Post-Game Quotes

Sept. 12, 2015

GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson

Opening Statement
“I thought we came out a little bit lethargic to start the game even though we scored on the opening drive. We weren’t crisp. We we’re having a hard time with our blocking inside on the triple. I thought we did a much better job in the second half. I thought we were pretty good on third down. We made some plays. We were disappointed to give up a sack on the first drive. We really didn’t run a very good route or make a smart decision there. We’ll look at the film and see if we got better. We need to continue to get better.”

Matthew Jordan’s performance
“He leads the nation in quarterback rating. He’s 1-for-1 for 35 yards and a touchdown. I told him we wouldn’t ever throw it again and he could stay right there. I thought Matthew played well and he played about how I expected him to. He’s been here. The way they were playing the option they were going to take away the B-back and the quarterback most of the time so it was kind of read it and get it pitched.”

First down defense success
“That’s kind of our M.O. We need to bring pressure. We’re not very good at getting it with four people. We’ve got to bring pressure and to this point, we haven’t been a very good coverage team. We need to sic ‘em and go get ‘em.”

Back-up quarterback situation
“The quarterback situation isn’t really day-to-day. It’ll be a couple weeks before we know. I’m comfortable with Matthew [Jordan]. We’ll get Chase Martenson back on Monday too. Brady [Swilling’s] a serviceable guy too. Sometimes when you get in at the end and you are playing with a lot of other guys, that doesn’t really show what you can do. I felt okay about Brady too if he had to play. He keeps his composure and is pretty smart. He’s not going to dazzle you with long runs like Justin Thomas, but he can move the team if everybody else does there job.”

Chris Milton’s interception
“Certainly it helps anytime you get some short fields and certainly the offense had some short fields tonight. It helps. If I’m watching that game, I’m not sure that after the third series I was pretty sure who was going to win.”

Special teams play
“It helps a bunch. They helped a bunch too by dropping snaps and snapping it over their head. Jamal [Golden] had a really nice return in the first half. Harrison [Butker’s] kicking the ball really well. It’s hard to return any kicks unless he gets against the wind. Ryan [Rodwell] punted once for 36 yards. It wasn’t great; it wasn’t terrible. All in all it was probably better. We didn’t catch one ball down on the north end zone that we should have caught. You don’t want to see the ball hit the ground.”

Did you worry over the offseason about personnel changes affecting the offense?
“Not really. We’ve done this a long time. Now it’s going to change when the competition ratchets up like anything. But we’ve done this a long time and rushed for a lot of yards over a lot of years, and there’s been a lot of different guys. Now you have to execute. These kids are doing a good job making plays, ripping off plays and blocking. Today was an A-back day really rushing the ball. They were going to take the B-backs away, and we weren’t going to force it to them with everybody pinching. Next week could be a B-back/quarterback game.”

GEORGIA TECH JUNIOR QB Justin Thomas

On his performance and getting more playing time
“I think we came out and did what we were supposed to do. Overall, as a team, we started off fast with what we needed to do. I guess playing a little longer is fun, but if I can get out of the first quarter, I would not mind. That means we are doing something right and we are winning. I cannot complain.”

On his two touchdown passes
“For the most part, we had one-on-one coverage with our guys. And we expect our guys to win those match ups. When we throw the ball, we expect big plays, and that is what we got today.”

On playing with Qua Searcy
“It is fun playing with him [Searcy]. Just knowing that you can get the ball in the guy’s hands like that, and he will make a play no matter what. And we have a few guys like that. We still have both Marshalls [TaQuon Marshall and Marcus Marshall], and we still have [Broderick] Snoddy on the outside. We have got a lot of guys that can make plays in one-on-one spacing and just get through the seam quick. That is great that we can have that.”

GEORGIA TECH SOPHOMORE DEFENSIVE END KeShun Freeman

On limiting Tulane’s offense on first-down plays
“We knew that if we could make big plays on the first down, the second down would not be as bad. Just working hard. We were just working so hard at practice on those early downs and creating damage so we would not be in those third-downs-and-short.”

On Adam Gotsis’ presence on the defensive-line
“It is very important. Adam and I are on the same side, so we really work off of each other a lot. I know if I make a mistake or if he [Gotsis] makes a mistake we give notes to each other. It’s very important that we continue to work off of each other. He sometimes sets up things then I can make a play, then I set up things and he can make a play. And that goes across the whole defense. So we always have to work off of each other. It is very important.”

GEORGIA TECH SENIOR CB Chris Milton

On his blocked punt
“I just tried to go out there and make a play for the team. Coach [Johnson] gave me the call to go. And it was kind of a bad snap so it was a little slower, and that let me get to it a little quicker.”

On the defensive-line’s ability to pressure Tulane
“I think the defensive line played a great game. They kind of stopped a lot of the running plays up front. It made it a lot easier for us in the back-end so we could just play coverage.

RED-SHIRT FRESHMAN A-BACK Qua Searcy

After switching around different positions, have you found your home at A-back?
“Most definitely. And Justin Thomas makes it a great home for me. He makes me feel comfortable back there.”

On his touchdown run from 13 yards out on third-down and goal
“I saw that play as ‘we are getting a touchdown.’ I was not thinking about getting caught short. Like I said, the linemen did a good job of blocking up front. Justin [Thomas] had a good read and I got in the end zone.”

TULANE HEAD COACH CURTIS JOHNSON

Opening Statement
“That’s an outstanding Georgia Tech football team. I expect them to win a lot of games. They competed for an ACC Championship last year, and I don’t see why they wouldn’t do the same thing again.

“Our kids played hard in spots. They got that option going. That quarterback is amazing with some of the stuff that he does. I think Paul Johnson has the answers to this offense. I think he’s done an outstanding job here.”

On what you can take out of this game to grow upon
“We played well in spots, but we didn’t play as hard as we usually play. But our running back, Lazedrick Thompson, really ran the ball well. I’ve got to get him the ball more. I’ve got to re-personnel the special teams. This week, it’ll be all starters on special teams. It’s too much. When we got into a little bit of a rhythm, we did move the ball. That’s a great defense. Some of these receiver made some pretty decent plays.”

On seeing the option in person vs. on film
“It’s a different ball game. One thing about the option, his adjustments [are very good]. We’ll do one thing, and then he’ll come back and adjust to something else. He’s magnificent at it. He’s got a great mind for it. He knows it [so well]. He has good players to run it. His quarterback, Thomas, he’s something else. He’s a great player. The backs are good. They understand it. They’re always in third and two, third and three.”

On having long yardage to make on third down (offense)
“We’ve got to mix in run and pass a little bit better on first and second down. We talked about [needing to] get into third and two and three. A couple of penalties really hurt us. A couple guys jumped offside. Their defense was bringing pressure early on. We’ve got to handle that better. If we get third and two and third and three like they did, we’ll pick up some of them.”

On offensive inability overextending the defense
“We gave them outstanding field position. When you get the option going and a short field, it’s like running downfield with those guys. They’re real good at it.”

On being able to see the adjustments Tech was making
“You can see some of them, but he’s so good at it. All of a sudden they run a play-action pass. You see the toss play. They don’t do it a lot. You see them put the tackle over (unbalanced line). The adjustments with these kids, it’s just a lot. He does a great job knowing what’s the next step to it.”

On playing two ACC teams to start the season
“It’s tough. Two years ago, when we went to a bowl game, we played teams more like us in caliber. Last year it was Syracuse and Rutgers. This year it’s two ACC teams. I’d like to see our kids get into a little bit of a rhythm. We’ve got some young kids and this team, but we’ll come back and play well.”

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