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Post-Game Quotes

Sept. 16, 2006

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(on the team’s performance)
“I thought that we played good in the first half, and I thought we played very good in the second half. We made a couple of mistakes in the second half, but we were moving the football and the defense got some great turnovers. It all came together in the second half very well. I was impressed with the way the second half went. We still have some work to do, but that was a good football team. Troy is a good football team. I was impressed with their team speed and with what they were trying to do. I’m glad they are not on the schedule for a few years.”

(did you get a sense on the drive in the fourth quarter that the offense finally clicked?)
“I don’t know, because the drive right before that we went right down the field and we underthrew the fade just a hair. I thought that we did a great job of keeping them off balance with the reverses and things like that. I thought that [offensive coordinator] Patrick [Nix] and his staff did a super job of keeping them off balance not knowing where the ball was going and taking advantage of their pursuit and their speed and their swarming to the football.”

(how much can you use Reggie Ball as a runner?)
“We can use him 16 times in a ball game, sometime a little more.”

(you used him 20 times today, when do you start paying price and how much can you do?)
“I don’t know. You do what you have to do to move the football, and he’s a very good runner. And he’s strong. It’s not like he’s a wimpy quarterback, he’s a physical guy playing the position. That’s the thing that he gives you, that added dimension. So you use it.”

(is he getting better as a runner?)
“Probably. I don’t think the more times you run the ball the worse you get. Obviously he’s getting better. How you measure that, I don’t know.”

(what makes him special as a runner?)
“First of all there’s some folks up front doing a pretty good job of blocking. That helps. Second, he’s got good vision, and he understands now that earlier in his career he put the ball on the ground a few times and now he understands about ball security and things like that. That part of it was real good.”

(on the offensive line and the running game)
“Is the offensive line and Michael Matthews at tight end getting better and more cohesive? I think that’s a good situation.”

(on Rashaun Grant)
“He can do some things with the ball in his hands and he’s tough enough now to be a blocker and do some things that he could not do a year or two years ago. He makes our package more varied. We can’t do it every snap, but we do it enough to keep them off balance.”

(on Mike Cox’s touchdown catch)
“It did not surprise me. It did not surprise me whatsoever. We don’t need to make it that hard to catch, but it was a great catch. It was a super catch. That could have been a turning point in the game.”

(on the secondary and some missed coverages)
“They did such a great job of throwing underneath and underneath, and the corners got sucked up a couple of times and allowed a deep pass behind them. But there were times that he was back there and had to hold the ball and had nowhere to go and we got some sacks. It was nice to get some sacks today. I thought that our rush was good.”

(on having Michael Johnson back in the lineup today)
“I think that it helped up a bunch. It helped us because of our rotation and we can keep the defensive line fresher. It helped our rotation a ton. It’s very important because you can get run down easily (against the no huddle) if you didn’t have some rotation like that. That’s the best depth rotation that we’ve had in the defensive line since I’ve been here.”

(on the quick turnaround for the Thursday night game vs. Virginia)
“You know, I have not done this yet in college. I did this from Sunday to Thursday in the pros several times, but I have not done this. We would not have agreed to the game if both teams did not play today.”

(on how the team sets up for the ACC portion of the schedule)
“We’re better than we were when we started. We have something to build on. To me we have done some things to build on. Now are we going build on it or are we not? That’s the great thing about the game. You find out every week how good you are.”

(on the offense scoring more points)
“That’s great. It’s something positive to build on. Now our guys have gained some confidence. We have not arrived, but we did some things when we needed to do it in the second half today. Even the one that we didn’t score on the second drive of the third quarter, that was a good drive. I think our guys got some confidence in things that they are able to do.”


“We knew it could go one way or the other. I guess we sent them a message (by playing Florida State close) and they prepared pretty well. We knew their offense was problematic (for us) with Calvin Johnson and Reggie Ball, but they did some good things with their other guys also. Their offensive line was pretty mobile and did a good job. They were sound in the kicking game and on defense. We made some plays and they made some plays, but they seemed to make some big plays when they really needed to.

“I’m proud of our team. We’re not quite as deep as they are, I don’t reckon. We just have to keep pressing on and try to get to the next opportunity. Chan’s done a great job here and has some great people working for him. We can’t look back. We’ve got Nebraska looming in our immediate future, then UAB and conference play.

“We lost a couple of guys today, hopefully not for the year, but maybe for a couple or three weeks. We’ve got an open date in there that may give us a chance to get some of them well.

[On the difference between today’s game and FSU]
“There’s some differences in the two teams, certainly. If you look at Florida State, you might pick every player on their team over anyone out there on the field today for both sides, except maybe for Calvin Johnson, Ball, number 93 (Michael Johnson) and some of those guys on defense.

“I didn’t make the game plan on defense, but to me, they (Georgia Tech) give us more problems and stress us more so offensively than Florida State. Defensively, Florida State’s got a player at every position, and their first six backups that come in are All-America types. These guys are no different, but if you look at them (FSU) you might pick some of those guys first.”

[On your scheme against Calvin Johnson]
“We knew Calvin was probably going to get his, but we needed to make sure he didn’t get all of his and some of the other ones get theirs. He got dinged up a little bit early on the bubble screen when one of our guys knifed in there. He was out for a little bit there, but to his credit, he came back and played and was certainly a force in the game regardless.”

[On Reggie Ball]
“I think Ball gives them so much flexibility with the rest of their personnel on offense. They got us on a reverse a couple of times today. [Ball’s] pre-determined run stuff … they get you all over the field and wind up with a two back play and he’s the tailback. He’s a pretty doggone good runner. He’s as good a runner as they’ve got to me, and he’s as good a runner as a lot of folks have. That was problematic for us.”

[On going to his running back early]
“We were trying to get something going in the running game. We felt like Kenny Cattouse would give us a spark and he did. We’d been concerned about his taking care of the ball, but he did a good job of that today. We just need more hands on deck at all positions, really. We need more depth offensive and defensively.”

[On the halfback pass early in the game]
“We knew we probably had them on that. When a defensive back is playing hard, he’s going to break on that first pass. He just overthrew it a smidgen or we’d probably had a score there.”

[On playing three BCS conferences teams in consecutive weeks]
“I told them I wanted to see that sparkle in their eye when I see them on Monday. Young people are most resilient, and they come back quick, and they don’t like to lose. These were two pretty good teams, but they’ll want to beat Nebraska too, and they’ll get ready to play if I know them like a know them.”


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