Oct. 17, 2009
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson QUOTES
“Well, it seems like we have to make every game come down to the end. I’m proud of our guys, especially our defense who came back and played fast, which is the way you want to see them play. We simplified for them, our defensive coaches did an outstanding job. I think they were all on the same page. We gave up a big play or two, which is stuff we can get fixed and build on. Offensively, we were our own worst enemy in the first half. We kept getting penalties, our field position wasn’t great. They [Virginia Tech] lined up differently than they played last year and we acted like we had never seen that defense. Once we got settled down at halftime and understood where everyone was supposed to go, we executed better in the second half. So, I’m proud of our guys. It was a good win, I think Virginia Tech has a good football team. But, winning makes the next game bigger, that’s what happens when you win. We’ll enjoy this one tonight, but tomorrow we’ll get ready to go to Charlottesville and play Virginia.”
On Jason Peters’ Interception in the Second Quarter:
“It was a great catch. It was a great play by him; unfortunately we couldn’t do anything with the field position. But, it was a great play. Both defenses played very well, especially in the first half. We played well in the second half; we just gave up a few big plays. They went down the field too fast on that last drive.”
On the ACC Coastal Division Race:
“I mean, there are still games left to be played, so you can’t worry about it. All we can focus on is Virginia. We know we already have a loss and I don’t think you can win our side [Coastal Division] with two. One loss is going to win it. What we did tonight was stay alive and put everyone else back in it.”
On what the victory mean towards national perception:
“I’ll let everyone else figure that out. We knew that we had a front end loaded schedule that was really heavy. These guys have answered the bell, every time someone counts them out they’ve answer the bell. But, we have a lot of football left. We have to make sure that we’re dialed in next week and ready to play Virginia. What ever was ailing them earlier in the year they found and figured out and they might be playing as well as anybody in the league.”
On performance by the defensive unit:
“I thought we played well. I thought we had a good plan and simplified it. We didn’t do a lot, the guys played hard and flew to the ball. We made some mistakes, but all-in-all those kids played well. Everybody knew what they were doing and showed up to play.”
On Josh Nesbitt’s Performance:
“Josh is such a competitor. He would be the first to tell you he didn’t play well in the first half, but in the second half, I think he might have had to bad reads on the option. All-in-all, he does what it takes to win the game. We had our backs against the wall after they scored off of the interception, ran into each other on the kickoff return team, started on the 14 yard line and he engineered an 87-yard drive to give us the momentum back.”
On Anthony Allen’s Performance:
“Anthony is a fierce competitor. He plays with a lot of emotion, sometimes he needs to control it, but he’s a competitive guy who wants to win and he has ability. He’s a good player.”
On Second Half Adjustments:
“We missed a few reads on the option in the first half. What happened was they played totally opposite of how they played us last year. They played like a lot of other people have, but for whatever reason in the first half we were kind of like zombies out there. It wasn’t all Josh [Nesbitt], we had three holding penalties on one possession and the ball was backed up begin with, so you couldn’t take a whole lot of chances. In the second half, we executed much better. They played exactly the same way the whole game on defense. We got the reads right and everyone went in the right direction.”
On Struggles in Kick Return Coverage:
“We’ve got to clean that up, it’s a mess. We’ve worked on it and worked on it and changed personnel. It almost cost us the game.”
On Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor:
“You can’t ham him up man. I don’t know if you can tag him in a phone booth. He stays alive and ducks in and out. He’s a great player. We got him a few times, but he is gifted athlete.”
On the historical significance of the victory:
“I told the team today that there were some things about the game that mattered and there were some things that didn’t. Where they were ranked, the 0-17, who thought you were going to win, none of that mattered because you can’t get any points for that. What mattered was who was going to block and tackle the best. I’m proud of our guys; we came out and did enough to win against a very good team.”
On time of possession advantage:
“That’s kind of the way its been going for us. That’s also a credit for the defense because we were able to get them off the field. The key is we converted on third down, any time you can convert over 50 percent on third down, that’s pretty good.”
On Virginia Tech’s changed defensive alignment:
“Last year they lined up in an eight man front the whole game, but this year they lined up in a 4-3 or a 6-1. They rolled a safety down into the boundary. In the second half, we executed better, we realized where they were and went to the right numbers. In the first half, we were running where they had players, right into the teeth of their unit. In the second half, we did a good job adjusting. Made a couple of little tweaks at halftime and Josh did a nice job of running the offense in the second half.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS
Josh Nesbitt – Quarterback
On Importance of Knocking Off a Top 5 Team – “Biggest thing since I have been here.”
On The 51-yard Completion to Demaryius Thomas – “It wasn’t supposed to go to him. It was supposed to go to the backside receiver, but the protection broke down and I just saw the 1-on-1 [coverage] and knew he would come down with it.”
On Offensive Keys to Second Half – “We were our own worst enemy in the first half, only hurting ourselves. We just went out in the second half and slowed the game down.”
On Kam Chancellor’s Comments Over The Summer – “How `bout them Jackets?”
On Season Changing Win – “Yeah I think so, but I think we did that earlier this year once we beat North Carolina, coming off of a big loss. We just came back to Earth, knowing that we can lose and go out and play every game like it could be our last.”
On Defensive Improvements – “I think they saw all of the bad talk in the papers from last week, and they showed up big for us.”
Bigger Than Victory Over UGA Last Year? – “By far, yes.”
Brad Jefferson – Linebacker
On Intensity – “During the week we had good practices, came out with intensity every practice, and brought that to the game.”
On Improvements From Last Week – “Everyone did their assignments, the coaches got the plays in faster, and we just went out and ran the plays.”
Derrick Morgan – Defensive End
On Getting Pressure – “The coaches were preaching to us all week, especially playing against a guy like Tyrod [Taylor], just to keep your rush lanes. We sent pressure a lot of times to get him back there, to get him moving. The focus all week was just keeping him contained and keep him from making plays with his feet.”
VIRGINIA TECH HEAD COACH FRANK BEAMER
“I give Georgia Tech credit. They played a great game. I want to say this about our players; they hung in there, they battled. They didn’t always play as well as we need to, but it wasn’t lack of effort. It wasn’t lack of trying. There were some different things going on, and a lot of it had to do with Georgia Tech. A lot of it had to do with that No. 91 (GT defensive end Derrick Morgan) out there on defense. That’s the way it is.
“Their offense there at the end, and for most of then day, was just hard to stop. Their quarterback was doing a great job, and we got into a little bit of a guessing game. And I give them credit. They deserve the credit.”
You did a good job against their offense in the first half; then from the last drive on, they didn’t punt. What happened?
“They hit the jump ball at the end of the first half, and other than that we played pretty well. They did a couple things a little bit different, and we tried to adjust to them a little bit different. Then they got, like I said, into a little bit of a guessing game.”
Everybody thinks Dwyer and Nesbitt for them, but they have others. Is it too much to keep up with?
“They’ve got ability. You’ve got some kids that are fast there at A-back. Dwyer is a load. He’s a great back. Thomas is tough to match up with. No. 5 (Stephen Hill) is tough to match up with. They’ve got some talent on that offense. Like I said, 91 got our game out of whack. I think this is a talented team, a well-coached football team. We came into a tough situation, and they got it.”
Can you talk about your problems on short yardage?
“They’re flying to the ball, and we’ve got to block them better. It gets down to that. We’ve been pretty good in those situations for the most part, but they did a better job tonight.”
After the game, what did you tell the team?
“I told them I was proud of their effort. What happened out there wasn’t because of lack of effort. Now is the time to come back and let’s go get the next one. There’s a lot of football to be played. We just need to get back and think about the next ball game.”
Did you expect to see what you saw out of Nesbitt this evening?
“I said going into the game he’s been a great quarterback. They got him loose there a couple of times. There’s no question about his ability. He’s good in that offense. He’s very, very good.”
We got a report that Ryan Williams wasn’t feeling well.
“He’s been sick for a couple days here. He didn’t feel strong early. But he (mustered) something up to come in there and play.”