Oct. 7, 2006
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Chan Gailey
Opening Statement: “This football team has a lot of character. I have all those coaching clichés you want – one at a time, you have to have each one, they all count. A game like that, it was very emotional game. They know, those guys in there know that they didn’t play their best. We were very fortunate to win the football game, and it says a lot about our character in my opinion.”
How bad was Reggie Ball hurt in the third quarter when you called the timeout? “Bad enough to call a timeout. He took a shot and he just needed to walk it off.”
On running back Tashard Choice: “He ran for a 100 last week against Virginia Tech. He really ran for over 100 against Virginia but we had a clipping call that brought it back under. To me, this is three straight games for him running the football. I don’t think that you can say enough about our offensive line and the job they have been doing with blocking.”
What did the final defensive stand say about the team defense? “We missed a tackle or else it would not have come to that. To be able to do that, I thought that our guys played their roles. They did their job on that drive. They did what they had to do in that situation. All those times you put them down at the five yard line and say that you’ve got to keep them out, they did that today. That last play, I’m telling you, I saw Darrell Robertson and Michael Johnson coming off the edges. They were flying off the edges. That was some speed. That was a lot to have left at the end of a game.”
What prompted the fake FG try? “What we saw. We saw an opportunity. It was there, but the guy didn’t rush as good as we thought. So he got caught up in the tracks. If he had gotten out clean, there’s nobody there.”
And the two-point try? “The score dictates that. When you are up by four, you should go for two. I have the chart if you want to see it.”
The kickoff return, was that just a breakdown? “It was really one breakdown in my opinion. Then we had it stopped on the second one and Andrew Smith pulled a hamstring. He had contain and the guy outran him to the corner.”
On PK Travis Bell… the snap was high on the first missed FG? “Yes. And then he just missed the second one.”
When was the last time you remember giving up a kickoff for a touchdown? “I don’t know. It’s been a while since that’s happened. I can’t remember it to be honest with you. To me, if you look at the first half, we fumble the ball and they got it on the seven. Then they returned the kickoff. Otherwise, the defense was playing really good.”
MARYLAND HEAD COACH RALPH FRIEDGEN
“I thought our kids played hard, but you can’t turn the ball over, and when you have guys open, you’ve got to hit them. You’ve got to take advantage of plays when they’re there. Especially when you’ve got the ball down there at the end, and I feel we’ve got a pretty good running team, but they did a good job of stopping the run.
“I’m real disappointed on this one. I’m real disappointed for our kids and our fans. We’re kind of low right now.
“I think our kids showed that they could play with this team. We just gave them some gifts. We were moving the ball. On the play that Lance (Ball) fumbled, I thought we had the edge there and we were going to have a good play. Then on fourth-and-two, we’ve got the guy in the flat wide open. It’s just very disappointing.
“We haven’t answered the moment yet. There comes a time when you’ve got to step up and win that moment. We didn’t win it when we had to have it, and that would’ve won the game for us. It’s the same thing as last year. We didn’t get the job done when we had to have it.
“I thought Darrius (Heyward-Bey) had a good game. We had him open a couple of other times and didn’t get him the ball. I was hoping he would have scored on that long pass, but he made a heck of a play.
“I thought our kids played hard. We just can’t get over this hump. Even the ball Lance fumbled, I thought we had a good play. When we had fourth down and two yards to go, we had Danny open in the flat, and threw the interception. You can work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, when you can’t make the play when you have it, it’s not going to happen.
[On the last two plays when Michael Johnson broke through on Hollenbach] – “It looked to me like Haynos and Heyer got beat on the last play. On the intentional grounding, it was a three-step drop. You can’t hold the ball, you’ve got to throw it away. It was third down. We went over that in the huddle. `You can’t take a sack, you’ve got to throw the ball away.’
TECH QB Reggie Ball
On team’s performance today: “I guess sometimes we’ve got to get it done the hard way. We’re just fortunate that we stuck together as a team. That shows a lot about the character of this team and, like I said, we’re just fortunate to come out of there with a win.”
On defeating Maryland after losing to them in recent years: “Just executing. We were kind of shooting ourselves in the foot a lot today, but we overcame it. We overcame a couple of things that I think in the past would have shut us down. We just overcame it today, made plays and gave ourselves a chance”.
On potential injury: “It ain’t hurting baby, it ain’t hurting [laughs].”
On Tashard Choice’s performance: “Oh yeah, we know what (Tashard) Choice can do. He might have been down at the beginning of the season, and he gets a little impatient sometimes, but I told him to be patient because we are going to need him in games like this to ground it out, and that’s what he did.”
TECH LINEBACKER KaMichael Hall
On team’s defensive performance today: “We had a great effort, back to back times from Michael Johnson and all the defensive backs in their coverage allowed and bought Mike time get to the quarterback and do what he’s supposed to do.”
On luck playing a part in this game’s outcome: “You can look at that one of two ways. Either you have something going right or you pull it all together. We’ve shown what we can do and we had spurts of that throughout the game. We just have to find a way to do that the whole game and just dominate from the first quarter to the fourth quarter.”
On fumble recovery: “Actually, I was blitzing and I was coming through and I guess they were running a power play cause the hole opened up and from what I saw it looked like he bobbled the ball a couple of times and he stumbled and I just saw the ball on the ground. My first instinct was to jump on it, don’t pick it up and just get possession.”
On seeing Maryland player in open field with 1:00 left: “[laughs] Nah, you don’t want to know my thoughts. I can’t say what I thought.[laughs]. After I saw him put the move on Kenny (Scott), I looked up and all I saw was three of them and I know he saw the same thing, and I was like `oh man’. We do a drill everyday where the back side, the safety or the corner are deep and they have great pursuit on them. I was running behind him and was like `oh man, I hope somebody is coming’ and I look up and see Avery (Roberson) coming and man it was a great effort. He never gave up, he could have easily said he was gone, he wanted to stop him. Coach always says you want to live to play another down.”
TECH DE Michael Johnson
On the defensive effort in the second half: “It was an overall good effort. We stuck through it and showed we can fight.”
On what this win says about this team: “I was glad to see everyone stay positive, when we were down, we got back up. It never really crossed my mind that we would lose. That is the way everybody was, we just stayed calm. We believe in what we are trying to do, just go out there and play hard.”