Post-Game Quotes

Sept. 25, 2010

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson

On the loss to NC State

“Any time you lose it’s disappointing. I thought North Carolina State played a really good football game. The quarterback (Russell Wilson) is a really good player. They made plays and we didn’t. We dug ourselves such a hole that we were always trying to get out. When it looked like we grabbed a little momentum back and got with three, but you have to give them credit. They drove the thing 70 yards down the field and put it in the end zone and we couldn’t answer.”

On the Georgia Tech offensive play in the first half

“The first half on offense we didn’t get any kind of consistency going. We had two fumbles that killed us, two three and outs and blocked punt and the way we play here if you do that you’re going to lose. You dig yourself such a hole you’re not going to get out. You’ve got be answering some. “

On the team’s conference record after two ACC games

“From a conference standpoint, we’re at the same spot we were a year ago. We’re 1-1, except it’s out of the division.”

On losing the offensive line’s No. 1 and 2 centers to injury in the game

“We lost first two centers the first four plays of the game. That’s no excuse. We have other guys that can play. It didn’t help. Until I can watch the film, I don’t know how the other guys played. “

On the blocked punt

“I told the guys afterwards the most disappointing was getting the punt blocked because we practice it every single day. In my 31 years of coach, I can count on one hand the number of games we’ve won when we get a kick blocked. It’s a momentum killer. It’s just a gift.”

NC STATE HEAD COACH TOM O’BRIEN

Opening statement

“It certainly was a good day for us, and I’m very happy for our football team. Everybody contributed to what we wanted to get done. We couldn’t have done this without a lot of effort on a lot of people’s parts.

“To keep them under 250 yards rushing is a great day. We’re not very pretty. We’re getting to be a tough football team, and a team that is resilient and plays the way you should play the game. We’re going to find ways to win some games this year.”

On the defense today

“Well they certainly did a great job today. It’s so hard to defend them. You put two guys on the pitch and the quarterback breaks off a big run. You put two guys on the quarterback and the pitch man breaks a long run. You can’t prepare for everything. They went to that bunch formation, and we spent some time on it, but not in the passing game. They had backs coming out of the back field, and that took us off-guard a little bit.”

“The good thing is, we went down and answered them. Our offense answered every time they had to today. That was a real key. But our defense certainly did a great job.”

On the way the team is improving

“They’re believing that you just play the game. When something bad happens, you can’t let it get you down. You get back out there. you buckle on your chin strap and get back out there. They’re starting to play football the way I like to see it played.”

On Russell Wilson

“We talked about it the day he got back to school, what his goals and aspirations are, and we got together and worked it out. And I think it showed. A week ago on Thursday night and again today, and that’s the Russell we’re used to seeing. He’s going to continue to get a lot better.”

On the blocked punt

“We knew they had a new punter, as we do, and we planned to go after him and get a block. That was a big play in the game.”

GEORGIA TECH ASSISTANT COACHES AND PLAYERS

Al Groh on the defense

“81 plays on defense and out of 81 plays I only recall us making three plays of significance. The two sacks by Brad Jefferson and the interception by Jerrard Tarrant. Outside of that we really didn’t do anything to dictate the terms of the game or to finish any of the plays where we had a chance to make a play. The quarterback [Russell Wilson] was everything that we thought he was going to be and he will have a great career, he sparked this team and kept a lot of plays going which eventually turned out to be to their advantage.”

Groh on the NC State runs up the middle

“In terms of total number of runs I am sure those draws were significant plays but not in terms of all of the runs. There were very few scheme runs in the game, mostly there were individual zone plays which is just an issue of block protection and one-on-one football. Obviously we didn’t match up in the one-on-one circumstances.”

Groh on not being able to stop NC State on third downs

“The thing that stood out to me was the performance of the quarterback. He did a good job of eluding whatever pressure that was there, moving within the pocket, getting out of the pocket, spotting empty receivers. Two or three of those receivers were converted from backs, where they came out of the backfield and we were supposed to have coverage on them and somewhere in there lost vision of them. When you have man-to-man coverage on somebody you have to keep your eyes on the man and it appeared that we came up deficient in having the discipline to do that.”

Coach Charles Kelly on the blocked punt

“First of all I will just speak on the special teams part of it and I give their guys the credit they actually came after it. I thought we had a little bit of momentum in the game at that time, we made a couple of stops and might not have been perfect but we were keeping them off of the scoreboard. We had a good scheme we just didn’t block very well and that is something that we haven’t done a lot in the past. That is the second one in a long time that I can remember happening. “

Joshua Nesbitt on the NC State offense

“It is always hard to see the other team score, but in this game you have to have a short memory, go out there and keep playing.”

Nesbitt on losing Sean Bedford in the first quarter

“It didn’t really affect me, I just had to stand in and take the snap but with [Sean] Bedford I am just used to getting it and going.”

Brad Jefferson on the defense not being able to get off the field

“One mistake can cause you a big play and that is just what it was. It was different mistakes, you just have to know your assignment and do your job. As a defense it was just big plays hurting us.”

Steven Sylvester on the game

“It is always going to be exciting coming out, especially at home when you are playing in front of a home crowd. The task is that you have to keep that up through four quarters and I think at times we lagged off. I think that Wilson’s mobility took a little breath out of the defense when he is able to scramble for 10 or 15 yards when you think that you have him. On the 527 yards of total offense, that is just one of those things that you have to take in stride there is nothing that we can do about it now we just have to prepare for Wake Forest next week.

Jerrard Tarrant on his interception

“When I saw that ball in the air I just thought touchdown. I always wanted to dive into the end zone, who doesn’t want to dive into the end zone.”

Tarrant on the offense running up the middle

“More mental mistakes by us and people not being where they need to be at the right times. That’s all it really is.”

Tarrant on keeping up the confidence on the sidelines

“You always want to keep everything positive and frustrating but you cant just give up you have to keep fighting. You cant think about it you just have to let it go.”

Ray Beno on playing in place of Sean Bedford

“I found out on Thursday, Jay [Finch] had a little bit of a hamstring problem. It shook me up a little bit but when I knew I was going to be the second string and that when it was my time to be called up I had to step in and do what I had to do. When I got in there I was definitely nervous but after a few plays I just settled down and did my assignments.”

Roddy Jones on scoring opportunities

“We had a number of opportunities in the first half that we didn’t capitalize on and it just put us far behind. Coming out the first drive of the second half if we went down and scored it could have been a different ball game, but after a couple of penalties and we weren’t able to do it.”

Jones on the locker room atmosphere

“It is never good after a loss. We just have to take it the right way, learn from it and come out this week and practice with more intensity than we did last week.”

Jones on the punt block

“Anytime you get a punt blocked, or any kick blocked and they return it for a touchdown, it hurts. It takes the wind out of you a little bit. As an offense we have to block out the distractions and respond and it is something that we have been able to do in the past and just weren’t able to do today.”

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