Sept. 21, 2015
Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson met with members of the local media on Monday to preview the #20 Yellow Jackets’ upcoming ACC opener at Duke. Saturday’s game at Duke in Durham, N.C. will kick at 12 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
“Well, looking forward to getting into conference play this week. Clearly, we were disappointed with the way we played in the last game, so as soon as we can play again, it will be a good thing. I think that having a chance to open up conference play is a good way to try to put the last week behind us. And certainly that is one of the goals of our program, to try to win our division in the ACC. And it will start this Saturday in Durham. I think they have got probably the best defense they have had since I have been here. They are giving up about eight points a game and less than three hundred yards a game. So it will be a big challenge especially considering the way we played last week.”
On if effort was an issue along with missed assignments
“No, effort was not an issue. It was the first time on the road for a lot of guys in a pretty hostile environment and I think some of them thought `Oh man, I am playing at Notre Dame.’ And it does not take much because they have got a good football team now. I mean, you are playing a top-10 team on the road and all you have to do is go the wrong way a couple of times, turn the wrong way, and next thing you know you get to punt seven times.
And, we are just so accustomed to it not being that way. I just watched the Duke/Northwestern game and one team punted 10 times and the other one 12. But, we are so accustomed to almost if we do not score 35 plus, then the roof fell in. And that’s a good way to be. That is certainly the standard you want to have. We have to get better. We have to play better. If we do not, we will not win anymore games.”
On if there were any positives from the Notre Dame game
“I thought in spots, I will emphasize spots, we played okay defensively. Okay. We gave up too many big plays and some huge third downs. But, I thought in spots we showed we have the ability to play.”
On how he will approach this week coming off a loss
“It is the same thing as when you win. You go in, you cover it, you cover the mistakes, you talk about it and then you flush it. We will finish it today and then you will not ever mention it again. I won’t. Just like I don’t when we win. You put it behind you and move forward and get ready for the next game. It is what you do.”
On Jeremy Cash and Duke’s defense
“Yeah, Jeremy Cash, I think he is a really good player. He is very productive for them. I think that they tackle well in the secondary. [DeVon] Edwards, the safety, is a good player. And [No.] 93, Wolf, is really good. I think he is a good player up front. He is a disrupter. So, I would say those three guys kind of stick out, but they play really good team defense. They do a good job of not beating themselves.”
On what’s different from Duke’s offense this year
“Well, they are probably a little more run-oriented, but I do not know that it is a whole lot different. There is a little more option-stuff incorporated. Probably more zone-read stuff, maybe. But pretty much everything they are doing they have done in the past. The quarterback is probably the best runner they have had, big guy and a strong arm. They have got pretty good speed on the outside. But, it is not a whole lot different from what they have done in the past.”
On Brad Stewart’s blocking against Notre Dame
“I thought he came in and was physical, for sure. He cracked a couple of guys, knocked them off their feet. One time it was not his guy, but he knocked a guy off of his feet. And he was flying around. I think the more they play, the more they will relax. They have got to figure it out that nobody is going to be dead perfect, and just go play. Know your assignments and go play. And not get so hyped up that it is impossible.”