet" in soccer terms it would have been the first time it were to have happened to VT in 250 games. Chickillo responded that he knew in the fourth quarter because one of the assistant coaches told him but Paryman responded that he had no idea about the possible achievement. Denzel being Denzel went on to razz Chickillo "why didn't you tell me, huh?"

The last pairing to come visit the media were Brad Kaaya and Jermaine Grace. The first question was posed to Kaaya about the game plan and he actually gave a really interesting answer: "we had no clue about that (the run heavy game plan) but coming into the game we knew they would load the box up with six or seven men and we had a lot of good pass plays called but several times they came out and played kind of a deep cover two, corner backs way off the line and they were giving us a good box count... We had pass plays called but we audibled to runs... Gashed them."

Grace was asked how the defense performed and the soft spoken linebacker gave the standard answer "really just executing our job and doing our assignment... being able to play smart, fast and physical for the defense in this game."

The last question posed to Kaaya was about Duke Johson and what it's like to participate in a game where he is running for records. Kaaya responded "I forgot what play it was.. He hurdled someone and took it 30 or 40 yards and for a moment there I was like ‘wow' that is.. like.. that is.. ‘yea'."

It was apparent the players were happy post the victory but they also seemed relieved. Going 0-3 on the road was something of an annoyance to them because they knew they could play better. In this contest you could tell they were happy with their overall execution and aside from a few plays (the second half kickoff and the last drive where the defense gave up the touchdown) all parties were content with the outcome.