- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 25, 2001

CHARLOTTESVILLE (AP) Enough about Clemson already.

Those might as well have been the words of Virginia football players yesterday when several met with reporters to discuss their last-second, 26-24 victory against Clemson on Saturday, and look ahead to this weekend's home game against Duke.

"We've been instructed not to talk about the Clemson game," quarterback Bryson Spinner said.

Spinner, engineer of the game-winning drive that ended with his 1-yard pass to Billy McMullen with one second left, said the final drive marked the first time in his football career that he was part of an endgame march to a winning touchdown.

Other than that, guys, how about those Blue Devils?

First-year coach Al Groh, who has spoken frequently about his expectations for the Cavaliers and winning championships, explained the policy to his team this way:

"I said that other people are going to have agendas other than Duke, that is, non-competitive agendas, but a team's agenda can only ever be about competition," Groh said, declining to say when he told the team only to talk about the future.

"If you're thinking about winning the championship, then it's nice to have won that game, but that game didn't win you the championship," Groh said.

"It's going to take a lot of those to do that and it might take a lot of years to win enough of those kind of games in one year, but that's what you've got to do."

So, how long is it appropriate for players to celebrate, coach?

"Until the alarm goes off on Sunday morning."

There was a lot of celebrating when fullback Tyree Foreman completed a wobbly pass to Billy McMullen in the Cavaliers' winning drive against Clemson.

The 17-yard completion came late in the drive, with Foreman (Sherwood High School) lofting a wounded duck over one defender and in front of another as McMullen protectively caught the ball.

Groh said Foreman got the job after a preseason pass-off among the running backs.

"If you have questions about Tyree's throw, you should have seen some of the competition," Groh said, laughing. "The others quickly eliminated themselves."

Foreman, who has been called on to throw option passes three times in his career, said he'd love a chance to throw again, and make it look pretty for a change.

"The last few have looked like punts," he said.

It's likely that Virginia fans want to punt a new rule at Scott Stadium. Fans have a long tradition of leaving at halftime to tailgate in the parking lots around Scott Stadium, then filter back in sometime during the second half. At times, the halftime parking lot looks like a well-attended festival.

That won't be the case any more.

Beginning with Saturday's homecoming game against Duke, the "pass-outs" allowing fans to return to the game will not be issued, athletic director Craig Littlepage said.

The policy is just one of many "fairly standard" measures the school is implementing to improve security, Littlepage said. Others include a ban on backpacks, searches on diaper bags and other bags, and an FAA restriction on air space over the stadium.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide