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Sept. 20, 2003

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CLEMSON 39, GEORGIA TECH 3 September 20, 2003 – Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field

Georgia Tech Head Coach Chan Gailey

Opening comment: “Obviously I did not get this team ready to play this week. It would be easy to point a lot of fingers, but just point them right here at me. It’s my responsibility to get them ready to play. There’s a lot of things that happened in the ballgame that we have not done in previous games that allowed us to look very poor on the field. We’ve got to get those things straightened out, and that’s my responsibility.

Comment on offense: “They were moving some people around early in the ballgame that really caused our guys some identification problems. They changed a great deal of what they had done in aligning people the last three games. It worked, and they did a great job of confusing our guys.”

“When we allowed them to keep the drive alive on fourth down, they punted, we got a penalty and then they took that drive in. Then they scored another time and that really put the ball in their court and we could never get it back. I thought right before the half if we could have put it in, it would have made a big difference.”

Comment on Clemson receivers: “They are big tall guys that can run. Clemson can run the ball well enough that you have to keep people around and you want to pressure the quarterback so that leaves your corners one-on-one. They threw the ball up and said here’s a jump ball and created issues with the big targets.”

Comment on Reggie Ball “He did some good things and did some things that were not so good. He is not a consistently good quarterback yet. He has played well and he plays well at time, the consistency factor is not there yet. We just have to continue to work with him, we have seen him do it so we know it can be done.”

Comment on Clemson’s defense “They changed some things up, they moved Sampson around quite a bit and did some things differently with him, but that should not have been the difference.”

“I felt like our kids fought the whole way. They were tired defensively especially. But they fought and I thought our kids fought till the end offensively. We didn’t play well, but we played hard. It hurts, obviously it hurts. I obviously did a poor job of getting them to understand how you have to play when things are going good. You have to go and prepare to play the same as the first three weeks of the season. Maybe I didn’t create the sense of urgency in them this week so they understand that more has to be done. We have a ton of young players and this will be a great lesson for them. I told them there is going to be a ton of things in the paper tomorrow about woe is Tech. I said good read that, because we played better when we read that stuff about how bad we were going to be than we did when people were writing about us doing good things.”

Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden

“Obviously our offense put points on the board and our defense rose to the occasion. Our kickoff coverage got a turnover, so all phases contributed to this victory.

“We don’t believe we have arrived, just because of this victory. We have a chance to be a good team, we’re not yet.

“I thought Brad Scott and Mike O’Cain had a good plan. The players executed it. The plan was to throw first. We were able to run the ball late in the game.

“The line did a good job with their assignments, and the staff made some good adjustments during the game. They brought some blitzes. They were bringing from the strong side and the weak side. They were looking to see where our back was. Our offensive staff made good adjustments, and our offensive lineman did a good job of putting hat on hat and giving Charlie (Whitehurst) time.

“This is a tough place to win. To win in this conference, period, much less on the road, is difficult. Maybe our players have learned something from the Georgia game.

Georgia Tech Players’ Quotes Reggie Ball “We got outplayed. When I said that statement, I didn’t think we were going to play like this. But it’s still a long football season and we’re going to win a bunch of football games.” “Not really. There were a couple of times where they showed me new looks, but most of it I had already seen.” “A couple of throws I didn’t have my feet under me. I have to stay poised throughout the game, not just the first part or last part, but the whole game.” “Cut out the stupid freshman mistakes like overthrows and under throws.”

Reuben Houston “I had my hand up there and I saw the ball, I just couldn’t get my hand it. I tried to get my hands on it, I just couldn’t.” “We came into the season with the goal of being the best secondary in the ACC. So I think we expect a lot from each other. Anything that goes on out there on the field, whether its good or bad, I think it’s understood. There’s nothing we can get on each other about, because we know what to do and we just have to do it.” “We blew about three coverages in the first half on the deep balls. (Kevin) Youngblood went up and made a great catch. You can’t defend a play any better than that, he just went up and made a great catch on a well thrown ball.”

Jonathan Smith “I get emotional sometimes, but I try to let it go when the play is over. Sometimes you get frustrated when things aren’t clicking.” “It starts in practice. It starts tomorrow after we watch film. We have to break it down and get ready for Vanderbilt. We have to go out and practice third down conversions. We have to get a better tempo out there.”

P.J. Daniels “We didn’t make big plays and they did. We just have to come back and regroup for next week.” “They played hard. I think both teams played hard out there but they made the big plays and we didn’t. We weren’t able to get the ball in the end zone like we should’ve.” “I don’t feel that they outplayed us, they just came up with some big plays. They’re a good football team.”

Jonathan Cox “You have to try and stay positive and make plays and we didn’t do that.” “The deep ball that (Kevin) Youngblood caught on me. I should have made a play on the ball and I didn’t. I also got blocked a few times.” “We have to go out there and work hard in practice and also prepare mentally by watching film so we can anticipate what plays they’re going to run.” “We were ready to go early in the week. I don’t know what happened, but I think we might have lost a little bit of focus, as the game got closer. We know that we are better than that and we’re going to work hard in practice and try to correct our mistakes for next week’s game.”


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