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Paul Johnson Weekly Press Conference

Nov. 22, 2016

GAME PREVIEW | PRESS CONFERENCE AUDIO

PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO

Opening Statement:
“Well, it was great to send our seniors out with a win in the last home game of their senior season [last Saturday vs. Virginia]. As I said after the game, anytime you win, you have to be happy. Certainly we hope to play better this week, especially offensively. We played the second half better defensively but the first half was not very good either. We have some improvements to make and we will need to [do so] to play a very talented Georgia team.”

On the keys to this week’s game:
“It is usually the same in every game. I think to be successful and to have a chance that you need to be plus in the turnover margin and be really sound in the kicking game. If you can do those two things, it normally gives you a chance to be competitive and have a chance in the game.”

On “Clean, Old Fashioned Hate” and what it means:
“I think it is a game between two state schools that has been a rivalry game for a while that the alumni and fans want to win. I think the players know each other because the majority of them are from the state and have played against each other in high school. It is like almost every place has when the two state schools play each other, from North Carolina vs. North Carolina State to Auburn vs. Alabama to wherever you go. When the two state schools get together, everybody wants to win.”

On his first memory of a rivalry game:
“To be honest with you, I do not know. Everybody I played was a rivalry. I did not see any difference. I just felt that when I was playing, I did not like anybody I was playing.”

On ACC’s recent success in non-conference play:
“It means that our league is pretty good. We are probably the only team that is an underdog this year. I saw where Clemson and Louisville are three-touchdown favorites and Florida State is a little less than that and we are what we are. I think it is an example that the ACC does not have to take a backseat in football to anybody.”

On Georgia’s defense:
“They roll about eight or nine defensive linemen who are all four- and five-star guys. I think Roquan Smith is playing well at linebacker on the second level and the guys in the secondary have played a lot. Quincy Mauger and Malkom Parrish and those guys have been playing for two or three years. I would venture to say that defensively, they have to be pretty good, and they are much better than they were in the first part of the year when you watch the tape.”

On Georgia Tech being finished with conference play this season:
“You are disappointed when you do not win your division. If you go game-by-game, there are a couple you would love to have back. We played horrendously the first half against Clemson on offense. We kind of gift-wrapped the Miami game – I thought we had some things offensively we could have done better. The Pitt game was right there and we lose by three on a tipped ball and North Carolina we let get away from us but we had a hard time stopping them. You look back on what could have been but you could go the other way and I am sure the teams that have played us could play the same game … anytime you are not winning a division, you are disappointed.”

On Dedrick Mills’ return and the B-back position:
“[Mills’ return] gives us more depth. Most games, we have played both of those guys [Mills and Marcus Marshall] and I am sure that is what will happen again. It is good to have him back. I think he is a good player. It never hurts to have one of your better players back playing.”

On the progression of Georgia Tech’s freshmen:
“I think [offensive linemen Parker Braun, Kenny Cooper and Jahaziel Lee] are going to be good players. I think they are as athletic or more than we have had up there in a long time. I think a lot of the freshman players are going to be good. Dedrick Mills is going to be pretty good; I think Jalen Camp is going to be good as well. We have a couple guys that are redshirting on offense that I think are going to be good. I think that class is going to turn out to be a good one for Georgia Tech.”

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