Meet the Press: @GTPaulJohnson Talks #GTvsUGA

Nov. 25, 2014

Coach Johnson Press Conference Audio 

Opening Statement
“I think the bye week came at a pretty good time for us last week. After playing four or five games in a row, you get banged up, beat up a little bit. We were able to get everybody healthy. We got a little bit of a jump start on Georgia which is a huge challenge. They’ve got an excellent football team. They’ve been ranked pretty much all year and deservedly so. [They] have a lot of great individual players who have played well. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to have another shot at them. We haven’t had a lot of success against them lately, but we’re looking forward to having a chance to go play them.”

Georgia QB Hutson Mason
 “I think he fits into their offense and what they’re trying to do very well. He’s a smart kid. He gets them into the right plays. He completes a high percentage of his throws. He can move the chains. And he’s an experienced guy. Even though he hasn’t played a lot, he’s been in the program a long time. He’s an experienced guy and they’ve got a veteran offensive line. I think that helps him. They’re getting their receivers healthy again, and we all know the kind of running backs they’ve got. They’ve got a lot of talent.”

Pressure on offensive possessions
 “We try to score every time we get it. We’ve been in a lot of shootouts since I’ve been here. They’re going to be less possessions in this game then probably what they’re accustomed to. Although they play a lot the same way. When you run the ball as much as they do, the game gets over quickly. It might be the fastest Georgia-Georgia Tech game ever. You’ve got to try and score whenever you get the ball.”

Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate
“Well it’s a huge game. Like any rivalry game, [it’s] bragging rights. Clearly there’s a lot of the fans that don’t like each other. For us, it adds a little bit too being ACC-SEC because we sit here in the middle of the SEC and that’s all we hear, all the time. But it’s a huge game for the fans, for the players and everybody involved. There’s no ducking that.”

Team’s confidence level after Duke and UNC
 “We were struggling defensively, to be truthful, early in the year. We were having a hard time. Once they got their feet under them we played much better. Offensively, I think the team’s had confidence all year. I think they’re a pretty confidence bunch. We haven’t always played great on offense, but I don’t think it’s been because of a lack of confidence. And I think this team’s pretty resilient. They come to work every day and they practice. I think they genuinely like each other. They like what they’re doing and they like being out there. It’s been fun to coach them. They’re fun to be around. And when the game starts to go south, if it does go south, nothing bothers them. We didn’t get off to a great start against Clemson, but it didn’t shake them. You didn’t see any hesitation on the sideline. I think they’re confident that somebody’s going to make a play.”

Georgia Tech’s personality
“I don’t know you’d have to ask the team that. They’d be the ones to ask. The thing that I’ve always felt like that I was most proud of with the team was that they play hard. I think that’s all you can ask them to do is play hard. You try to put them in the best position you can put them in as a coach and then they have to make plays and they have to play hard. As a coach I found through the years that if you do that you have a pretty good chance of being successful more than you fail. If you go out and you put the effort in and you play hard, you’re not put behind the eight-ball with what they’re asking you to do. An old coach told me one time ‘Never try to teach a pig to sing. It frustrates you and annoys the pig.’ And that’s kind of the way it is with coaching. We try not to ask them to do something they can’t do and then we expect them to do it as hard as they can. If you do that, then that’s all you can ask anybody I think.”

Thanksgiving plans
“We will practice Thursday morning like always. Then we will have a team lunch with the coaches’ families and the players and all of the support staff. Then after that we will go home. Some of the players, if they don’t have any place to go, will be invited to the coaches’ houses for Thanksgiving night or dinner. Most of them go with the players that are local or live here. I’ve got a lot of things to be thankful for. I think the big thing is family and health and those types of things that sometimes you take for granted and you don’t think about until the day that you think about it. I’ve been blessed in a lot of ways. I’ve got a lot of things to be thankful for.”

Update on Broderick Snoddy
“He’s back in class. He came by to see me yesterday and he’s doing great. He’s on crutches, no cast. He said the doctor told him as soon as he can put weight on it he can have at it and go as much as he can stand. Modern medicine is really advanced. I expected him to come in with this huge cast, but not at all. He’s adjusting to getting to class on crutches and we joked about how big his forearms are going to be.”

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