Post-Game Quotes

Oct. 22, 2017

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH PAUL JOHNSON

Opening statement:
“That was a heck of a football game. I was really proud of our guys in the second half. I think Wake Forest is a good team. They’ve played everybody close all year and they’re really good on defense inside. To come out in the second half, the defense did a nice job holding them to three points and got some fourth-down stops. On offense, we were able to get some big plays and get in the endzone. We can make it look scary with special teams but the bottom line is 38 is more than 24 and you take it and move on. I thought we found some things in the second half and we were able to do a little better on some counter stuff on offense, especially on the quarterback counter, he hit them for two long plays there.”

On the first-half defense versus the read option:
“We couldn’t get lined up. We had a couple guys out but that’s no excuse. In the second half, we did a little better getting lined up. We just talked about it at halftime, I don’t care what defense we play, I just want to be able to line up. And we did that and some guys made some plays defensively in the second half.”

On K Brenton King’s performance:
“I thought the field goal he made right before halftime was big. He had a couple kicks out of bounds that weren’t good but we were right on the fringe of a field goal there when we threw it in the endzone. I’ll be honest, I just didn’t have a lot of confidence after we rolled the snap back on the extra point. If we hadn’t got the penalty, we probably would’ve kicked it but it was maybe 5 yards farther than I wanted to try to kick. I thought about punting and trying to pin them inside the 10, but the ball was only on the 35, I think, or somewhere around there.”

On the defense coming alive in the second half:
“We struggled to stop the run in the first half. They never really had a lot of yards in the first half. It was a crazy game, I think both teams held the ball four times [in the first half] and, to their credit, they scored three touchdowns and we had to kick field goals. Really, really frustrated with that first drive – first and goal from the 2-yard line and getting knocked straight back like that. We put in a little zone play and I don’t think we blocked it right. We must have run that thing 5,000 times in practice this week and we get out there in a game and look like we’ve never done it.”

On the two failed two-point conversions:
“Well that’s not special teams, that’s on me. The way we ran them, they were awful play calls. We tried to run the zone option on the first one that we worked on all week and the second one was a little rub route with three guys and we pulled it down and kept reverse field. We might could’ve run it but he tried to kill Clinton [Lynch] with it; he threw it like a low fastball. But I’ve coached long enough than to go chasing after those two points, especially in the third quarter. You know it was 21-19, everything is you got to go for two. You start chasing them and then you can’t get off them. You got to keep chasing them.”

On the high-level of energy after the disappointing loss last week:
“I think we had way more energy in the second half than in the first half. There was a little more sense of urgency. I don’t know. If you can figure out what’s going to happen with 18-22 year olds, good luck to you. I’ve been doing this for 39 years and I couldn’t tell you.”

On QB TaQuon Marshall’s two touchdowns on the ground:
“He’s a gifted runner. I think on both his long runs, Ricky [Jeune] really did a nice job blocking. I know on the first one, Shamire [Devine] got a guy, we pinned his guy. And then when we got the pull, both Parker [Braun] and Jahaziel [Lee] got fed up and there was nobody else out there. And the last one was the same thing. Parker had to stop – he really shouldn’t have – he stopped and went back and blocked the guy because they were so far down in there and then once TaQuon broke outside he’s got pretty good quicks.”


GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS

Corey Griffin, DB, R-SR

On the final interception of the game:
“Well thankfully, I brought my hands today. But no, I was actually pretty gassed and I had all the field coming toward me so I decided to slide and get in victory offense and run the clock out.”

On the space he had on plays up the middle:
“That’s maybe the fastest up-tempo offense that we’ve faced all year – looking to the sideline, looking at the formations and trying to get the right check. It’s a lot to it. We have to do better since [Clemson] pretty much does the same thing so that’s definitely something we have to work on.”

KirVonte Benson, BB, R-SO

On the wear-and-tear of taking so many carries and hits:
“It’s part of the game. I knew what I was coming into at this position. B-back is supposed to be the grime and dirty, being able to take some tough hits. I’m glad I could help out my team anyway I could and I’m glad take a few people with me, even though I may not have the ball, it’s effective. And it showed today. Being on the field for a period of time wears out the defense. They can’t play like that for all four quarters. I’m glad we could execute the plays and I could do my job today.”

On going into halftime with a deficit and the second-half comeback:
“This team is a fighter. We handle adversity very well. We came into the locker room and said, ‘This is not us, this is not the way we play. We can play much better than this. This first half is over with and now it’s time for the second half. Let’s jump on these boys. The defense is going to make a stop and we’re going to come down and score.’ And that’s exactly what we did. The team is great at handling adversity and that’s with any team. Doesn’t matter who we play or line up against. It’s going to be same way no matter what: We’re going to fight, we’re going to play, we’re going to come out with the W some way, somehow.”

TaQuon Marshall, QB, JR

On the offensive line being down to five guys:
“I have a lot of confidence in them. They know what to do. They practice it every week. All the guys get reps. I know if somebody goes down then the next guy is going to step up. I have confidence in them that they’re going to do their job.”

On the two long touchdown runs:
“I had great blocking up front. The guys opened up some holes for me, Ricky [Jeune] made a great block out on the perimeter. I just tried to make a play and get the game in our favor.”

On facing a halftime deficit:
“You’re not always going to be ahead in the game. It’s good to go through adversity and see how guys react. Sometimes they get down so you just have to make sure everybody stays up and stays positive. Just come out and execute and stay calm – that’s the most important thing. Everybody stay relaxed because you’re not going to win the game on one play.”


WAKE FOREST HEAD COACH DAVE CLAWSON

Opening Statement
“First off, congratulations to Georgia Tech. They made some key plays tonight that we didn’t make. To me, this game boiled down to three things is that we made some really foolish penalties. In my mind we gave them 10 points off of personal fouls. The personal foul before the half gave them a field goal, the personal foul we would have had them third and eight, backed up and that gave them first and goal and then they scored a touchdown, so that’s 10 points right there.

“And our offense’s inability to convert on third and short. In the first half I think we were three of four or four of five on third downs and I don’t know if we converted one the whole second half.

“A number of times we just didn’t execute the defense. They ran that counter play and scored on it twice. Once we didn’t box and, another time the mike linebacker wasn’t there and that was two big plays that we worked hard on all week and we didn’t fit it correctly and we didn’t defend it well and those were the two long runs by their quarterback, the one right at the half and the one at the end of the game. We didn’t execute the fits in the defense the way we needed to. They are really good but we did not play as well as we are capable of playing.”

On the personal fouls:
“The quarterback is a protected position. There is no excuse for it. It’s got to be about winning and we’ve got to have awareness on the sideline.”

On giving up long plays in the second half:
“We didn’t fit it. The one time we ran the counter, the play was supposed to box it and he got cut and the things bounced and we had three guys inside of it. You have to contain that play. They ran it a few times and we fit it perfectly and then the one time we boxed it and the linebacker wasn’t there. That’s a good play they run, they’ve had success with it but we practiced that thing I don’t know how many times this week and we just did not fit it correctly.”

On if this was the worst game Wake Forest has played this season:
“I would say the worst half, the second half. We scored 21 points in the first half and go up and down the field and hold them to 13 points and then the second half we give up three touchdowns, a field goal, a bunch of long runs and we score three points and don’t convert a third down. I don’t know if it was our worst game but it was certainly our worst half of football. We went for it three times on fourth down, didn’t convert one of them. I think we dropped some balls. To beat teams like this, like the last two games, like the next five weeks, you’ve got to play at a high level for 60 minutes and we’re not there yet.”

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