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Post-Game Quotes

Oct. 28, 2006

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Chan Gailey

On what this win means in the ACC race – “We control our own destiny, which is all you can ask for going into the ninth game of the year. That’s what you are trying to do. You are trying to put yourself in a position to do those things.”

Did you talk to the team when you gave up the early touchdown, or did you just let the game play out? – “We always talk to them. It doesn’t matter if we score or get scored upon. I will say that being down 10-0 to that football team and then coming back, was in my opinion, a great test of character for our football team. I thought they did a wonderful job.”

On kicker Travis Bell – “That was probably as good a second half as maybe he has played. That was great. I am so happy for Travis. With all the junk that has gone on, I was really, really happy for him.”

On the defense – “We didn’t stop the run, but we slowed it down enough that they had to pass. And then we got a ton of pressure on the passer. I give a great deal of credit to [defensive coordinator] Coach [Jon] Tenuta and his staff for the job that they did of creating pressure on their quarterback and not letting him throw in rhythm. The only thing that they really got were the real short throws down the field. They turned a couple of them into some plays.”

On Reggie Ball’s performance – “I think you have to keep it all in perspective. He has had some great games. He has played very well at times. Here was a big game that we talked about this week. This was a game that we needed to have. It wasn’t one that we just wanted, we needed to have it. And these guys faught back from that to get it even at half, and then won the ball game in the second half. I think if you asked him, he’s going to talk about the team. If you ask our guys, that’s what they are going to talk about – the team aspect.”

On the special teams – “I really don’t know the numbers, I know we had some turnovers in the ball game. And then our special teams had some outstanding plays. We let a kickoff return out there when we didn’t need to. Brooks averaged 50 – wow was that impressive. He did a great job. Special teams in general did a nice job today.”

On Durant Brooks’ 63 yard punt from the 1-yard line – “There’s not a bigger play than that. That was big.”

On the defensive line – “The one thing that’s happened is that we have a rotation and we can keep people fresh. And that’s been very big for our football team.”

On getting the ball to Calvin Johnson – “They weren’t letting him get down the field, so we had to get it to him quick. That was the change that we made a halftime.”

On holding Miami to a field goal on the 7-minute drive in the third quarter – “I thought that was really big. I think that was when the roughing the punter situation hit and they thought they had then held. That’s psychologically tough to hold a team like that. I thought that was really, really big. We had maybe three or four calls that went against us – roughing the passer, an interference call. Three or four calls that went against us right there. It would have been easy to throw in the towel and the guys never did.”

On the drive where Georgia Tech took the lead – “If I’m not mistaken, that’s when Michael Matthews had a big catch down to the four. Reggie spread the ball around really well in that drive. They have so much speed on defense. I thought [offensive coordinator] Patrick Nix did a great job in the second half of getting to the bootleg stuff that got Reggie outside, and some misdirection that helped us.”

On the atmosphere – “It was dynamite. The fans were great. That’s the way that it is supposed to be. That’s what you are looking for.”

MIAMI HEAD COACH LARRY COKER

Opening statement – “Obviously we’re very disappointed. I told our players that they played hard and gave great effort. We didn’t play as well as we needed to a couple of times during the game. We turned the ball over at a couple of very, very key times. We played till the end. I wish we had another opportunity to field the punt and see what we could do with the two-minute offense. It was a very good college football game. We knew that coming in. We knew that we’d get their best.”

Why didn’t you go for the onside kick after your last touchdown – “We felt like we’d have time, and we felt like we had a chance to block the punt. Obviously, we didn’t block the punt, and the strategy didn’t work out. And from what I’ve seen in practice, I don’t think we onside kick the ball very well, to be quite honest.”

On getting the touchdown off the Ball fumble and a quick lead – “Obviously it was a great start. We put a lot of pressure on Ball and created the turnover, and it was a great way to start the football game.”

On getting only one field goal in the third quarter – “It’s huge because you’ve got to score touchdowns. We weren’t able to do that. I felt like we could have a push coming out in the third quarter even if we didn’t score, then I felt if we had the wind in the fourth quarter, we’d have a tremendous advantage. They were still able to switch field position on us, and it didn’t work to our advantage. I felt pretty good about our third quarter, other than you have to score touchdowns when you have those opportunities.”

On your standing in the Coastal division – “We just play for the next game. We play Virginia Tech at home, and we play to win every game.”

On the play of Kyle Wright and the offensive line – “It was somewhat sporadic at times. We did some good things, obviously. When we had protection, we made some good throws. We’ll have to evaluate the film and see where the breakdowns were. It wasn’t anything we hadn’t prepared for, I’ll put it that way.”

What does this game do to your team mentally, in light of the buildup for Tech as having control of their own destiny? – “We’re going to be fine. We’re the University of Miami; we’re going to push on, and we’re going to play hard.”

On the Leggett fumble as a turning point in the game – “You’ve got the Leggett fumble, you’ve got their fumble. There are a lot of turning points in a game like that. That was certainly a huge play. If we go down and score a touchdown, I think we’re going to win the game.”

On Tech scoring 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, what happened defensively? – “They have a lot of good players who made good plays.”

On the team’s defense of Calvin Johnson – “He made some plays, but I don’t think Calvin was THE difference in the game. We did a decent job on him.”

21 Calvin Johnson, WR

On significance of tonight’s win – “It’s huge because we’re trying to get to the ACC Championship. We have to play like an ACC Championship team and we did tonight.”

On reacting to last week’s loss: “The best thing to do about last week is just to forget about it. We’ve other games to play and it’s not going to happen again. We just forgot about it and came in here and got this win today.”

On go-ahead TD – “It was real huge. They were playing outside and whatnot, so we figured we’d get inside the way we did. He was all up under my jersey and whatnot, up under my shoulder pads.”

On play of defense today – “Oh man, defense is always big in our games. We have a great defense. We’ve got one of the top defenses, I feel, in the country. They’re always doing their thing and we’re always cheering them on.”

On being down 10-0 early – “Oh man, we just had to keep our composure and we did. We knew that we could come back and win this game and we did.”

1 Reggie Ball, QB

On possibly coming out in first quarter after limping off the field – “No, I never thought about coming out. I mean I’m in a lot of pain, but I was just fortunate enough that it passed on. I just kept pushing. It’s just bruises. It was a tough physical game. We have a tough physical conference so everybody is going to be nicked up every now and then. Unfortunately, I’m one of those guys.”

On importance of this win – “To be honest man, it’s just another game. When we come out, we expect to win and sometimes that doesn’t go our way but today it did. A win is a win no matter what game it is. It’s not the championship so it’s just another game.”

On facing being down 10-0 early – “That’s what we are training for. That’s why we go to summer, winter, spring workouts and even during the season. We train for tough times and we train to get through them.”

On change in momentum in 2nd half – “It’s all execution. Nothing more, nothing less.”

On Georgia Tech’s Defense – “Oh yeah, the defense was great. That’s why we have three phases of the game; special teams, offense and defense. Special teams played very well also and you can’t take anything away from them either. That’s why you have teammates.”

34 Avery Roberson, CB

On changing reads moving from corner to safety – “Yeah you do have to change your reads. At corner I just worry about covering my man but the safety has to remember formations and the types of plays they’re running. I just try to go out there and make plays and not think too much. When you think too much you sometimes make mental mistakes.”

Nice Homecoming? – “Oh yeah, oh yeah, great Homecoming. We haven’t lost one since I’ve been here.”

42 Adamm Oliver, DE

On responding to 1st quarter ten-point deficit – “You’ve got to come out to play and if things go wrong it’s hard to have a win in this conference.”

On forcing fumble – “I’m glad I made that play. It was such a momentum changer. I’m happy but I’m just happy that other people made plays as well. Two weeks ago, it was Michael Johnson with the two sacks at the end and this week it was me. We’ve got a lot of talent and today I was blessed to be able to make a big play.”

On significance of this win – “I think this is top notch. This win puts us where we need to be. There was a lot of pressure going into this game. Are we going to come out and play well after the loss last week? How are we going to respond? How are we going to respond in the ACC? Are we going to respond well and make it to the (ACC) championship game this year? This was a huge step and a great response by our team. We had a good week in practice this week. I could just feel it all week. Everyone was just more intense, more focused. This shows that we can get it done. We just have to be consistent from here out.”

On giving up yardage but still winning game – “Our mentality is to when they get in the red zone they only get three points. When they get in the red zone we have to tighten it up. Sometimes things happen, a miss tackle or a play you’ve never seen. Sometimes those things are just going to happen. We’re not perfect. Mistakes are going to happen, but I think we all play with more urgency when we’re down in the red zone.”

On reacting to emotional wins and losses – “After you have an emotional win you have to have a 24-hour rule. You have to forget about it after 24 hours and get ready for the next opponent. This is the ACC and any team can beat any opponent, and they’re a lot of good teams.”

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