Sept. 18, 2010
– Georgia Tech Head Coach Paul Johnson:
“Wow, what a game. I thought that both teams played really hard. Hats off to North Carolina. I think their kids came out hard and really battled.
“The first half looked like nobody was going to stop anybody, and then in the second half the dreaded turnovers kind of reared their head, and we were fortunate we got some points off of them. It wasn’t always pretty, and we made some bad mistakes. I’m proud of our guys for competing. They played hard and they played like they wanted to win.
“Anytime you win I’m happy. It’s hard to win. Anybody that takes winning for granted isn’t very smart because it’s hard to win. I don’t think in my three years here we’ve ever had any easy wins. They’re all hard.”
North Carolina Head Coach Butch Davis:
“As I told the players in the locker room, I don’t think I could be much prouder of the way they continue to compete, to practice, to play. Those kids are going out on that field and they’re doing everything humanly possible that they can to help this football team get a win.
“(Georgia Tech) is a tough team to play against, not only from a talent standpoint, but from a schematic standpoint. There’s a certain formula that you have to have to try to beat Georgia Tech. You go into the ballgame knowing that you’re just going to have a limited number of possessions during the course of the game just because of the scheme and the style that they play, and a couple of things happened our way that we would have liked to have capitalized on. You’ve got to get some fourth-down stops, because they historically have gone for it on fourth down multiple times over the last three seasons and when you get those, it’s almost like a turnover because there’s not going to be a field position switch, you’re going to be able to take the ball over at that point in time. Certainly one of the biggest was having a 24-17 lead. You get a stop, you get the ball, now if you can go down and make it more than a one-score ballgame it really enhances your opportunity to kind of make them play left-handed a little bit. It takes the ball out of the fullback some of the time, it makes them have to run the ball a little bit more, do some things they don’t like to do. As long as they’re staying in that comfort zone of a tie ballgame, slightly behind, a little bit of a lead, they can continue to operate business as usual.
“For some of the young kids – we played a couple of freshman defensive linemen today – the schemes that they use, it’s learning, it’s baptism under fire for those kids, and as the game went along we got a little bit better. You’ve got to tackle well against Georgia Tech, the ball’s going to get pitched on the perimeter. You’ve got to play cut blocks, you’ve got to play chop blocks.
“There’s nobody in our locker room and nobody in our football program that hates losing any worse than our coaches and our kids. But you’ve got to look for some of the positive things and some things the guys did. I thought offensively we got off to an outstanding start, we moved the ball, we scored points. We capitalized on some big play opportunities. Given the set of the things that you’re dealing with I thought that we did a good job. Certainly would have loved to have won the football game but I can promise you tomorrow we’re going to go back to work and we’re going to work to try to get victory No. 1.”