Post-Game Quotes: Georgia Tech vs. Mississippi State

Sept. 20, 2008

GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH PAUL JOHNSON

Opening Statement:
“I was proud of our football team today. That was a good win for us. Mississippi State came in here today as a very powerful defensive team and they’ve got a good football team. I think we got some big plans on them, got some mismatches and created some things with some formations, but to their credit, they fought until the end and hung in there. I’m proud of our guys. Defensively, in the first half, we bended a little bit, but then when got down with our backs against the goal line, we make a play and we find a way to get a turn over, find a way to do some things. We didn’t throw the ball much because the way they (Mississippi State) were lining up, we didn’t need to. I thought Jaybo Shaw came in and did a great job for a freshman right out of high school, when Josh (Nesbitt) got injured there.”

On the status of Josh Nesbitt:
“I don’t know, we’ll see. We’ll look at it tomorrow. We’re open next week, so it’s a good time. We’ll just have to evaluate it.”

On putting up over 500 yards on Mississippi State’s Defense:
“I think you have to give our players credit. They executed well. I thought we played much, much better on the offensive line. We didn’t allow penetrations that we’ve allowed in the first three games. So, those guys did a much better job. We really got the option going a little bit. Maybe we’re getting better at it. I hope we are.”

“I don’t know how many guys we got on the ground, I think what they were doing is not getting blow up inside so we could get the play started and get it to the edge. You know, at times, we had a numbers advantage this year, on the edge, but we can’t get out there consistently. We’ve got to do a better job of getting out there consistently. We missed a few reads at quarterback, but for the most part, he did a good job of getting the ball dealt and getting it to where we needed it to go. I thought they executed well and our receivers really blocked their tails off. We weren’t throwing the ball much because of the way they (MSU) was playing and rather than hang their (Georgia Tech receivers) heads and sulk, they just tried to get after people by blocking people. Which is what you would hope.

On the way Georgia Tech was able to keep pressure on Mississippi State’s Wesley Carroll:
“Well, we’ve got a pretty good front four and Michael Johnson was having a pretty good day rushing the passer. The guys inside were getting a push so we really couldn’t step up and get away from him. Those guys are seniors and they play a lot of football and are pretty good. Actually, I challenged the defense at halftime and raised the expectation level up a little bit, to not give up so much yardage between the 20’s. And I thought in the third quarter when we had those guys in there, they came out and played better in the second half.

On the poise of Jaybo Shaw and the young kids coming off of a loss and Nesbitt getting hurt:
“They came out and played hard and they practiced hard and hopefully, that’s what you do if you work hard and practice hard, that’s the way you’re gonna play. I joked to the coaches when we went on the road, that our guys were either oblivious or nothing much rattles them. They just kind of go about their business and do what we ask them to do. I think everybody had confidence in Jaybo. I mean, he gets a lot of reps in practice and we see what he can do in practice so I don’t think there was any lack of confidence in him.”

MISSISSIPPI STATE HEAD COACH SYLVESTER CROOM

Opening Statement

“I congratulate Coach Johnson and Tech. They won the game and beat us in every phase of the game today pretty much from start to finish. I’m real disappointed in the way we performed today. I’ll look at the film before I evaluate my players, but more than anything else right now, I’ll evaluate myself. I know we’re a better football team than that, but we’re not showing it on the field.

How difficult was it to defend the triple option? Did they do anything different than you expected?

“They didn’t do anything different. They didn’t do anything we hadn’t worked against. Absolutely nothing.”

What do you chalk it up to? They had a lot of big holes to run through?

“Like I said, I’ll look at the film and see if we’re doing everything we’re supposed to do. Obviously we didn’t do what we’re supposed to do. That’s the bottom line.”

After Dixon made the long run to the goal line, do you regret any of the decisions you made there, and how big was that sequence in determining what happened?

“I thought about taking the penalty and having two shots at it. But with the ball on the one-foot line and Dixon going over the top, we haven’t ever not made that. But we lost yardage on it, and then we get the field goal blocked. Dixon over the top from a foot – I’d bet a lot on that. But we didn’t get it done.”

Did J.C. say anything about the snap that went over Wesley’s head?

“He said he gripped the ball wrong. He doesn’t every do that. But he did it that time.”

What about injuries?

“We’ve got a lot of guys beat up. We’ve got a lot of guys wounded right now. Don’t know how serious it is until tomorrow.”

Was there time after Dixon’s long run to get another running back on the field?
“The problem there is, we wanted to run the ball in, and to be honest with you, he’s the only one strong enough to get it in from there. We tried that before, with him off the ball and try to ram it in there. We didn’t feel that that would be to our advantage. I know he was tired. I thought about putting Deuce in there, but with the play that we called, I wasn’t going to put him in there.”

With the penalties and turnovers, and the blocked field goal, did you feel like the guys weren’t focused enough?
“I don’t know. I’ll be honest with you. Because that’s not us. We’re doing too many things to beat ourselves, the penalties, the false starts, the blocked field goal. We’ve had one blocked field goal since we’ve been here. These are things we work on all the time. The only thing I can answer is it’s me. I don’t have any other way to figure it out. I’ve just got to look at everything I’m asking them to do.”

Georgia Tech Player Quotes

Freshman Quarterback Jaybo Shaw (#14)

On the touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas:
“(Thomas) made a great catch. I knew that they were in man coverage and I just threw it up there to Bay-bay, and that’s what he does – he makes great catches. I was very thankful to just be in there and take some reps.”

On being hurried on the touchdown play:
I didn’t even see him behind me. I was actually trying to plant my feet and make a good throw, but I got hit in the back. Fortunately I got it there and, with him, you just throw it close and he’s going to catch it.”

On how many people were helping him out:
“I came to the sideline and I talked to Josh (Nesbitt). Josh helped me a lot today. Just having him around, Coach Bohannon on the headset and Coach Johnson (helped him out). Coach Johnson, after the first series when I came off the field, said `calm down, everything is going to be alright, we do this every day in practice.’ The upperclassmen in the huddle as well as Jonathan Dwyer just helped in calming me down today and getting my nerves right.

“Josh went out, and I hadn’t taken a snap since pregame. But I got in there, and Jonathan and Dan Voss helped to calm my nerves. Then Coach Johnson said to calm down and that it was going to be okay after I came off the field.”

On the offense’s success at moving the football today:
“Up front we did a lot better job than we have in the past. We just executed. We came out and scored quickly on Jonathan’s long run. It’s really easy, as a quarterback, to have him behind you because you know that all you have to do is give it to him and he’s going to make a play. Then the A-backs were making great blocks on receivers, so I thought we executed very well today.”

Senior Cornerback Jahi Word-Daniels (#32)

On his feeling on the interception:
“Excitement. A lot of guys in our secondary have done a great job of getting interceptions this year, and to finally have a chance to get one I was ready to grab it and run. I was just excited to see one come my way.”

On the touchdown-saving play:
“He’d broken loose, and it was basically just a track race. I guess I was just faster than him at the time and I was able to trip him up for Morgan (Burnett) to come in and take him down to save the touchdown.”

On the red zone defense:
“Our main goal is that, whenever the offense gets into the red zone, they come out with nothing and three points at the most. Our antennas are really up when they do get inside the 20 yard line and our guys did a great job of locking people down, staying focused, doing their jobs and playing physical. That’s what it mounted to on the goal-line play – we were just more physical and able to get the stop.”

Sophomore B-Back Jonathan Dwyer (#21)

On his directing his blockers on the long touchdown run and what he saw going downfield:
“I just saw some extra guys and they had a good angle on me. I saw the offensive players running down the field trying to block for me and I was just trying to help them out. I was looking out for them, trying to see who they needed to block so that I could score.”

On coming back after last week’s performance:
“It feels great. It just shows that once we get everything together, this offense really clicks. You could tell with how we were playing, how the offensive line was playing, how uplifted we were and the way that we were moving the ball. Everything was going our way and we were able to score points.”

On playing an SEC team:
“We came in hungry. We came off a loss to Virginia Tech, one of our ACC rivals, and then hearing all of the SEC-ACC comments really motivates us. We wanted to go out (with a win) going into the off-week with big ACC games coming up.

“Everyone says that the SEC is the best conference (in football), but we wanted to represent for the ACC and for Georgia Tech and that’s what we did today. It’s what we’re trying to do throughout the season each and every week.”

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