Nov. 30, 2009
Georgia Tech B-Back Jonathan Dwyer:
Q. Are there any similarities between Clemson’s defensive line and Georgia’s defensive line in terms of their size and everything? And also, what could winning the ACC Championship mean for the future of Georgia Tech’s football program?
“I think first of all, talking about Clemson’s defensive line, they’re just as talented as UGA. They’ve got two guys that are going to be in the NFL for sure at the end spots and some big guys in the middle. I think they’re very similar pretty much.”
“I think by winning the ACC it would set up good for recruits, for recruiting, and it would be a better thing to go over what happened this past Saturday, get the fans over that, just enjoy it if we win the ACC.”
Q. I wanted to ask you about Anthony Allen, his transition to your program. What’s it like to have gotten to know him, and what do you think he brings to your team as a guy who’s transferred in?
“He brings excitement. He’s going to keep you fired up during the game. He brings a lot of emotion when he plays, and he’s a great player. He’s a great blocker. He’s all around type of back. He can catch the ball, has good hands, and he can run the ball very good, as well.”
Q. Coming here to Tampa, it’s [Allen’s] hometown. With this game out in front of you, has that been something that he’s expressed and how big of a thing is it for him to be coming home?
“He hasn’t really talked about it to be honest. Just like everybody else, he tries to take one game at a time, and after the game on Saturday he texted me, we texted each other Sunday and we were checking on each other, and he said he’s excited to play in the championship game. I told him that I felt the same way. I guess obviously he’s going to be excited to play in front of his hometown crowd, and who wouldn’t want to be?”
Q. You mentioned talking about trying to help the fans get over things, what happened this past Saturday, if you guys win. How much would it do for you guys to get over it? I’m sure there’s a lot of disappointment over the result the other night.
“After the game, I think obviously the guys on the team were disappointed about it and I guess it somewhat went over to Sunday. But, everybody is pretty much over it now. Everybody is talking about Clemson and everybody is excited about playing this weekend. I think all the players on the team are over it, and obviously the coaches are, as well”
“I think it will be good to help the fans get over that game by us going out there and playing the way we’re supposed to play to win the game.”
Q. Obviously you’ve have had a great season. I know you never think about we could possibly lose, but obviously you’d hate to end what’s been a great season for you with two straight losses going into the Bowl. Is that kind of driving you guys, as well, not to let all the good feelings of this season get away over with the last couple weeks?
“I mean, to us we haven’t finished our season. We haven’t finished our goal or anything. Number one on our goal list is to win the ACC Championship and be the champions. I don’t think anybody is satisfied, especially after what happened Saturday. Everybody has a little bit more focus and is ready to play this week.”
Q. Kind of following up on that, how big is this game for the program?
“This is my first time ever being a part of it. I wasn’t here when they went the first time [in 2006]. But I think it’s going to be good. It’s going to be fun to play in. Championship game, there’s no reason why our team is not going to be excited. I know it’s going to be good for our program if we win the game and I hope we go out there and do what we’re supposed to do, and hopefully luck gets on our side and we do win it.”
Q. Unrelated but a follow up; when you go into a game and there’s another really talented running back on the other side of the field, do you at all try to measure yourself by what he’s doing, kind of “one upsmanship”? Will you do that with C.J. on Saturday?
“Not really. We’ve talked already to see how each other is doing, and we’re just excited to play and have a rematch and see what happens this time.”
Georgia Tech Defensive End Derrick Morgan:
Q. I just wanted to ask you just what you remember about that game in Atlanta. Seemed like you had a lot of success against Clemson’s offensive line. Do you remember what you thought worked for you that night?
“Really, I just had a better opportunity to get some one on ones with the tackles and I think it was a whole group effort as far as the whole defensive line stepping up and carrying our weight. I think that’s what led to a great deal of my success that night.”
Q. Did you notice a big difference in the second half, especially after Clemson moved Chris Hairston over against you?
“I mean, I know I didn’t have any sacks in the second half, but I was just trying to stay focused on what I had to do. Really I wasn’t worried about who was lined up against me.”
Q. What are the advantages and disadvantages in playing a team for a second time in a season?
“Well, disadvantages are that they kind of know your tendencies. They’ve got tape of you from the first game and they have a better idea of what you’re going to do on both sides of the ball as well as special teams. But, the advantages are the same for us. We kind of know what they’re doing. So, you’re kind of even more familiar with the opponent.”
Q. You mentioned can you talk a little bit about facing C.J. Spiller. What stands out to you as a lineman?
“It’s kind of hard to stop a guy of his caliber, but, the biggest thing is just to try to contain him. He’s so elusive as a player, it’s hard to stop him. You’ve just got to try to contain him the best you can.”
Q. On a different subject, how do you expect the team to bounce back from the loss on Saturday night?
“Yeah, like you said, it was a real tough loss. But, our number one goal this season is to win the ACC Championship. Losing to Georgia was definitely not a fun thing to do, but I think guys are really focused on the goal at hand and just trying to get back out there today and make the necessary adjustments and come back and go out there and compete for a ring on Saturday>’
Q. Can you kind of put in perspective what winning the ACC would mean for Georgia Tech.
“It would mean a great deal, first off for our fans. They’re kind of down right now as far as the loss to Georgia. But for us, in house, we worked so hard this off season and the previous two years to get to this point, and the opportunity is right in front of us. It would mean a great deal to everybody associated with this program and the whole Georgia Tech family.”
Q. I know it’s just your third year there, but it’s been since 1990 since Georgia Tech has won the ACC.
“Yeah, it’s been a while, so it would cap off a special year here at Georgia Tech for us to go home with the ACC Championship.we’re going to be working hard this whole week and just forget bout the last game and move onto the next one.”
Q. Coach Johnson has talked a lot about the defensive line at Clemson. As a fellow defensive end, what is it about those guys that most impresses you? What are some of those intangibles that those guys have?
“Those are guys that just play with a lot of effort. They fly to the ball every snap, have a lot of talent with Ricky Sapp and Da’Quan Bowers just from watching them all season. Those are guys with a lot of talent and are really relentless when it comes to chasing the ball down. They’ve got a pretty good group of defensive linemen over there.”
Q. Are there any similarities between them and say Georgia or any of the other lines that you guys have played this year?
“I don’t think so. I think every line we’ve faced is kind of unique in their own respect. But, really it would probably be hard to try to draw comparisons to Georgia and Clemson’s offensive lines.”
Q. Are you surprised that you have gotten to the ACC Championship game in just two seasons under Coach Johnson? Has it happened quicker than you thought?
“I don’t think so. We had counted on getting there last year. We weren’t trying to go through any growing pains or nothing of that sort, so it was kind of overdue in our book. This is what we worked for the last couple seasons and the off season. It’s there before us, we’ve just got to go out and get it.”
Georgia Tech Quarterback Josh Nesbitt:
Q. Can you tell me about the differences in the first Clemson game and the offense now heading into facing them a second time?
“We feel like we have a lot to prove because in our first meeting we only scored one offensive touchdown, and we feel like we can do a whole lot better than that.”
Q. And why is that? I mean, is it more confidence I assume?
“Yeah, more confidence. We just have to go out and just play our best and complete our assignments.”
Q. As everybody knows, you’ve got quite talented and stable backs to work with on your offense. I wanted to ask you specifically about Anthony Allen, who has transferred in and playing for the first time this year. What has he added to your team, and what do you see as his strengths?
“He’s another leader that we need on this team. His leadership we need a whole lot. With him out on the field, he’s such a great leader, and he runs the ball hard.”
Q. To follow up, as he transferred in, what was the transition like as you guys got to know him and how he was able to fit in with you guys?
“We just have to learn what type of person he is, and while he was sitting out for that year, he went down and ran the scout team and gave our defense a very good look, and we knew we had a great player.”
Q. I just wanted to ask you how the team is coming back from that loss on Saturday. Obviously it was a pretty disappointing thing, but you guys have put it behind you pretty quickly with the game coming up Saturday. What do you notice about the team since that game Saturday night and coming back from the disappointment of that?
“Everybody knows that it was a very disappointing loss, but this upcoming game is much bigger than Georgia and we acknowledge that. I think everybody is ready.”
Q. What do you think when you hear people kind of putting the ACC down and saying that it doesn’t match up with some of the conferences like the SEC or Big 12?
“I think we match up perfectly with anybody that you line us up against. We just came up a little short on Saturday.”