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Paul Johnson Weekly Press Conference: Game 7

Oct. 24, 2017



Opening Statement:
“I was pleased to get out of Saturday night with a win. I thought our guys played well in the second half. I think Wake Forest is a good team. They were really good coming into our game defensively; they hadn’t given up a whole lot of points and had created a lot of negative plays. It will be a good platform to move forward. The competition is going to ratchet up each week and certainly this week playing the defending national champion, a team that’s loaded with really good athletes on both offense and defense. So it’ll be a big challenge.”

On Georgia Tech’s offensive performances against Clemson the last two seasons:
“They’re good and we’ve played like garbage. Certainly we’ve got to play better, but they’ve been pretty good the last two years.”

On Clemson’s home-field advantage, particularly for a night game:
“It’s a good home-field advantage. They pack 80,000 in there and they’re loud. Virginia Tech is also hard to play at night games too. There’s a couple. There’s no question that going in there on Saturday night on national TV, they’re going to be wound up.”

On reigning ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week Shamire Devine’s contributions to the program:
“He has played a lot of football through the years. He has taken a lot of reps. I think it has been somewhat of a challenge with his weight almost since he got here, but he has fought through and maintained. He’s probably playing as well as he has played right now. He’s probably playing the best he has played since he has been here, so that is encouraging. Hopefully he can stay healthy and stay out there.”

On Clemson’s defensive line:
“They’ve got really good players, but they have since we’ve been here. I can’t remember a year that they didn’t have a really good and big defensive line, from the time I arrived here. Now, they’ve probably got more of them. When I first came, there might have only been four or five, now there are eight. It’s like they roll them, keep them fresh and they’ve got a lot of erasers on defense. They can get lined up wrong and not fit right, somebody beats a block and comes to the rescue. They’ve got guys that can do that.”

On Clemson’s running backs:
“They’re good players. They’re not as experienced as [Wayne] Gallman who played forever, but they’re both really fast. They’re home run guys; if you give them a crease they can go the distance. Certainly they’re going to be great players in their own right. They’re already pretty good.”

On Clemson’s offense:
“I think they lost a lot of experience offensively. They lost not only a great quarterback but a great receiver. I remember talking to [Clemson head coach] Dabo [Swinney] before the game last year and he thought that No. 7 [Mike Williams] was the best receiver they’ve ever had at Clemson and that says a lot, they’ve had some good ones. Of course, he was a first round draft pick too, I think. They’ve got good skill; they’ve got some new guys. They don’t have as much experience on offense as they had a year ago but they’re still playing very well.”

On the Georgia Tech’s defensive tackles:
“I think Desmond [Branch] has played well. He’s stayed in there and fought his tail off. The other one has kind of been a little bit of a crap shoot. I think Brentavious [Glanton] probably played his best game in the last game. He’s starting to play more reps than the others, other than Desmond. We’ve got to get something out of Brandon [Adams] and we’ve got to get something out of Kyle [Cerge-Henderson].”

On Brenton King in his first full game as place kicker:
“I thought he did okay. He made the field goal right before half which was a big play. We would like not to kick the ball out of bounds on kickoffs. The one extra point he missed was a bad snap and didn’t get the ball down. All in all, I think he did okay. He had another kick that was kind of not ideal but it died down on the one, it should have been easy to cover and we should have pinned them way back with that one. For his first [full] game, I thought he did okay.”

On Georgia Tech’s special teams:
“I think Pressley [Harvin III] has done a great job. The punt team, sometimes he kicks it so deep that it’s scary with the coverage. It’s not been great. Our return game has been abysmal for the most part. Covering kicks has been better the last couple of games, but not great. Kicking the ball has been different than a year ago. That’s the best way to describe it. It has just been average at best.”


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