Post-Game Quotes

Oct. 15, 2016

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson

 

Opening Statement

“Anytime you win a game that’s a real positive. I was proud of our guys. I thought that while we didn’t play perfect, we made enough plays to win. It was a game we had a hard time getting them off the field again. Their third down was 13 and 20. They did a nice job possessing the ball but in the end when we had to have a drive to kind of keep the game safe and we were able to put it together offensively. I thought some of the guys made big plays. I was proud of the two freshmen. We started two true freshmen offensive lineman in the game at left guard [Parker Braun] and left tackle [Jahaziel Lee] and they continued to play. Actually we had three true freshmen who started on offense so for them we’ll watch the tape but I was proud of them and the way they fought and played in the game.”

 

On the start of the game:

“We got started well early. I really felt like the third and 13 they converted, if we could have got them off the field there with the momentum we had, we might have buried them right there but to their credit the kid scrambled, made the first down and they hung around and kind of stayed in the game.”

 

On the performance of the safeties:

“Corey [Griffin] made some big plays, he made some nice tackles. He’s the guy, he had a couple third down stops on stunts and blitzes where he tackled the guy for a loss but we’ve got to play better than that defensively in our league or we’ll get killed.”

 

On Justin Thomas’ inability to get to the perimeter:

“I don’t think it was Justin but I don’t think our A-backs had a great game blocking so therefore it was kind of hairy sometimes. He made some plays too, the boot, the naked boot, the touchdown. He just kind of out ran him and cut back. Dedrick Mills got a nice block but I think he might have been the only one. He got the big third down on the little follow play so he did some things. I’m sure he would tell you that the series right before halftime we missed a couple opportunities in the throwing game maybe to throw a touchdown and then to go down and miss that chippy field goal, that’s not like Harrison. He’s usually automatic. We came out and the defense got a couple of stops there in the third quarter and then we were able to go down and match them score for score. There weren’t many possessions again. I think counting that last drive there we could have killed the clock four times in the second half.”

 

On the importance of this win:

“Every win is important. It’s hard, it’s hard to win. You can look at the scores today and see it’s hard to win so any time you get a win you’ve got to be happy and you try to build on it. We sure haven’t played our best football yet on both offense and defense, hopefully that’s in front of us. Anytime you win it’s good.”

 

GEORGIA SOUTHERN HEAD COACH TYSON SUMMERS

 

Opening Statement

 “Like I told our team in the locker room, there are no moral victories. There is no part of that makes us want to feel good about any part of today. We walked in here today playing an opponent that we certainly expected to beat. We didn’t come out of the gate the way we needed to, certainly with the start that we had, being down 14-0 before we could blink. We need to have a better plan on how to start fast and make some adjustments when it comes to practice.

 

“I’m very proud of the players in that locker room for continuing to play as hard as they played, continuing to believe. There were a number of times during the game where we jumped to being within a score. But they continued to make plays, continued to get points back. The defense did a nice job after the first two series of really trying to settle in. Georgia Tech came back in the second quarter to score and get it to 21. There were a number of series in a row where the defense was able to stop them.

 

“I thought we had better rhythm on offense today than we’ve had in a while. We wanted to address our issues from last week, not being able to be where we wanted to be on third downs. That drastically improved today. Our red-zone offense drastically improved today. We felt like we had to match their physicalness. We felt like we had to steal a possession on special teams. We weren’t able to do that today; we didn’t really have an opportunity.

 

“Coach Johnson did a fantastic job with the offense, calling plays. Their defense played well. You’ve got to give those guys a lot of credit. We’re not where we want to be by any stretch of the imagination, but I did see a lot of improvement, particularly on the offensive side of the ball, and in moments during the game, as well we could play on defense.

 

Impressions of Tech QB Justin Thomas

 “He did a nice job today of managing their offense and running the ball. They started out with the belly option a couple of times and came back with the counter play, which they haven’t run a lot of and we haven’t seen very much. I thought he did a nice job managing both of them, the two plays that they had, throughout the game. Justin did a fantastic job, and he threw the ball really well today. We’ve got to play better in some of our coverage stuff and also defend the option.”

 

On the difficulty of preparing for Tech’s offense in a short period of time

 “It’s the speed and the cutting, those are the two things that you cannot simulate. It’s hard to make those defensive ends understand how fast the B-Back is going to be hitting it down the line, cheat them up two yards or three yards. What you saw on the first two drives was us not going to the ground on those cuts, but not getting up and being where we’re supposed to be fast enough. After the first two series, I felt like we settled in and played those two things better and played better overall on defense.”

 

Takeaways from this game

 “Again, I think there was a lot of improvement; certainly being upset about the way we played 10 or 11 days ago against Arkansas State, and really trying to keep our football team in the right frame of mind and practice the way we need to. We didn’t have people turning around and pointing fingers or doing any of those things. I felt like we walked in here today prepared to win this football game; it was a full-fledged belief that they had.”

 

GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS

 

Freddie Burden, CENTER, RS-SR

On getting a win to snap the 3-game losing streak

“It’s definitely better than being on the other side. It feels great to get a win under your belt and look forward to moving forward the rest of the season.”

 

On playing with Justin Thomas

“It’s just amazing, he is just one of a kind. For the offensive line we know that [Justin Thomas] can make plays in any situation so we just have to get him free and open so he can make those plays.”

 

On going into the bye week

“The main thing is just getting guys healthy; it gives us an extra week to get guys treatment and rest. We look forward to moving through the rest of the season, so that’s the biggest thing.”

 

On the quick start to take an early lead

“It was good to start off early, coach (Paul) Johnson was getting on us about that, to get on them early. We did a good job with that and continued with that the rest of the game.”

 

On starting two freshmen on the offensive line today

“I was pretty confident. I know they knew what to do. If they messed up on anything or had any questions they can always come to me, but they did a pretty good job doing it.”

 

Brad Stewart, WIDE RECEIVER, SO

On his 40-yard reception in the third quarter

“The big thing in film, coach Buzz [Preston] is always talking about receivers making plays. We’re known to be a running offense, but we have to have that passing element to our offense. So whenever our names are called we have to make a play, and that’s what I did.”

 

On getting a win to snap the 3-game losing streak

“It’s huge. We were pretty upset from last week against Pittsburgh; we played a good game but just came up a little bit short. We knew we had to come out because Georgia Southern is a great team, this is a great team win moving forward.”

 

Corey Griffin, DB, RS-JR

 

On change of approach defensively

“I think Coach Roof allowed us to play freely. Playing an option team like Georgia Southern, you cannot sit back and wait on it. I think that is the approach that he took, allowing us to play free.”

 

On increased number of blitzes

“The safeties blitzed more than normal, but overall the defense was about the same.”

 

On improved defensive play against the run

“I think we did fairly well stopping the run, mainly doing our jobs. If you have the quarterback, stay on him, if you have the dive, take him. There was a couple misreads, but we went to the sideline and adjusted.”

 

Justin Thomas, QB, RS-SR

 

On if starting game 3-of-3 passing heightened his confidence

“Yeah, it helped. The guys protected great today up front. Perimeter guys made plays getting open and making the catches, so everything worked out with everybody doing what they were supposed to do.”

 

On play of offensive line

“I had plenty of time today, even to direct people off of their routes. We have to keep that up upfront and keep getting better.”

 

On efficient offensive play

“We came out fast like we needed to, to put the pressure on them. We kind of slowed down, but picked it back up in the second half. We just have to keep doing what we are doing without stopping. We cannot have three and outs like we did today. That helps our defense out and allows them to rest more.”

 

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