ACC Football Coaches' Teleconference Quotes

Sept. 1, 2010

Coach Paul Johnson Media Call
September 1, 2010

Opening Statement

South Carolina State is a very good football team. I have been very impressed watching them on tape; they have their share of good football players. Now we just have to play and see if we have made some improvement from last year to this year.

What has been your biggest concern in preparing for South Carolina State?

We approach this game as we do for all our games. We broke down South Carolina State, and put together a game plan. This game will not be any different from when we play in the league or at Kansas next week or anybody else. Certainly I think South Carolina State is a very good football team and well coached. You don’t win 20 games in the past two years without having some good players and knowing what you are doing. They have a good program, so we are preparing for this no different than any game we have ever prepared for.

Last year you saw Duke and Virginia lose to FCS teams, how much has that been in your mind to make sure that doesn’t happen to Georgia Tech?

We haven’t talked about FCS or FBS; we just have talked about South Carolina State. We just have to worry about Georgia Tech, and we know if we don’t go out and play well they are very capable of beating us. Hopefully we will go out and play our A game. Hopefully that will be good enough. That’s why you play the game.

South Carolina State has been trying to simulate Joshua Nesbitt in practice. Do you have any way of simulating Malcolm Long and his capabilities?

We run the same plays that South Carolina State runs, we have got Synjyn Days, a young freshmen quarterback on scholarship. He is the guy that runs quarterback on the scout team. I don’t know if we can give them the exact same look, but I worry more about the schemes than the individual players. That is what we do to try and give them an approach on what we are doing, and then you just go play.

One of your quarterbacks, David Sims, grew up 15 minutes away from South Carolina State. As a redshirt freshman, how has he progressed?

David has done well. He has grown up and matured a lot. He will be our third quarterback. We are excited about him; we think he has a bright future. He really has made a lot of progress from last year to this year. I think he will be a great football player before he leaves.

How have you seen Stephen Hill developing in the wide receiver position? Where do you see him in developing into that step-up player in the passing game?

Stephen has a lot of God-given talent. He is up to 6’4″ and 210. He has great straight away speed, and was a 24’9″ long jumper in high school. He has all the tools, now we just have to see him do it on the field. I don’t think there is any reason he cannot do it, but before we say he is the next Bay-Bay Thomas, he needs to make some catches and plays in a game. We are hopeful that is the role he can fill. As they say `the proof is in the pudding,’ so we will see.

What are the ways that you look for Joshua Nesbitt to become a better quarterback for you this year?

We hope he is going to be a little more consistent in the passing game. Certainly that is not all on Joshua, there is protection, routes, and a lot of things that go into it. I just think having another year in the system will help. Any time a guy has played for a couple of years, they are more comfortable with what they are doing. He has a better idea of what we are trying to do on offense, and hopefully he can get us out of some bad deals and into some better ones. You would like to think that he does not see anything that he has not seen at some point. I think he is just more relaxed and confident playing. He is a good athlete, and hopefully he can just let that take over.

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