Opening statement: "We didn't play as well as we needed to on offense. Wake Forest did a great job stopping the run. Anytime we throw it 58 times, it's not going to be good for us. Wake put us in situations where we didn't react to well. We put our defense in some bad situations, but I thought our defense played well for most of the game. We have to regroup and get focused on next season."
On not getting the sixth win: "Even if we didn't have a chance to go to a bowl game, six wins would have been key for us."
On Wake Forest's play: "They played well. They're a great team. They played within their scheme. We felt like we could run the football on them coming into the game."
On the 2007 season: "Today's game didn't cap it off well. All of the positives throughout the season don't look good now. We have to re-evaluate. We played some good teams this season and got some big wins. We have to have a bigger sense of urgency on every play. We have a lot of work to do. We have a good number of defensive players coming back and we have a chance to be better next year."
On Earl Bennett's season and future: "We try to be a balanced team. If we're balanced, we're probably not throwing as much. For Earl to catch 75 passes in three years here, that's remarkable. The other team knows that, when we throw, we like to get it to him. Earl is a smart guy. He's going to gather all the information he can. He and I will talk and find out as much as we can."
On the game: "It was definitely frustrating. We thought we could come out and win today. We just started off slow. It's tough to bounce back when you're down 31-3. It's definitely disappointing. I'm just glad to be a part of this team."
On the good field position that Wake Forest enjoyed: "Field position is everything in this game. It's a game of field position. They had it all day. We didn't. We couldn't get anything going on offense. They were inside the 40 every time they got the ball pretty much. It's just a tough day. It's a tough loss. Hopefully these guys on the team will bounce back for next year and get ready to play."
On not attaining bowl eligibility: "It's very frustrating not being able to seal the deal. It's something we talk about all the time: anchoring down and sealing the deal. We couldn't do that these past few games and it cost us bowl eligibility. It hurts, not only me and the coaching staff, but the team as a whole and the university."
On how much pain he was playing in: "I have a very high pain tolerance. I went out today and wanted to help my team win. If I can get out there and help them, I'm willing to do it."
On being the first receiver in SEC history to have three seasons of at least 75 catches: "It's a great accomplishment considering the great players that played in this league. I'm kind of overwhelmed by the situation. I'll take a win over stats any day. If we could have won this game and I had no catches, that would have been great. We would have been bowl eligible. But that wasn't the case. I'm really not thinking about that right now."
On the game: "I can't believe five years is over. It's tough. Like coach said, we have to have that sense of urgency. Every player on the team has to have that sense of urgency in order to win the games we need to win. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case this game."
On if he left this program in good shape: "I think it's something we can build on. Hopefully the team can look at me and use me as an example. I leave it all on the field and don't take any plays off. Hopefully that's what will be written on my tombstone when I leave here. I feel pretty good about it. I guess that's a positive you can take out of it."
Wake Forest Head Coach Jim Grobe:
On facing Vanderbilt: "First of all, my hat's off to the Vanderbilt team. I know Bobby [Johnson] is proud of his guys for the way they fought back into the game. At one point it looked like it was going to be an easy win for us, but Vanderbilt fought back in it, they played hard and we were fortunate to get this win."
On the team's quick second-half start: "I was nervous coming into this game. We played pretty poorly in the first half and couldn't take advantage of some opportunities. The kick return by Kevin Marion was huge. Then to get it right back with a short field was great."
On Alphonso Smiths' two interceptions: "He played great in the first half of the season and then he kind of had a few in there where he wasn't the same, but the last couple of games he's been back. He got it done for us today."
On the early fumbles by his team: "We were pretty banged up after the N.C. State game and so we had no contact all week [in practice]. I think that's what happens when you don't have any contact for a week and then you get that first big hit."
On facing Richard Kovalcheck at quarterback: "We spent a lot of time working on options and quarterback draws and runs [preparing for Mackenzi Adams]. When the new kid came in there, we were not sure what to expect. They did a great job, though. They executed when they needed to, and he hit the throws they needed to hit."
On the goal line stand at the start of the fourth quarter: "That was huge. It not only kept points off the board, but it took some time off the clock when we were able to run a couple plays. Obviously we weren't going to get much done in that situation offensively, so we just tried to take some time off the clock. It ended up taking enough time off to prevent them from scoring and going for an onside kick again there at the end."
Wake Forest Players:
Quarterback Riley Skinner:
On getting the team's eighth win: "It feels good. I was talking to Coach Grobe after the game and it doesn't feel like we had that great of a season after last year [when Wake Forest won the ACC championship]. But he told me, 'you realize if it wasn't for last season, this would be one of the best season's Wake has had in some time.' 8-4 feels a lot better than 7-5."
On the quick start to the second half: "I couldn't be more impressed with our defense. They did a heck of a job. Offensively, all day we didn't click. We hurt ourselves with penalties and other things. It makes a world of difference when your defense gives you short fields. We scored 14 points in about a minute or a minute-and-a-half. It wasn't really the offense; it was because of the defense and special teams."
On freshman tailback Josh Adams' 111 yards: "He's special. It was kind of a quiet 111 yards, because you didn't really realize he had that many. But he knows how to find holes and break some tackles. He's going to be real special for us."
Safety Chip Vaughn:
On some of the teams "big hits": "I think it had a big impact after that first big hit. It seemed like their back was tip-toeing around a little, and their wideouts were looking around a little bit. It made a big difference."
Cornerback Alphonso Smith:
On his two interceptions: "I had a feeling that if they kept throwing it my way, then I could keep making plays. I just try to have fun out there."
On what he expected from Vanderbilt: "Since Vanderbilt tried to throw it deep on the first play, we kind of knew what they were all about. They were going to try to run the ball and throw it deep on us. That interception to start the game really set the tone for us defensively."
On what this season means for Wake Forest: "A lot of people wrote us off this year, saying we weren't going to be able to repeat our success from last season. We're trying to create a great program here and it's all about winning. It's like they say, winning isn't everything, it's the only thing."