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Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Quotes

Nov. 20, 2004

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes

Post Game Quotes, November 20, 2004 Final Score: Virginia 30, Georgia Tech 10

Georgia Tech Head Coach Chan Gailey

Comment on Virgina’s offensive line:

“I do believe overall that it is probably the best offensive line that we have played all year. I thought that coming in, and they went out and played well today. Along with their tight ends and backs, they create a rushing problem for most teams.”

Comment on the turnovers:

“We threw two interceptions in the end zone today. We stopped them, and then we scored on our first drive of the third quarter. We could have gone in and scored touchdown [on the second drive], but he got it out a little too much in the middle. It was six feet from being where Calvin could catch it, but it wasn’t.”

Comment on getting ready for Georgia next week:

“I don’t think that is normally an issue for our football team. Our team has responded to tough times before. I think our guys will get ready. It’s a big ballgame against a good football team.”

Comment on Virginia’s defense:

“They were doing a lot more inside blitzing then they had done before. We weren’t able to run the ball between the tackles as effectively as we would have liked. We didn’t complete our passes. We tried to make an adjustment to throw the ball a little more and we didn’t complete passes. We had Calvin a couple of shots early in the first quarter and we missed down the sideline. If we can hit one or two of those, then all of a sudden it’s a different ballgame.”

Comment on Reggie Ball’s performance:

“At times he did some good things, and at times he did some things that weren’t good. That’s part of the maturation process. You have to weigh the good and the bad and see where a guy is. Did he make some progress in some areas? We’ll watch the film and see if he did that.”

Comment on Virginia’s running game:

“It keeps wearing you down, and they bring those big bodies around the corner. They have a good scheme. They try to run the football with pulling linemen. They can all run. You have to find ways to stop that stuff. We were not able to get that done. We were at times, but it wears you down.”

Comment on Virginia’s ability to sustain drives:

“You have to give them credit for being a good football team. There’s a momentum factor, too. They made a couple of long drives, they had one really long drive in the second quarter. That really takes its toll when you stay on the field. We had them twice on third down and long tackled way back there, but [Hagans] got out of there and made a play. If you get off the field there, who knows what would have happened. They played well enough and we didn’t, that’s the bottom line.”

VIRGINIA HEAD COACH AL GROH

“It was a gritty win by our players. It was a real team operation. It was tough, grinding action on offense. Defensively, they stepped up obviously and did a terrific job. Our special teams and our kickers, I thought, were terrific. Special teams helped us define the game. That was one of the things we said was necessary for us to do coming in.”

[On setting the defensive tone early] “They were very aggressive and very much in a playmaking mind. We got a lot of plays made with the defense. Penetration in the backfield, whether it was against runs or passes, were a significant part of what we accomplished.”

[Pressure on Reggie Ball] “Reggie’s a very, very good player. We felt like we had to make it hard for him to operate, not make it an easy day back there where he could step in and take aim at his targets. Our pass rushers had a good game.”

[On Marcus Hagans] “He sparked the team in his fashion. It was Marcus Hagans plays. That’s the type of quarterback that he is. When it was all over with, he had very good numbers. A quarterback’s got to run his team. They need a general out there, and today, he was that.”

[On the sequence of events in the third quarter after Marcus Hamilton’s interception] “That was a very significant part of the game, then we get the turnover on the next possession, so that was a very big swing right there. Marcus had a real good game for us. Anytime a defensive back gets two interceptions, he’s made a major contribution.”

“Field position was a big objective of ours in the game. Quick field position turnarounds come from turnovers and from special teams. We got a number of those. We were able to get one with our punt team, and we got a couple down inside the 15-yard line. Some of the takeaways we got with the defense were key to getting the good field position to swing in our favor.”

[Was Blackstock close to making these plays earlier in the year or has he stepped it up recently] “It was probably both. You know, he hasn’t been to the Pro Bowl yet. In other words, this is still a developing, improving player. While he’s been out there a lot, he’s still got a lot of improvement left in his game. He’s very intent about that. This is a highly, highly motivated player, and very ambitious.”

[On switching punters for today’s game] “Every year, at a certain point, you assess the team, and you think if things go on like this, maybe things won’t go on the way you want them to. Chris’s specialty is kicking the ball off the ground. His versatility in being able to be a punter was part of the package. In nine weeks, we hadn’t really had anybody step up and do what needed to be done with the punting job. I really didn’t know what was going to happen, but I know one thing, the kid has moxie. And the players knew that, too. We’re going to use every resource we have to try and win a game. Who knows when we’re going to be back in this position again? Who knows how that game would have gone without him today?

[On Michael McGrew] “Michael stepped up and did a real good job. He had to play X and Z today. At a certain point, I thought Ron (offensive coordinator Ron Prince) did a real good job changing the gears. It was quite sticky up inside there, as you all could see. But they were giving us something on the outside, and he reacted to that very quickly. Marcus responded to that with good accuracy. He had four or five completions on the outside in a hurry, and if that was what the game was going to be, then we were going to keep taking it while it was there. “

PLAYER QUOTES – GEORGIA TECH vs. VIRGINIA – NOV. 20, 2004

Reggie Ball

On momentum shift for the Jackets in the third quarter:

“We did have the momentum. The defense stopped them, but they still got a first down, but we still came back strong and forced them to punt. Settled for a field goal but still had some momentum.”

On the game not going the way expected:

“Sometimes things don’t go your way, you always have to give it one chance. Whether you are down by 30 or up by a 100, when your out there I’m going to give to the team and that’s what the teammate is going to give me, that’s one teammate in every play.”

On the first interception pass:

“He just bailed out. We thought they were going to press him man to man (JOHNSON), but we hit them on the deep ball earlier and pressed out of there and threw it up and Calvin wasn’t able to get it.”

On how the interception changed the momentum of the game

“You can’t base the whole game on one play. That was a turnover, our defense was back on the field, they scored again and we get the ball. But you can’t base the whole game on one play.”

On how the Virginia defense performed

“They did a really good job. Their linebackers did a really good job. They did a lot more blitzing than we expected, but they did a really good job up front.”

On the can the team rebound next week against Georgia:

“We have to. It’s not a question of whether we can its `we have to’. The last game of the season, the last game of the regular season and we just have to go there and give 110% every play.”

On what Virginia did different in the second quarter:

“They did a really good job keeping us off balance up front. They did a really good job with the blitzing on our linebackers. Sometimes our backs couldn’t get a clean block on them. They just did a good job.”

On the hits he received during the game:

“It hurts everywhere when you get hit like that, but you fight threw it and still have to give 110 % every play.”

On possible bowl game:

“Not worried about that right now. We are worried about Georgia, this loss, getting our bumps and bruises taken care of and worry about going to Athens and playing our hearts out.”

General comment:

“What do you expect. We are in the top conference in the nation. I think we have one of the hardest schedules in the nation now. You do need to be consistent but that is what good teams do. Right now, we are struggling with our offense, but we are fightin’ our hearts out week in and week out.”

Calvin Johnson

On next weeks Georgia game

“It’s a big rivalry game. Everyone will be hyped for the game and we will have to go out and give it all.”

On first interception in the endzone

“They were in press-bail coverage he actually got to the endzone before I did so I tried to reach my hand up there but I couldn’t get the ball.”

Travis Parker

On Hagans

“Their quarterback was moving out of the pocket a lot. We were chasing him around a lot and missing a lot of tackles.”

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