Mike London: ACC Teleconference

Mike London: ACC Teleconference

Mike London talks Tim Smith, expectations, the Clemson offense, and more during his weekly ACC teleconference.

Click here to see what Clemson head coach, Dabo Swinney said this morning.

Below is the full transcript of Virginia head coach, Mike London's ACC teleconference.

Q. Coach London, talk about Clemson. What do you see on their offense? They have a very good quarterback, but the last couple weeks he had some issues against Florida State and Maryland. What have you seen on film?

COACH LONDON: They're still a very explosive offense because of the surrounding cast he has around him. Sammy Watkins is a dynamic player, stretches the field vertically. Every time he touches the ball he has the capability of going the distance.

The runningback, McDowell, another very good player. Humphries, the other wide receiver. They're elements of their offense. I know Tajh has always been a very good player for them, kind of distributes the ball, does some things himself. They've got some weapons on offense. They move the ball. They're scoring points. Tough games they're playing, they still have the ability to rely on the defense that gets the ball back to them.

Q. A lot of these players on both sides are from Norfolk, where Michael Vick used to play. Have you recruited there before? Talk about that area.

COACH LONDON: I'm from the Tidewater area. Tajh went to Phoebus High School. I went to Taft High School and Bethel High School. My dad is Air Force retired 30 years.

I know the area well. I know there will be a large following coming up to see Tajh as well as some of our players on our team. It's been an area that's been very productive with players that have gone all over the country, but particularly going to the two in-state schools.

Q. I know you're limited in what you can say about injuries. I think the league policy is that if somebody has a season-ending injury, those are reported on Mondays. Just wanted to confirm something you said earlier. Are you expecting Urban, Nicholson and Canady to come back at some point?

COACH LONDON: I would say yes to that. What they have are not season-ending injuries. It's just a matter of time when our doctors and their bodies are ready to go.

Q. Has it been a little bit longer you might have expected in one or more cases?

COACH LONDON: It's hard to say. As far as the diagnosis of particular injuries, based on each person's body. When you have ankle sprains, you're a big guy, you're in the trenches and you're battling, twisting and turning. It's just one of those things that when they're ready through treatment and through the guidance and the suggestions of our doctors.

They want to play. As I say, it's one of those things, as I'm sure a lot of things teams are going through, having key players out, but when they're ready, they'll definitely be back and ready to go.

Q. Just watching your team the last two weeks, I've seen Tim Smith make two pretty remarkable catches. He was really covered in traffic. Can you talk about the quality of being able to bring the ball down in that situation and how you evaluate Tim's development there.

COACH LONDON: I could tell you a couple weeks ago we made the receiver switch because we weren't pleased with the production and things that were going on. Kind of felt there was some complacency coming from that particular group. I can point out Tim and Darius Jennings as two individuals that decided to step their game up.

Tim has always been a vertical threat stretch type of guy. He had a career game this past game. I think it's amazing how when your college career is about to come to end, the sense of urgency some men have about the sense of finality about the situation. I'm not saying he turned a corner because of that. You always try to appeal to the competitive part of individuals. Fighting for the ball, blocking on the perimeter, all those things I think Tim has done a really nice job of encapsulating what he wants to be remembered for when he's done playing here.

Q. A different angle. Last few weeks, really last four weeks, you've been competitive, had games get away from you at the end. Do you fear with the losing streak you lose that competitiveness, the confidence wanes? You're not getting beat bad, blown out, manhandled, you're just not quite winning these games. At some point does the disappointment overwhelm the team? Is that a danger?

COACH LONDON: You can't let it get to the point where you show your frustration in terms of giving up or giving in. I mean, obviously, we played in games that we've done well but have not done well enough in terms of points or keeping people out of the end zone or in terms of capitalizing on turnovers.

It's discouraging, but at the same time you always have to continue to talk to the players about it's an opportunity to change, to turn, to make those plays, things to happen that can lead to victories, lead to positive things happening in games. You're dealing with the psyche of young men that are 19, 20, 21 years old. We're ruled by the psychology of results. Right now we're not winning games, but guys are practicing hard, there's effort being given.

We'll continue to keep working, continue to keep expecting and demanding their best, and see a breakthrough.

Q. I know circumstances have dictated a lot of the way that game went. You have thrown the ball a lot this year. Would you just as soon not have to throw it 60 times in a game again?

COACH LONDON: If the end result was in a win. I guess I'm trying to say you do whatever it takes to win the game. Obviously, going into last week's game, defensively, they're in the top 20, 25 in total defense. Doing an excellent job stopping the run by bringing safeties down in the box. You want to take advantage, or whatever opportunities present itself, to be successful. As we went on in that game, some of the opportunities were those matches and those pass patterns that Darius and Tim were able to catch.

I believe you have to be able to run the ball in order to control the clock. As this game played out, we had to throw the ball. We had some success doing it. We had to, more than anything else, capitalize on five that we weren't able to get points from.

Q. David Watford had great statistics in that game. How did he in your eyes play in that game? How has he developed this year?

COACH LONDON: As a first-time starter in the college games that he's played this year, looking for a level of progress. Each game, the last couple games, he's progressed in a lot of things. The poise.

Someone asked about the balls that Tim caught. There were some that were thrown that were right on the money. Sometimes that takes a maturation process. Sometimes you have to be in a college football game in order to make those types of decisions. It's easy in practice.

David continues to get better. He's going to have to get better. He has to play his best football game as we play a great team coming to Charlottesville this Saturday. More than anything else, maturation process of a new quarterback that's in a system that's getting better as it goes along.

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