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Meet the Press: @GTPaulJohnson Previews #GTvsPITT

Oct. 21, 2014

Audio of Coach Johnson’s Press Conference

Opening Statement
“Once again we were disappointed with the outcome Saturday and we’ve got another chance to play. The great thing about college football is you get to play every seven days so if you don’t like the last result you have a chance to change them in the next game. Pitt is a very good football team – really good defensively. I think in the top five in most defensive categories. [They have] a really good running back in [James] Conner and Tyler Boyd is one of the best receivers in the league. So it’ll be a challenge to go up there and play against a team that’s coming off a big win for them against Virginia Tech in their last game.”

Pittsburgh defense
“I think they play well as a team. I don’t know that they have an Aaron Donald like they did a year ago, but they have a bunch of really good players. They understand their scheme and they understand what they’re doing, and they play extremely hard. I don’t think they’ve given up more than 24 or 25 points. Really, Virginia scored 24 and they scored seven of those on an interception return. They’ve just played really good defensively all year.”

Georgia Tech’s resiliency after two losses
“I think our kids just kind of keep playing. They’ve done that in every game. A couple of times it’s been good enough to win the game and a couple of times it hasn’t. I think our guys are going to play to the end. That’s just the nature of who we are.”

Broderick Snoddy’s performance against UNC
“We talked about wanting to get him in the game and trying to utilize his speed. I mean he’s definitely the faster guy, you can see that when he plays. I thought he did some good things. He created some runs, but he’s got to be more consistent in the other stuff. I think he earned himself more playing time.”

Slowing down Pittsburgh’s offense
“They’ve played some teams defensively that historically have been pretty good. Iowa’s pretty good on defense. Virginia Tech’s pretty good on defense. Historically those teams are pretty good. Virginia has had a very opportunistic defense this year; they’ve gotten a lot of turnovers. And in that game that’s what hurt them. They’re a power running team and if you can stop the run you go a long way towards stopping them. They’re throwing for less yards per game than we are. So they’ve got the one big-time great receiver but they haven’t been as successful in the passing game as a conventional offense. Our challenge is to go in and stop them from running the ball down our throat which has happened the last two weeks.”

Status on the B-backs
“Truthfully Synjyn [Days] is probably a more physical runner than Zach [Laskey]. Zach’s got more experience and a little more ‘shifty’ I would think. Matt Connors is a physical guy. C.J. Leggett is a little bit more explosive guy and he may be the guy who can get a crease and go the distance. He’s got great quickness and speed. I think we will be fine at that position. I’m not too concerned about it really. Zach’s been a good player for us, but I think we’ve got guys who can play there.”

Third down success on offense
 “I think if you look historically we’ve been pretty good on third down every year. This year has been a little better than others, but we’ve always been above 50% or right at it almost every year.  I think you have to give the quarterback credit. He’s made some plays on third down. But I would be willing to venture without knowing for sure that we’ve been.”


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