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Paul Johnson Conference Quotes

Sept. 18, 2012

Opening Statement-
“You finish up one and you go right back on the ground with the next. This week we have a division opponent. Anytime you play those at home, it’s an important game. Miami has already had a road win in the league and they are 1-0 in the conference. We’re looking up at them, so it’s a big game. It’s a chance to get ahead of them in the standings and not be looking up at more than one team. It’s a huge game. I think Miami is talented as always. They always have guys who can run. They are very athletic, and have a mix of returners and some younger guys. They come in here 2-1. They lost to a top 20 team on the road at Kansas State, and won the other two games. It ought to be a tough game. They’ve had our number for the last couple years.

On what Miami has down to take the last three games against Georgia Tech…
“I think they’ve played well and we haven’t. We haven’t gotten off to good starts and have gotten behind. Down there a year ago, we kind of grinded it out and got back 14-7 on a long drive that took forever to get down there. In the last 50 seconds they scored against to go up 21-7 at the half after they ran the kickoff back. We tried to play catch. It’s important that we get off to a good start.”

On the importance of stopping the run against Miami…
It’s always important to stop the run. I think if you do that it gives you a chance to play good defense. If you stop the run and limit the big plays, you usually have a chance to get off the field and limit the points. It’s the same every week.”

On what Miami does well…
“They’re scoring 30 points a game. They’re doing that well. I think their quarterback is completing about 60 percent of his throws, so they do that pretty well. Against Boston College they turned a lot of guys loose. They had some young guys playing. It’s a progress. Don’t underestimate the kind of players that they’ll have. They’ll have as good of players as anybody we play.”

On keeping the team grounded…
“I think you take it each day and see how the team reacts, and go accordingly. We got off to a good start yesterday. I saw nothing to make me think they are full of themselves from the last game, and they’ve bounced back from the first game. Kids these days are different. They are resilient. They move on. They have a lot of distractions. At this point, they’ve handled it well. How we do Saturday or the rest of the week in practice remains to be seen, but it’s our job to keep them grounded.

“I don’t know why they wouldn’t be grounded. We haven’t done anything. We’re 1-1 in the league. There is nothing to not be grounded about. They can look at the tape and see that we can play better than we played Saturday.”

On the B-Back position…
“Zach Laskey will be able to play. We’ll get David Sims back. So you’ll have Zach, David, Broderick Snoddy and Matt Connors. So four guys. Charles Perkins is hurt so he won’t be available.”

On who has stepped on the defense…
“I think it’s a couple guys. Quayshawn Nealy has played well. He kind of tells everybody where they need to go. Jemea Thomas has played really solid. They all have contributed. T.J. Barnes has played well. He’s played a lot of snaps. For the most part, take away the fourth quarter at Virginia Tech, they’ve played really well.”

On recruiting Zach Laskey…
“I thought he was one of the best players in the state. He led his team to the State Championship game. Every time we watched him play he just made plays. He had 150 yards a game. He was kind of the guy who did everything. We try not to get to hung up on rankings. You still have to play the game and when you turn the tape on and watch him play the game, he’s a good player. We don’t recruit guys because someone else recruits them. We were recruiting Jeff Greene and saw him play. It was pretty clear to me that he was good too.”

On Jeff Greene turning the corner…
“He played better in the last game. One game does not make turning the corner. He’s got ability and we’ll see if he continues to get better. You’d think he would the more he plays. He’s always been ok in practice. He’s never not practiced.”

On the A-Backs progression…
“They’ve been doing ok. The most any of them played the other night was 35 plays. We’ve got some depth there as well. As Synjyn [Days] comes along, we want to get him in the game more than he played the other night. He did some good things while he was in there. I think it’s about where we thought it’d be.”

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