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Paul Johnson Weekly Press Conference: Game 8

Oct. 31, 2017



Opening statement:
“Good morning. I’m disappointed with the outcome of the Clemson game. I think they’re a very good football team. We made way too many mistakes against a really good team like they have to win the game. So I’m disappointed with our mistakes and looking forward to playing Virginia this week and hoping we can correct that and move forward.”

On what Virginia’s defense does well:
“It was two-fold last year. We had a hard time getting them off the field and we never really got anything consistently going. I think we ran 44 plays on offense in the whole game. We did hit some big plays. We hit three really big plays; we hit a pitch on an option for Marcus Marshall for a long touchdown and a pass to Clinton Lynch off play action for a long touchdown and then Qua Searcy ran a toss. But just not a lot of consistency. Defensively, we scored on defense and we didn’t give up a lot of points, but … between the 20s, they moved the ball pretty good.”

On how he evaluates the Georgia Tech defense to this point and whether they are better than he thought that they would be:
“It’s better than it was a year ago. I think that we’re both better on defense and I think, quite honestly, the offenses in the league aren’t as good as they were a year ago with all the guys they had [who are no longer in the league]. It’s like the offense, it’s like everything, it’s a work in progress, you keep working to try to play better. I don’t know that they’re better than I thought they’d be. We had a lot of returners coming back. We had seven or eight starters back from a year ago and returned the whole secondary.”

On his approach with the offensive line and whether he will try to play more guys or stay with the five or six starters:
“It depends on who’s healthy and who can play. If we ever get everybody there, then we’ll probably go back to an eight-man rotation like we’ve always done. But if you don’t have eight guys, I’m not going to burn a redshirt on a guy just to put him in the game to get some reps. If we have to have somebody, then they’ll have to play. If we have everybody healthy, we can go to an eight-man rotation pretty easy.”

On whether the team resets their goals after a second ACC loss or stays with the goals they had in mind after the loss at Miami (Fla.):
“Not as long as there are that many conference games left [where the Coastal Division title is still a possibility]. We’ve got to win at Virginia. What happens if Virginia Tech goes and beats Miami and we win at Virginia? Then [Virginia Tech is] coming in here next week and Miami is one loss away from being tied with whoever wins that game. If we win that game, then we could all end up with two losses. Now, that’s a lot of ‘ifs’, but it’s not dead. We don’t change our goals. We just keep playing. It will all be dead if we don’t beat Virginia.”

On how Ricky Jeune has progressed in his time at Georgia Tech and how he compares to past wide receivers at GT:
“I think Ricky has changed his body a lot since he came here. He’s leaned up a lot, gotten stronger, and probably increased his speed. I think he’s worked really, really hard at his craft and he’s improved a great deal from the time he came in.

“If you’re talking about guys that went to the NFL, they’re all a little bit different … There’s been a bunch of those guys that are all different and it’d be hard to compare any of them. I mean, he’s Ricky Jeune. He’s a little different. Does he have a chance at the next level? I think he’ll have a chance. I think somebody will take him into camp and he’ll have a chance, yeah.”

On if he is concerned about TaQuon Marshall getting injured running the ball:
“No. We’ve been doing this a long time. If you go back and look, we have had far less quarterbacks injured than the teams that drop back and throw it every down. It’s just the nature of the kids and the nature of what we do. We would like to have him not take as many big shots. The roughest thing, I think, on the quarterback is getting hit from behind sometimes. As you play more, you learn how to avoid the big shots. A lot of them do.”

On Andrew Marshall’s future plans:
“He is going to come back [next season]. We are excited. We talked last week and he decided that he wanted to come back and play, and that is good news for everybody. I’m excited for him and I’m excited for us.”

On selling points for recruits that Georgia Tech has that other schools do not:
“The No. 1 thing here that you can’t get [elsewhere] is the education. Schools are different. If you want an urban, city setting then this is for you and Clemson can’t do that. But if they want to be in a college town on a lake [like Clemson], we can’t do that. There’s different strokes for different folks and what you have to do is, hopefully, we can broaden our scope and we can find guys that want what we have to offer as opposed to a school that has a zillion majors. It is totally different. I would compare Clemson to Auburn; they’re both college towns, very similar. I would compare Georgia Tech, other than the city, probably closer to Purdue – engineering, limited majors, that kind of thing. That’s just the way it is. We’re not set up like they are, so you’re not going to attract the same type of kids.”


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