Below is the full transcript of Virginia head coach, Mike London's weekly ACC teleconference.
Q. Mike, it seems like you've gotten some more production offensively with yards and points the last few weeks. Do you feel like you guys are getting close to a breakthrough on that side of the ball?
MIKE LONDON: I believe so. You look at the numbers and how they've increased, and you look at-- it goes back to personnel, guys that have been out that are back in. We made a receiver move not too long ago that resulted in the receivers doing a good job blocking downfield, second-level defenders, and the quarterback getting better as a first-time starter. So I think a lot of things are gelling. You want to improve, and that's been the main focus.
Q. You got a big game from your tight end Jake McGee against Maryland. 114 yards, that was the most for any Virginia tight end since 2005. Was that one of the kind of things that just sort of happened during the game? And more than that, did that determine that he might be a valuable weapon for you?
MIKE LONDON: Without a doubt. When you begin the season, you talk about going into the season our playmakers and guys you want to get the ball to, and Jake is one of those guys. You feel you can play him as an on-the-line tight end or a tight end that's off the ball or a tight end in the slot position. When you move him around a little bit. Then you have coverage issues with whether it's a linebacker or safety that's on him.
Jake has done a great job in catching the ball. He's made some phenomenal catches since I've been here and even in the past game. Sometimes the reads dictate that, sometimes-- there was a couple of them that were catch-and-run opportunities, so it wasn't like sometimes the tight end would run a route and curl up and you're throwing the ball. There were a couple he caught it, got past the defender and continued to run.
As we look at him and look at our receiver situation, we don't have a go-to type receiver, we have receivers by committee, and we spread the ball around, and one of the targets because of the match-ups has been Jake.
Q. Moving to Duke just a bit, they got Anthony Boone back at quarterback last week. He had a really big game. What are the kinds of challenges that he poses to your defense?
MIKE LONDON: Well, he does a great job with the system that Coach Cutcliffe has. He's an older guy that's been in games and has been very productive for them. You know, you can characterize Boone as a guy that runs your offense and perhaps throws, and then of course you have the other young man that comes in and does a great job running the ball. They have a two-headed attack that bodes well for them.
But when you look at how he played this past game, he did an outstanding job. Looks like he's healthy, he's back 100 percent, has an opportunity to play, and I don't know about the other young man, whether his situation is going to be able to play, but they run a system that features misdirection. They have a great receiver in Crowder. He does an outstanding job. So there's a lot of weapons that they have that they utilize in their overall offense.
Q. What's the biggest challenge -- you were so close to winning up in College Park, and from a confidence standpoint what's the toughest part in getting a team back on track for a game in less than a week?
MIKE LONDON: Well, it's all about redirecting your energies and focusing on the task at hand. You can go back and you can look back at what happened and what didn't happen and go back and forth about how you played, the different plays, the 3rd and 21, the goal-line situation, the wide right, and you go back and look at those things and you can wring your hands about them or you can turn and focus your energies on what's ahead, correcting those type of things, knowing that, listen, we're a play away, a play or two away from just having these opportunities be on the plus side for us.
So our focus and energy has been directed towards a very good Duke football team that's coming in here, and they've had some good wins and they're coming off a game that-- one of their leaders that they lost is back. We're at home, and again, we're improving, and our focus is on getting better to make sure that those close plays become positive plays for us that end up with Ws on the other side.
Q. Where do you feel David Watford is making strides? Where do you feel he's turning the corner right now?
MIKE LONDON: Well, I believe that he's making strides in terms of just the overall operation of running the offense, making decisions as far as the ball, being able to discern-- we've had more opportunities for him to run with the ball, use his legs. But he's done a great job of-- just as you watch the final drive and things that have gone on, that he's done a great job of having poise within the pocket, with his teammates, and with how he directs the offense.
It's a maturation process that we see in front of us that's unfolding as the games, as the season goes on, as practices go on. He continues to get better, and that's his thing. He doesn't let the highs get him too high or the lows get him too low. He just wants to get better and he wants to take the team and put them on his back and take the team to victory. You admire that about young men, and as I said, he's one of our leaders, and the guys will follow him wherever he wants to go.
Q. Kevin Parks is having a very fine year for you so far. Two things: One is how did you slip into Salisbury and take him away from North Carolina schools, but second, just the way he's come along during his career there and how he's matured as a player.
MIKE LONDON: You know, Kevin was actually part of the committed class when we were coming in, and we kind of had a chance to maintain the relationship with him, with some of the coaches that were here left over on the staff, particularly Anthony Poindexter, and continue with a lot of the reasons why he wanted to come to Virginia: The academic opportunities, a chance to play, and I think that that was something that just resonated with him and his parents.
You're right, he's done an outstanding job of understanding what's asked for in the running game particularly when you see a little bit of the pistol effect, when you see some I-back stuff, throwing the ball, coming out of the backfield, so he's done really nice things with his skill set. He's a tough runner. He may not get out and run away from you, although he's had some long runs in his career thus far, but he's very tough, and he's so low to the ground, big legs, and more than anything, he's a great individual, great young man.
Kevin obviously has done a nice job, has a chance to climb up into the Virginia record books before his career is over, and we want him to get better, as well, with the games we have left.