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Meet The Press: @GTPaulJohnson Previews #GTvsUNC

Oct. 14, 2014

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson met with members of the local media on Tuesday to preview his team’s ACC road game at North Carolina. Saturday’s game will kick at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU.

Full Press Conference Audio

Opening statement…
“Good morning. Like I said after the game, we were disappointed with the outcome. Quite honestly, we give Duke credit. I thought they played well. We didn’t play well enough to win the game. When you turn the ball over three times – actually, it could have been four if you count lining up offsides on the punt – and you don’t get any turnovers, you let them run the ball the way they did, convert 3rd-and-28, 2nd-and-26, it’s amazing we had a chance to be in the game and win the game. You learn from it, make your corrections, and now we get ready to play North Carolina in Chapel Hill.”

On North Carolina QB Marquise Williams…
“[Marquise Williams] is a good player. He threw for 300 yards at Notre Dame, rushed for 100. It’s the first time, I think, he’s played the entire game. They were rotating quarterbacks (for a while). I’m sure he has a lot of confidence now. Their backs are up against the wall. I’m sure we’re going to get their best shot on Saturday night.”

On going on the road and regaining confidence after a loss…
“I don’t know if it’s ever good to go back on the road. You’d rather play at home. We have to play better. We can play better than we played on Saturday, and if we don’t, then we won’t like the result this Saturday either. We have to go in and – right from the start – pick it up, correct a lot of the mistakes from the last game. We’ve done it a little bit all year where we go into a(n) (offensive) coma for a little bit and we were able to overcome it. But this time (against Duke), we dug ourselves too deep a hole.”

On North Carolina’s turnover margin…
“They got a couple of turnovers against Notre Dame – one for a touchdown. I think the stats can be misleading. When you play as many plays as they do on defense, you’re going to give up some yards and some points. Breaking it down, I don’t think anybody has run less than 85 plays on them in a game. In contrast, our average would be around 60. So they’re playing another quarter and a half, so the stats can be misleading somewhat.”

On Justin Thomas’ status…
“The two interceptions (against Duke) – one going into the goal line, he shot-putted that one. That’s not him. I’m thinking that’s because he couldn’t push off his ankle. The other one – you have to have better judgement. We just got away with one on our sideline doing that. I think he was disappointed with it. I don’t think you’ll see it again. He knows better than that. He’s fine. He’s disappointed. He knows he didn’t play well. I’ve got all the confidence in the world. He’s helped us win five games. He’s our quarterback. He’ll be fine.”

On the play of back-up QB Tim Byerly
“I think Tim played well. I’ve said all along – I’m a big Tim Byerly fan. I love the kid. I think he plays hard. He has tremendous toughness, savvy. There might be situations where we put him in the game. Justin has the skill set we’re looking for, not that Timmy doesn’t. (Justin’s) different. He’s quick. He’s fast. When I say I have confidence in (Justin Thomas), I don’t have any doubt he needs to be our quarterback. Now having said that, I have complete confidence in Tim Byerly. And if there’s a situation that we need to put him in the game, I don’t have any problem putting him in. If I thought there was a place where we can stick him in to do certain things to help us win, then we’ll do that.”

On facing teams Georgia Tech has been successful against like Duke and North Carolina…
“There is no carry-over. There shouldn’t be. But it’s hard to say when you deal with 18-to-22 year-olds. Every season starts different. You start new. Give Duke credit. They beat us. They’ve won five games. It’s not like they haven’t won a game. They play like I said they play. They don’t beat themselves. They didn’t beat themselves in our game. They played hard. We helped them a bunch. I don’t know if they needed our help or not, but we helped them a bunch. That’s why I say it was disappointing. Once you play the game, you don’t get a re-do. I don’t want to belittle what they did. They played hard.”

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