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Georgia Tech 29, NC State 21

Oct. 4, 2003


GEORGIA TECH 29, NC STATE 21 October 4, 2003 – Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field

Georgia Tech Head Coach Chan Gailey

Comment on third downs: “I hadn’t seen the stats but it felt better today almost fifty percent. It was obviously the best we have done. Reggie made some great throws and the guys made some great efforts. I know Nate Curry had some big catches on third down.”

Comment on big plays: “The thought process was that they wanted to play man to man all over the field, so we were going to see if they could cover us one on one. That was the objective, I thought it would be a game of big plays and that is what happened. We didn’t allow a ton of big plays and we made three or four ourself. That’s what you have to do.”

“The first two plays of the third quarter to keep them scoring just three points was big. They had a couple of big penalties that kept our drive alive and were able to stick it in the endzone. We should have had thirty points in the first half, but we had a couple of penalties in the redzone and got a sack and we can’t do that.

Comment on Reggie Ball’s play today: “He was really on. He threw some balls today on trust rather than seeing it, he knew where the guy was suppose to be and he took a pretty good step today on throwing some balls on trust.”

“We’re putting some plays in that we would have not put in a while ago. We had checks today for the first time in the ball game, so it’s starting to come, slowly but surely. You’ve got to see where he is there is always that fine line of pushing him too fast and not pushing him fast enough and holding him back. As a coach we are constantly in that quandary about how much is too much and how much is not enough.”

Comment on offense taking pressure off defense: “That’s why it is a football team, you can’t go out there and let the defense go in there and win the whole thing, offense can’t win the whole thing and special teams certainly can’t win the whole game. So it has to be a total effort and everyone has to do their part.

Comment on containing Rivers: “Really what it got down to was that there weren’t any big passes until the very end. They caught the ball a couple of times and made some runs and that is one thing we knew we could not let them do. You make them go eight, ten or 12 plays at a time and that makes it a lot harder on them. It makes it harder on anybody.”

Comment on NC State third downs: “I thought that Coach Tenuta did a great job with understanding what they were trying to get done. We stopped them and our guys knew what they were going to do. They were very well versed to NC State’s offense and I thought it was a nice job on third down.”

Comment on running against Tech’s defense: “We moved our line so much, it’s hard to hit a crease on our defensive line because we are stunning and moving. We have to rely on that because we are not very big, but quick.

Comment on Tech’s defensive backs: “They all did a great job and we barely missed two big picks. Overall our defense did a nice job. We missed some tackle in the open field and that is something we’ll have to work on. But otherwise, I thought they covered up those guys pretty good.

Player’s Quotes – Georgia Tech vs. NC State

Reggie Ball

“It felt good, real good. I told coach (Chan) Gailey coming out for pre-game that there was something about today. I just came out and felt really good today.”

“Executing. I wasn’t making those dumb freshman throws, I wasn’t missing my wide open receivers and we converted on third down.”

“They played man coverage and we knew that coming in. I knew that our guys were going to win and I just had to hit them.”

“It was the sixth game of the season, so all the jitters are gone.”

“I don’t know about me, but I know our defense did. The defense did a great job today.”

“I felt really good today and I just didn’t miss many throws.”

Daryl Smith

“They (Wake Forest) are a great team. They beat NC State earlier this year so we’re going to be ready.”

“When coach announced him (Reggie Ball) as the starting quarterback, he naturally became a leader. He had a great game today.”

Kenny Scott

“We made a lot of good catches out there and played exceptionally well on special teams today. We didn’t give up any big plays and we made some big plays.”

“I stumbled two times actually. About the 40-yard line I regained my balance and started to run faster. Then at the 20-yard line I tired to put it into gear, but I must have missed the clutch because that guy caught me and hit my foot and unfortunately I fell about the two-yard line.”

Jonathan Smith

“We had a lot of doubters this week. But we had our family, friends and fans to support us and we have that, we can go out there and play with just about anybody.”

“We felt like we should have put up some big numbers on offense last week. Once we didn’t do that, we felt a little down, but we practiced hard last week and went out there and did the job.”

“I love man coverage. One-and-one routes out there and I was excited to play this game today.”

Reuben Houston

“That was important. That was something we talked about this week, that even if they get into the red zone, we couldn’t let them score any points.”

“We knew that we were going to have five defensive backs in the game the whole time and knew that we were going to have to stop the run because that was going to be their counter to their passing game. Daryl (Smith) and (Keyaron) Fox did a great job and the defensive line as well. I think we prepared well this week for their passing game.”

GEORGIA TECH VS. NC STATE POST-GAME QUOTES October 4, 2003 — Georgia Tech 29, N.C. State 21


“We’ve thrived on the kicking game this year. We muffed a kickoff in the first half, which we’ve never done before, and they got three points out of. They got a kickoff return down to about the nine or 10, that they got three points on. They ran a punt back, which they might have gotten points off of. And then the penalties, the penalties we just … so many penalties.

“We go in at halftime down 22-10, we score coming out and get back in the game. We stop them on three plays, they slice a punt and we get the ball on the 45, and we come away with nothing. We get something and it’s a different game, then we kept stubbing our toes. We roughed the kicker, and then we get a penalty on the next play. Their score on that drive came almost all by virtue of penalties.

“You cannot overcome those things. Give credit to Georgia Tech for making plays in the first half. We had them in third and long an awful lot of times, and they hadn’t been productive in those third-and-long conversions. But they certainly were today. Their quarterback is going to be something.

(did the game get away in the third quarter when you had the ball inside the five and come away with only three points) “No. There was still plenty of time. We were stopping them defensively, and we had opportunities. We got points the first time around, then we missed a field goal in the second half.

(on the difficulty of short-yardage situations without a running game) “It’s tough. It would be great to have 44 there. Josh (Brown) was not 100 percent. He had a hip flexor, and he gutted it out today. Cotra (Jackson) was really the only healthy running back we had. We’d be a lot better if we had those other two guys.

(on Tech QB Reggie Ball) “I talked with Chan Gailey before the game, and he said the best thing about the game was it would be the last time he would see Philip Rivers. I told him thanks a lot. I told him the worst thing about this game was its only the first time we’re going to see your quarterback. Reggie Ball is something. He’s something special, that youngster.

“I think it was two years ago we came away from this game 3-3, and we won our last five. Those things do happen, and we’re not going to scatter. We’re going to stay in there and stay united. We’ll continue to chop away and get better. We’ve still got a great leader in Philip.”


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