Nov. 5, 2005
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Chan Gailey
On Defense stopping the run
I was pleased. The first thing is that if you beat this team, you have to stop the run. Looking at the stats, it looks like we held them to 100 yards of rushing in the ball game, and that’s a lot of yards under their average, I know that. I give a lot of credit to Coach Tenuta and his staff and the players for going out and stopping the running game. We made them throw to try to win the game. I challenged our offense to try to go out and score in every quarter because I thought that was what it was going to take. They responded and then we got a lead and then they have to throw it to get back in (to the game), and that helped us.
How much did you work on misdirection in practice this week?
A lot. You can’t get ready for it because the speed on the practice field and the speed in the game is a lot different. They hit us with the two reversals, and those are the two plays that really hurt us. We couldn’t simulate that, and they had two nice plays there. That’s when they got one of the touchdowns.
On Barclay being affected by being stopped early
I don’t know if it has an effect on him, he’s too good of a back for it to affect him. But it gives our defense a lot of confidence, that we can stop the running game. I think that happened, we were able to stop it the first three or four times that they had it. We stopped him and that really helped.
On Calvin facing man-on-man coverage
Not quite. They played man. They put No. 11 over there on him quite a bit during the course of the ballgame. Late in the second half, they started rolling another guy over that way, and that’s what allowed D-Bo to make a couple of big plays in the second half.
On if the team had to rebuild confidence after NC State loss.
I don’t know that. I think our guys know they won, they realize that we’ve won three ballgames in a row. And that’s what we’re trying to get to: we’re trying to get a streak together. Confidence is built by winning. You don’t build confidence by losing. So I think it’s been pretty good for our football team. I don’t know what kind of effect it will have. Someone asked if this would set the tone for the rest of the season. No, it’s one game. And we have to get ready to go to Virginia and play next week. Twenty-four hour rule.
On Travis Bell
It was great to have him back. He has worked through his problems and he hit three big ones today, when we needed him. It’s great to have him back. He’s an important cog to us being able to win. You have to be able to put it all together to be able to win.
On being bowl eligible/6th win being special
I just told the guys that nine years in a row is something not a lot of people get to say, and that’s a tribute to them.
I don’t think if you walked into that lockerroom right now, they would say “six wins, season’s done.” I don’t think that’s the mindset or the goal. I think there are bigger or better things that this team has in them.
We go out every week to continue to try to find ways to move the football and get it in the endzone. I think we could have gotten another one if it hadn’t have been for a holding penalty when we got it down there to the five, but we just take what they give us. That’s a mark of our offense, what they try to do.
On Reis’ interception
That guy sits and runs curl to flat. I will have to watch the film and ask Chris, but I think he was baiting him a little bit. He probably understands the other team’s offense as well as any other player we have on the football field, defensively. He knows by formation and by motions what they are trying to get done and he can make those plays.
We did some really good things. I thought our backs ran well. They were trying to move an extra guy always to the point of attack. When we moved the tight end, they would move the linebacker over there. Really he didn’t know where he fit sometimes, but our guys just hit creases. I thought that we blocked the backside today better than we have in games before.
On where Reggie is
Let’s talk about how far he’s come, I think that’s a better thing to talk about because from last year to this year, he has made a tremendous step. Again, statistically, the completion percentage isn’t there, but he doesn’t throw the picks and he’s not throwing it into coverage and taking chances with the football, he’s throwing it away when he needs to throw it away. I think we had a sack today and that’s the third one in conference play all year and the sixth one overall. He’s taking his team to victory. That’s the mark of a good quarterback. It’s not how fast you are, how big you are, or how hard you throw it, it’s if you lead your team to victory and do what it takes to win. The guy has been successful at that this year and playing better. Now as far as where he can be, he’s getting better every time he goes out there in my opinion.
On special teams changes/kickoff returns
We were keeping it away from Barclay. We kicked it to him one time and held him pretty good. He’s the one guy that could go out there and beat you. Even if you give the ball up at the 35, I was not going to let him run one back and turn the game back around after we’d scored. We did do that, we put our defense in a bind on shortfield, I understand that. We may not do that every week, but it was what we needed to do to win this game. Rashaun hit some creases and ran and made some guys miss. We had a little bit of a different scheme in this week that I think helped us and a few different people. The return team responds to the challenge.
He’s a weapon. He can turn the field over in a heartbeat. Even if you stop them at the 30, you are taking over the ball at your 20 or 25 at best because he can kick it so far. Is he a senior? Good. Well, we don’t play them for four years.
I know that he hurried the passer and got some hits on the passer. I don’t know if he had sacks. Good for him. He’s pretty good, making plays when he gets back.
WAKE FOREST HEAD COACH JIM GROBE
“We just played poorly today, and I think that’s what we’re going to see when we get back tomorrow and look at the film. We didn’t make a first down in the first quarter. We got no push up front. We didn’t block as well, especially in our options on the perimeter as we need to.
“You’ve got to give Georgia Tech some credit, they’re a pretty good defensive football team. But we didn’t get any hats on anyone in the first quarter. Consequently, we left our defense on the field. I really think we’re going to go back and look at six or eight player where we gave up long throws. For most of the snaps, I thought we played pretty good defense, but we gave up too many big plays. You get that combination when you’re not moving the ball offensively and you’re giving up big plays on defense, it’s going to end up hurting you.”
[On defending Calvin Johnson]
“He’s just a big guy. It’s not rocket science. You’ve got a guy who’s taller and can out-jump everybody, and you throw the ball up to him. That’s smart on their part. I don’t think [CB Alphonso Smith] realized how fast he was at the start. He’s just a big guy. I think a couple of times Alphonso got underneath him a little bit and didn’t quite respect his speed enough. I thought as the game went on, he played pretty well. You won’t find many people who play against that guy much better. I thought he really did some good things. He gave up the two big throws to him, but other than that, I thought he competed against him really well. It’s kind of nice offensively, two or three times during the game, you’re going to throw the ball straight up in the air and he out-jumps you for it.”
[On coming out for the second half down 14-3]
“We felt really good. We came out pumped up. They wanted to play a good second half. We played poorly in the first quarter. In the second quarter, I thought we started mixing things up a little bit. We started moving the ball a little bit. We were down two touchdowns, but we weren’t really down about that too much. We felt like we could come back out in the second half and play better. They got that long run at the start of the third quarter and they ended up going down and scoring. That could have knocked the wind out of our kids, but they kept fighting.”
[On the offense]
“We knew going into the game they would try to stop our running game. We knew we had to be able to run the football a little bit. But as it turned out, we had to throw the football more than we wanted to. A lot of those throws and catches were not that tough. We had a couple of drops, and a couple of bad throws that killed drives. The key was we needed to throw the ball a little bit better in the second half. They were getting eight and nine guys down in the box to stop the run. I felt like we needed to throw the football.
“One of the most telling things that we’ll see when we look at the film tomorrow, was that we had the ball at midfield in great shape to make it an interesting game, and we turned it over twice. We had a little momentum and the score was not that lopsided at the time. We were in position to do some good things, get some points, get a little momentum and tighten things up. They never had to feel much pressure in the game. I really wanted to get the thing down to seven, or three, points and make it really interesting. The one time we throw the pick, and the other time Cory gets hit, we fumble and they get the ball back.”
[On Tech’s defense]
“I thought they reminded me a lot of Nebraska. They’re a blitzing, attacking defense, and they make you throw the football. We had some throws today. We had some throws that we hit, and we had some throws that we didn’t hit. We hit some throws that we didn’t catch, and that ultimately ended up being the key. We had to throw and catch the ball better than we did today to move the ball against a really fine defense. They have a really good football team, especially defensively.
“We just didn’t play well enough to beat a good football team on the road. I think we could have beaten this team today, we just didn’t bring it on the road as well as we needed to from an execution standpoint.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYER QUOTES
On Becoming Bowl Eligible:
“Winning three games in a row and bring bowl eligible is huge because I didn’t want to be part of the seniors who ended the streak. This was important to us and to this institution.”
On Shutting down Barclay:
“It was very important, but it was more important to just shut down that offense in general. They don’t run much but they are efficient at what they do and they are a hard nosed team. We came out and executed the game plan.”
On Wakes misdirection game plan:
“They hit us up with a few big plays but we corrected that and they didn’t hit us again. That is something you just got to game adjust.”
On How far he has come this year:
“Against Auburn, I had to get used to my surroundings but now after more time in this offense I feel great.”
On Teammates Bilbo and Calvin Johnson:
“They are great players. They open the field for the running game.”
On Taking over at RB next year:
“That’s what I want, PJ has helped me become a better runningback and is helping get ready to take on more of the carries.”
On How important his role is on team:
“When I was down, the whole team has come together to pick me up and let me know I am still their guy and its really helped me.”
On Kicking first field goal after missing last five:
“The monkey is off my back, no more missing streaks and for now on, no more pressure. I felt like once I got on a roll, there is no looking back.”
On home stretch of season:
“We to play one game at a time, you can’t think about a team that is not next on the schedule. We will try and execute the game plan and good things will happen.”
On stopping the running game this week:
“We have some real fast and athletic guys on defense, we run and hit, and we practice hard every week. It was a big challenge for us and I feel we stepped up to that challenge.”