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Paul Johnson Press Conference

Nov. 16, 2010


Coach Johnson’s Opening Statement
“I’m disappointed with the performance last week. We didn’t really play particularly well in any facet. There were some positives, but when you don’t win the game you are always disappointed. The good news is that we have a chance to play again this week. (It’s the) last game for our seniors on Senior Day. This class has won a lot of football games at Georgia Tech and has been fairly successful, so hopefully we can send them out at home on a winning note. Duke comes in winning two out of the last three. They are probably playing their best football. Their quarterback [Sean Renfree] is playing better than he played early in the year and it wont be easy, it never is. We have to get ready to try and do better and play our best game in a while. It has been a while since we have played a really solid game.”

On Duke’s offense this year compared to last year
“They have changed a lot, they run a lot of pistol this year and I don’t know that Renfree is the runner that [Thaddeus] Lewis was, but he has played well the last couple of games. He threw a lot of interceptions early but he has cut back on that the last couple of games to give them a chance.”

On what needs to happen in the game Saturday for Tech to win
“I think that we need to be consistent. You have seen flashes, we have played in spurts and we have to make some breaks. I am a firm believer that you make your own breaks. Four or five plays can really change the outcome of a game. If you look at the game on Saturday, you have them stopped on third down way back on their end, you are going to get great field position and you get a penalty. They drive down, you get them stopped again and they are going to have to kick a field goal and you get a penalty. Things like that. You have to be consistent. When we go out there on Saturday, we need to stop the run and make them one dimensional and if you do that we have a chance to play pretty well on defense. Offensively, we have been able to run the ball consistently but we have to finish drives. It is all about scoring points and you have to put it into the end zone when you get into the red zone. You have to finish plays. I can’t tell you how many plays this year that we have gotten out in the open, or have broken away and we just couldn’t finish the play. It has to do with blocking on the perimeter, finishing runs, a lot of stuff. I think most teams are searching for consistency.”

On the Tech offense against Miami
“I saw us get 400 yards of offense against Miami when they were only averaging giving up 300 yards a year, the leading defense in the country coming in. It wasn’t like we had a bunch of three and outs on offense and we couldn’t move, but we didn’t finish them and we made mistakes. There were flashes of execution and guys doing what they were supposed to do. Same thing on defense. We had them stopped a couple of times when we were lined up correctly and made the right plays. The key is to be more consistent in doing that.”

On the wide receiving corps
“I don’t think that we have any set depth there. It has been hot and cold. One game one guy will play better and the next game it is another guy. We really haven’t had real consistency there to speak of.”

On the senior class
“I think coming into this season they have been pretty successful. They have won a lot of football games for Georgia Tech and all-in-all have represented the school and the program fairly well. I am sure that this year hasn’t gone the way that they have liked. I am sure they would have liked to go out with a better record but they still have a chance, we have two more games and if we can find a way to win one or both of those we will have a chance to play another game. We still have some games left to play.”

On the mental and physical toughness of the team
“I think it is a process. Some individuals have that toughness and some do not. You are always striving to be tougher. I don’t think there is one thing that you can lay on. We are 5-5, we haven’t been as successful as we have liked to be, but there isn’t one thing that you can’t point to. I think it is a myriad of things. I had a guy tell me last night that we had an easy schedule. Either I am from planet Krypton, or I don’t get it. We have had to play North Carolina, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Georgia on the road and to me that is not an easy schedule. If you look at our schedule, we lost to Kansas which is a bad loss. Clemson is the only other team that we lost to that is not fighting for a conference championship or isn’t going to win eight or nine games. There is a lot of parity, but there are also some good teams. Talent wise, Miami was the best team that we have played all year based on who they had. I am not trying to rationalize, I am not happy on where we are. But it is what it is.”

On fighting complacency
“I think it is normal sometimes and you try and fight it, but when guys have success they become somewhat complacent. It is not only here, it happens everywhere. That is what you fight as a coach all the time. Sometimes you are more successful at fighting it than others. I think that is part of the problem, but not the whole problem. Earlier in the year, we rolled into Kansas thinking it would be a blowout. We scored first and then let them hang around and they won the game.”

On Joshua Nesbitt’s role in the final regular season game
“I think he is still the team captain and has to provide leadership and be there for support. That is all that he can do.”

On Tevin Washington’s expected improvements this week
“You hope that he has gained confidence and will be consistent. This weekend might be harder for Tevin than last week. Last week, and this may sound funny because we were beaten so badly, but we had a good beat on what they were doing. And he had a pretty good idea of what was going to happen on the option every time. This week will be a little different. They move around and jump around and people take different guys. It will be more challenging. I said last week going into the game we weren’t going to ask Tevin to do anything that he hasn’t done in practice and it will be the same this week. Once again, you have to play the game.”



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