VIDEO: Paul Johnson Weekly Press Conference (Game 12 - Georgia)

Paul Johnson Weekly Press Conference - Nov. 20, 2018

Paul Johnson Weekly Press Conference (Game 12 – at Georgia, Nov. 24)

Opening Statement:

Well, I was happy for our seniors to end their last home game here at Bobby Dodd with a win [against Virginia]. It was a hard-fought game that went back and forth. I thought our team showed a lot of resilience. Proud of the way we finished. Looking forward to this week, going up to Athens, certainly they are a quality football team and a good program. They’ve got a ton of good players. And they are playing very well. I mean watching that tape from a week ago, I’m not sure we could do that to our scout team. They looked unstoppable. Maybe they’ll let us play 12 on defense.”

On Georgia QB Jake Fromm:

“I think he was a really good player a year ago and, you know, he is just more experienced. I think he probably feels more comfortable with what they’re doing, but he’s been a good player since he’s been there.”

On this year’s Georgia team compared to last year’s:

“I don’t know, I mean, every team is different. I don’t know that they are a whole lot different. They’ve got some different players in different areas but they haven’t changed what they do. They’re still the same type of team.”

On coming back from a 1-3 start and playing on the road at Georgia:

“We don’t talk a whole lot about playing on the road or not playing on the road. You kind of just go out and play. Two of the three games we won up there, we’ve come from behind. The first one [2008], we came way down, we were down 28-6. [In 2016], I think we were down 13 in the fourth quarter. So, you just have to keep playing. That’s the bottom line. No matter what happens, you just keep playing. I think as you coach, you try to [get that] message across to your team. And like I said, each team’s different. I think towards the last half of the year, these kids have done a really good job of just trying to focus on what they can control. And we’ve talked about that a lot. And it’s always good when I hear them regurgitate it because you know they heard it. And just keep playing. I mean, that’s all you can do, just keep playing. I think they’ve done a really good job of staying in the mode and keep grinding. If it looks good, keep playing, and if it doesn’t, keep playing.”

On Georgia Tech QB TaQuon Marshall’s play over the past two games:

“I think he’s done some good things. He’s played well enough. He’s taken care of the ball. We would’ve liked to have completed a higher percentage of throws in the last game, certainly. I think we had a chance. But all in all, maybe finish some runs in the secondary. But as far as reads and running the offense, I think he’s done a good job.”

On his “Control What You Can Control” message:

“Well, just the way the situation was [after Georgia Tech’s 1-3 start], there was a lot of noise. Everybody’s got an answer. Everybody knows what’s wrong. Everybody knows that you’re not going to win any more games. After the Clemson game, I don’t even know the word I would use for it. We’d fallen to Clemson. Hello? Everybody they played has. I noticed this week, for what it’s worth, South Carolina is a 26-point underdog going to Clemson … They’re probably, right now, one of the two best teams in the country. So, the sky was falling after that game and you can’t control that. All you can control is what you do next. You can control how you practice. You can control how you play in the game. And the point I try to make is how I tell them before every game, usually right before we leave the locker room: Deal with what you’ve got to deal with. If I’m a quarterback and I’ve got to read the option, dial in on the two guys I’m looking at. Don’t worry about if the offensive line is blocking over here or if the receivers are doing this or what happened on defense. Control what you can control. You can’t control what the defense is doing, you can’t control what the receivers are doing. You can do what you do and vice versa for everybody else. And it’s the same thing with coaches. I have to tell our coaches sometimes, everybody gets upset with calls or with this or with that. You can’t control it. It’s not going to change. Move on. Try to focus on things you can control. That’s hard to do, but if you can do it, you have a chance to be successful.”

On whether Georgia Tech will prepare differently for Georgia QBs Jake Fromm and Justin Fields:

Not really. They run some different plays with the two quarterbacks. They do some things with one that they don’t necessarily do with the other. But no, you get ready for the system”.

On Georgia Tech BB Jerry Howard’s recent play:

“Jerry’s playing hard. I think that he was really frustrated after the Duke game and then North Carolina … He’s come to work every day and he’s really playing hard. He’s playing well right now.”

On last year’s game vs. Georgia:

“The thing that sticks about last year’s game to me is we ran 53 plays and that’s been the problem the last two weeks. We can’t get off the field. And that’s what we usually do to other people. Part of the problem a year ago was self-inflicted – we weren’t very good on third downs. But the last two weeks, we’ve been pretty good on third downs. And we run 60 plays. We’ve got to find a way to get off the field.”

On Georgia Tech and Georgia tearing up hedges and sod at the opposing team’s field:

“My whole take on [Georgia Tech tearing hedges at Sanford Stadium] and [Georgia tearing up sod at Bobby Dodd Stadium] is it’s ridiculous. I was surprised in ‘08 when we won and everybody went for the hedges and somebody asked me, ‘Are you not going to do that?’ I said, ‘No, I plan on coming back.’ Certainly, I will talk to our team. That’s not something that has any part in the game. It doesn’t do any good to tear somebody’s hedges down if you win a game. Go celebrate with your fans and celebrate in the locker room. The same thing when they come here and they go into the middle of the field and rip up the turf and the sod and plant a flag in the middle of the field. Kids will be kids, but it’s kind of been tit for tat. I hadn’t been a part of it before. I can tell you I’ve never taken a hedge.”

On the challenges presented by Georgia’s offense:

“We have got to find a way to do better on third downs. We haven’t been very good at it. They are good at it but, you know, we play in a lot of those game too. The last two [weeks], we have been in eight-possession games. And so do they with the way they play sometimes … It makes every possession valuable. You have to do something with the ball when you got it.”

On if there is a difference in Georgia’s offense when Fields is in the game:

“I think [Fields] can run whatever he wants. He’s a good player. But they don’t run the same offense with the same player. Maybe they can, but they don’t.”

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