#MeetThePress: @GTPaulJohnson Talks #TULNvsGT

Sept. 7, 2015

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson met with members of the local media on Monday to preview the Yellow Jackets’ upcoming home game against Tulane. Saturday’s game at Bobby Dodd Stadium will kick at 3:30 p.m. ET on RSN.

Full Press Conference Audio 

Opening Statement
“We are getting ready go into week two. We have a lot of room for improvement off of week one. I was proud of the way our guys came out focused to start last week. I thought the first quarter went about as well as it could go. We played fairly well. After that, once the game got in hand, we made some mistakes and had a lot of technique things we can clean up and some other issues. Tulane actually has about the same team we played a year ago. Pretty much all of those guys are back with the exception of one or two. Certainly we didn’t play particularly well down there a year ago. I think you have to give them some credit for that. They forced some turnovers. That will be big this week. I think we are a lot better team than the last time we played them. It will be a good way to measure. The Duke game really kind of got out of hand. It was a lot closer than the score might indicate. They hurt themselves on special teams and third downs were awful for them. I think Duke did a really good job on third down defense. I think Tulane was two of 16 or something. Their defense kind of wore down there in the third and fourth quarters. Duke was able to pull ahead. I thought the kickoff return kind of sealed the game for them.”

On what sticks out most to you on Tulane this year compared to last year
“I think athletically, they really run well and they have some good athletes defensively. They especially have a couple good pass rushers off the edge and they run around well. They have struggled to score points if you go back and you look at the last couple of years. Their quarterback is a returner and he played all last year. They have good skill at running back and speed. I think you just have to do the best you can to pressure them. Hopefully you keep them off the field. If they will cooperate and be that bad on third down, then we will get a lot of kicks at the can.” 

On if there will be a difference this year against Tulane now that Justin is more experienced
“Well, hopefully. Last year the ball security thing got really exposed in that game. We talked about it. He has to do better than he did the other night with ball security. While he is a dynamic player that is one area that he can really improve on. I think sometimes he is so quick and so fast that he gets away with not being as sound in that area as he needs to be. That will be a real focal point for him this week.”

On what you saw from the A-backs on film
“Well nobody played more than 15 or 20 snaps. We played about how we thought they would play. They did some things well. Sometimes we can get some better leverage on blocks and get closer to the guy and do better. All in all it wasn’t bad, especially for the guys who haven’t played a lot.” 

On how you see the nonconference opponents you play in consecutive years change season to season
“Not much. You can see Tulane, they are playing a little different defense than they played against us against Duke. We will get ready for all of it. That’s one of the good things about what we do, it’s kind of built in. There’s only a few ways you can play. Last year they played us in a 4-3 and a 3-4 and there isn’t but one other way you can play. I guess they can jump a double eagle. They did that some against Duke and some 46. We practice against all that. I don’t think it will be an issue. It’s executing and blocking. I don’t think they are going to line up in anything we haven’t seen in some point doing this. It might be fun if they did.”

On if any freshmen caught his eye on film
“Marcus Marshall did some good things. He has to hold onto the ball and block better. I think TaQuon [Marshall] is going to be a good player. AJ Gray made some good plays. Brant Mitchell did well when he was in there. That’s probably about it that stood out.”

On how you account for a linebacker like Tulane’s Nico Marley
“That guy is a good player. We were watching today, he is like a little Tasmanian devil out there. He is all over the place. Duke threw a fade route one time and by the time the ball hit the ground he was back there 30 yards deep on that. He is a fun guy to watch play. He really plays hard and he had a bunch of tackles against us a year ago. He is a good player.”

On the factors on playing by feel with the B-backs
“There are different guys. It’s like I said going into the game. Patrick [Skov] will run you over and is a real physical type guy and has okay speed. Marcus [Marshall] is more of a jitterbug speed guy. Patrick is going to get you the tough yards and Marcus is probably going to have long runs if everybody is blocked although Marcus made some people miss too. They played exactly how I thought they would play going into the game. That’s how they are. We’ve seen them practice for the past five weeks.”

 

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