Post-Game Quotes

Sept. 30, 2017

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson

Opening Statement
“Well anytime you can get a conference win I’m pleased. I thought that for the most part our defense played really well again and on offense we made enough plays. It wasn’t pretty but we made some plays and I guess if you can rush the ball for 400 yards you usually win most of the games.

“The fumbles were disappointing; we worked really hard on that last week. They were both on called plays, there were no reads, no nothing, it was just one was reaching the ball out and the other was just being careless with it.

“We missed some huge opportunities in the passing game. We had a double move that should have been a touchdown that we overthrew. We had both our starting offensive tackles out and I think we’ll start to get them back next week, both Andrew Marshall and Jahaziel Lee and that’ll help. It was good to get a win.”

On A.J. Gray
“I told somebody walking in, I thought A.J. probably played as well as he has played. Some of their run-pass stuff he was right on cue with it. He stepped underneath the slants and got a couple picks and it was good to see him make plays because he has got a lot of ability. Plus he made a couple nice plays in open field on tackles. I’m proud of A.J., I thought he played well.”

On third down defense
“When that happens, I think we had a 17 play drive and an 18 play drive and when you look at the thing, they ran 58 plays, time of possession was a killer again. Unless you do something crazy, if you hold the ball for 38 minutes most of the time you’re going to win.”

On the change in the defense since the second half of the Tennessee game
“I think we are playing better. We’re tackling better. Other than the one double move there at the end we haven’t given up a lot of big plays. We’re being able to stop the run with some blitzes and stunts and some of that, makes it hard if teams don’t run the ball. The competition level is going to move way up next game.”

On the offensive passing game
Ricky did some good things. Early on, in the first series, we dropped a ball on third down over on our sidelines and then the next series we dropped a homerun ball off the hands so we missed some opportunities. Then we overthrew the two double moves so our passing game was a little suspect there to start the game, we could have gotten way out in front I think.”

NORTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH LARRY FEDORA

Opening Statement
“They outplayed us. We didn’t play well enough to win. It boils down to me. I’ve got to do a better job of coaching. I’ve got to do a better job of coaching our staff, and I’ve got to do a better job of coaching the players. That’s my job.”

On the team’s offensive issues
“Just a lack of execution overall. There was never a time when we felt like we were in a rhythm. It doesn’t matter what 11 guys are out there. We’re going to put 11 guys out there, and they’ll be expected to do their job. I don’t feel like there was anything Georgia Tech did to just outnumber us in any situations. We’ve got to win more one-on-one battles.”

On the team wearing down
“No doubt. The defense played 44 snaps in the first half, so there was no doubt that they were going to end up wearing down. We got an opportunity to get off the field on some third-and-longs, and we didn’t do that in the first half, so they were out there 44 snaps. Offensively, you’re only out there 28 snaps in the first half. You’ve got to take pressure off the defense. You can’t have them out there [76] snaps against that offense, and expect not to be worn down at the end of the game.”

On reasons for putting Harris in at QB for two snaps, was Surratt losing confidence
“Nope, nope. Just like every game, we have a plan to play both of them. We were looking for a spark, and … I didn’t feel like Chazz was doing anything wrong. Brandon had practiced well, and done well all week and the last few weeks, and he warranted that opportunity.”

On giving up third- and four-down plays
“You’ve got to play better in those situations. That’s all you can do. We’ve got people in position. You’ve got to make the play, got to make the tackle. There were a lot of missed tackles in those situations. We’ve just got to do a better job.”

On challenges of developing game plan and depth when down so many players to injury
“I’m not going to use that as an excuse. We’re coaching up guys, and we’ve got to coach 11 guys to do out there and do their jobs. That’s our job. That’s my job. Those guys are playing hard, and they’re fighting. They’re doing what they need to do. I’ve got to do a better job of coaching them up.”

On level of frustration
“I imagine they’re all frustrated. I didn’t ask them, but I’m sure they’re all frustrated. What they’re going to do is stay close together, and they’re going to continue to stay close and work hard in practice. We’re going to find a way to get through this hump.”

On how you measure progress with all the adversity
“Nobody feels sorry for you. You can’t use that as an excuse. You’ve just got to find a way to get it done. Progress is getting it done. We’ve got to find a way. We don’t want to be close. We don’t want any moral victories. I want our guys to find a way to get over the hump. Again, that’s my job.”

On getting the fumble and then throwing an interception on the next play
“We had the momentum right there when we get the turnover. We made a big deal about stealing possessions. Our guys get it, and then we turn around and throw a pick. So, yeah, that wasn’t good for the team.”

GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS TAQUON MARSHALL, QB, JR On the way he views his role in the offense
“I always have things that I need to work on and improve. I go into every week ready to work and practice hard so on Saturday I can put out what I have been practicing.”

A.J. GRAY, FS, JR On having the ability to play loose on defense
“I can play looser because I know all of the plays. I know my job and that allows me to play fast.”

On the way he played today
“It was definitely a step up. It just happened. Now I have to build off of it and get better every game.”

LANCE AUSTIN, CB, SR On the defensive effort
“I like the defensive performance but there are always places to get better so if we can continue to go out there like that then we’re going to be pretty good.”

On how to feels to get a win over North Carolina despite it being a different team than they’ve seen in the past
“It was a good conference win at home. We take it week by week and I was overall satisfied with the win.

On if the conversation surrounding the defensive performance at the Tennessee game was a motivating factor for the defense to get better
“It was motivation but we don’t need that to motivate us. Everybody on our defensive is self-motivated and we’re motivated as a defense. We’re been playing decent ball and there is always room to improve. That’s one thing about our defense, we’re never satisfied and we’re not going to get complacent. We’re always looking for a way to get better.”

ANTONIO SIMMONS, DB, SR On his sack in the first quarter
“I was just trying to make a play on third down and get off the field. There was great energy in there so I was just trying to make a play and get us off the field.”

On the defensive effort
“I don’t feel like we played our bests. We can get better in a lot of ways. We’re still letting them drive the ball. They missed two field goals but we still gave up enough yards that we can play way better than we did.”

On how to feels to get a win over North Carolina despite it being a different team than they’ve seen in the past
“I said in my interview on Tuesday that we were a different defense then. We are more mature, we were ready. We already knew what we were going to do so it’s not a surprise to us.”

PARKER BRAUN, OL, SO

On having a hard time with UNC’s defense early in the game
“We had some trouble adjusting to the defenses. They kept changing defensive fronts on us before the snap so it took a while to adjust but once we did I think we found success.”

On dealing with the injuries on the offensive line
“It was difficult but I think we had some younger guys really step up to the plate and perform really well. It obviously wasn’t too much of a challenge because we overcame it and we saw some guys do a really good job today.”

KIRVONTE BENSON, BB, R-SO On his touchdown
“Everybody did their job that play. It was a play we practiced the whole week. We were going to hit and it just run through, that’s the only way you can do it. The lineman did a great job blocking up front and when I saw Ricky [Jeune] down there it was an automatic touchdown. When Ricky has his hands on, nobody is getting off him like that.”

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