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Post-Game Quotes

Sept. 21, 2006

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Chan Gailey

(on the defense)
“If we hadn’t had the turnover and given them the short field there and a penalty even on top of that, I think we would have had them shut out. I know that’s what our guys were saying at halftime, they wanted to try to get that. That’s a big, physical football team that we played tonight. I was proud of our defense and the way that we stuck it to them. They ran a little bit outside, but nothing inside and they harassed the passer all night.”

(when did you know that Calvin Johnson would play tonight?)
“When he warmed up. He talked to [wide receivers] coach [Buddy] Geis.”

(on Johnson)
“I don’t think that he was 100 percent. I think that he was less than 100, but he obviously had a great night.”

“First of all, we made the determination that he couldn’t hurt it a lot more. That it had healed enough that he wasn’t going to hurt it a lot more. It might get a little more strain, but we had an extra few days to get ready for the next one. And if he felt good enough we were going to let him play.”

(on Virginia playing him in single coverage)
“Really a couple of the big plays were zones where we hit it in the zones a couple of times and we made some big plays. To me, I give a lot of credit to Reggie for seeing those creases and putting the ball in those spots.”

(on the offense’s performance)
“Until the fourth quarter, I thought pretty well. We got sloppy in the fourth quarter. I told [offensive coordinator] Patrick [Nix] to us be smart with the football. But we didn’t execute in the fourth quarter when we could have gotten a few more points. The first three quarters our offense played pretty good.”

(on Jahi Word-Daniels playing more cornerback tonight than Pat Clark)
“They both had been playing there. And with the nickel situation the way that it was, Pat ended up being the nickel slot tonight. We’ve kind of made that determination that Pat is going to be the nickel and Jahi is going to be the corner, and instead of switching them in and out and putting pressure on them mentally, just let them learn one spot.”

(on the play challenged late in the first half)
“I was going to challenge it, but they challenged it upstairs before I could challenge it. I was going to. I heard people say he was down, and I saw the replay and I thought that he was down.”

(on the defense)
“Our defense has a lot of pride that they have built up through the years. The defense wants to play that way and expects to play that way. It doesn’t matter who is on the field. That to me is the more overriding factor – their approach and the way that they do it, and [defensive coordinator] coach [Jon] Tenuta and his staff do an unbelievable job each week of preparing. Getting the guys ready to play and putting them in a position to do what they do best.”

(on the physical style of the defense)
“There is no question. Football is that. Football is contagious. Big plays are contagious. Big hits are contagious. That’s part of it. Some people call it momentum.”

VIRGINIA HEAD COACH AL GROH

“Obviously this was disappointing in the result. Georgia Tech has the makings necessary to put together a real good season. They have excellent quarterback play, an explosive wide receiver and very good kicking. Tonight they played very good defense. It certainly looks like if they stick to that and continue to improve, they can look forward to a very good season.

“We still have quite a few things to do to get through this process in getting a number of these players up to playing and performing like college football players.”

[On Jameel Sewell]
“Young quarterbacks have to go through some things and work their way through. He didn’t get off to a very positive start tonight, but he seemed to handle that well. Part of being a quarterback is to work yourself through some difficult situations. He seemed to do that, and he was unflustered by his lack of success. A quarterback has to have a short memory, and he came back to play his best as the game went on. He’s got quite a few things to learn, but he’s not going to learn them over there on the bench.”

[On the overturned first down late in the first half]
“Obviously it was a points play. At that stage, we were not being very productive on offense. To be there 10-0 was a pretty good spot to sit. We tried to conduct that previous series in order to keep the Georgia Tech offense from getting back out on the field. It appeared we had done that, but we have no complaints. That’s what the system is for, and if the system worked, then I’m all for it.”

[On the offensive line]
“We’re not getting the kind of push on the run that we need to take the burden off the quarterback. I thought you could say the same thing on the other side tonight, too. I thought we played pretty well against a team that’s committed to running the football. We played pretty well against the run, but the quarterback stepped up and had three or four plays in the game that were kind of like the last three years for us. Our quarterbacks in this series have had three terrific games in a row, and we got points from it. Tonight we got very few points from that spot, and they got three dramatic plays that were really what the game was about.”

[more on Sewell]
“On his best ball, he throws a real good-looking ball. It’s got rotation on it. It’s got distance on it. He throws the kind of ball that guys have to be able to throw. He;s got some elusiveness in the pocket, which a quarterback on this team right now needs to have. It got the process started (tonight). We knew well back in time that this was what it was going to come to, and we’re going to follow it through.”

Tech WR Calvin Johnson

On sore leg: “It was sore, tight. I wasn’t able to run basically. I wasn’t able to run full speed yesterday. It was real doubtful coming into today. It was in my quad, my left quad. Once my adrenaline started rushing, I didn’t have to worry about it. But I didn’t feel pain or anyhing like that.”

On scoring two similar touchdowns: “The coaches saw something in the defense and they took advantage of it right away. So we got real aggressive out there and it paid off”

On man coverage: “When I see one guy on me, shoot, I love it. We were telling coach that they were biting on the hitches we were running. So coach said to put in a little hitch and go, so we did it and we ran it and it was a touchdown.”

Tech QB Reggie Ball

On importance of win: “It’s just good to come out with win and it’s an extra bonus coming out with an ACC win, especially with our division. Its just important to get an ACC win period.”

It’s good to play at home and it’s also good playing a Thursday night game, we get one every year and we get one, fortunately, at home every year since I’ve been here. It’s just exciting and its good we came out with a win.”

On offense: “The way we ended the game was very disappointing. But we played a good game up until we hit that 24th point it just seemed like we shut down. We had a lot of mental errors and Tashard breaks off a big run and we had a penalty that sent us back 20 yards, so its just disappointing how we ended it”

On the throwback uniforms: “I don’t pay attention to that. They do look good. They looked good and they played good.”

On reception: “It (throw) wasn’t the best. I had to make an adjustment, He threw it right in the light.”

On practicing that play: “Every now and then. But I can just about do it all . . . [laughs].”

Tech DT Joe Anoai

On Defensive play this season: “Its just paper work. Its nice to see but that’s not what we hang our hats on. What we hang our hats on executing the defense and just the hustle, getting around, flying around the ball and run and hit. That’s what we want to do. We want to be relentless and dominate football games.”

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