Sept. 2, 2011
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson
“It was a good way to start the season. Any time you get a win. Certainly, we did some good things, we did a lot of bad things as well. If you make too many mistakes as the competition ratchets up, a lot of the things we did will deter us from getting to where we want to go. They say you make the most improvement from game one to game two and I hope we do. We made balls on the ground entirely too many times, we made a couple of the biggest bonehead plays on special teams that I have seen in a long, long time and we weren’t as good on third down defensively as we needed to be. There was a lot of things to work on, but there were some positives, especially Stephen Hill. He played like we thought he could. That will be a confidence booster for him, he had a big game. It was just a crazy game. The field goal right before the half … I will have to look at that on tape. I don’t know if it was just a low kick, I think it was a combination of many things. But that shouldn’t be such an adventure.”
On the passing game
“We had a lot of yardage after the catch. They were really committed to stopping the run inside. Those guys out there were on the corners one on one and Western Carolina was overmatched with a couple of our receivers. I thought we did ok.”
On the B-Backs
“I thought David [Sims] did some ok things. We will watch the tape and see. We were having a hard time getting up on the linebacker on some of the inside run plays. Preston Lyons had a great one, he broke about two or three tackles when he scored and Charles [Perkins] bounced back from fumbling the ball and had a nice catch on third down and ran the ball. Richard [Watson] had a nice run there at the end, it was a positive for those guys.”
On Orwin Smith
“Orwin had some big plays. For the most part he has been good when he has had the ball in his hands. He had a couple catches, he had the one drop that I remember, but Orwin has a lot of big play ability.”
On the pass rush
“I thought that Brandon [Watts] did some things. Truthfully I was disappointed in our pass rush. They were getting the ball out fairly quickly at times. We have to win some one on ones on the line. You cant blitz all the time with linebackers, we need some of the linemen to make some of those plays.”
On the linebackers
“Julian Burnett is a really good player and I know that he made some good plays. We had a hard time on the tight end seam route, he caught three or four balls and that is the linebackers responsibility. We had a bunch of dropped interceptions and things that you cant do as you ratchet up the competition. There were some good hits out there tonight. Rod Sweeting had a few of them and Jemea Thomas had a hard shot, you just have to learn not to lead with your head. There were some different guys that made some good hits.”
On Tevin Washington
“I think we did a better job protecting him. I think other than one screen pass he shortarmed a little bit, I thought he threw the ball pretty well. Those kids made some nice catches for him. He was pretty accurate with it, 271 passing, 8/13 with three TDs.”
WESTERN CAROLINA HEAD COACH DENNIS WAGNER
“It was disappointing on defense. We couldn’t slow them down. They wore us out. They hit some big plays on us in the first half. In the second half, it was more about not stopping them on third down. They converted several third downs. Offensively, I thought there were a lot of times when we left plays on the field. We’re gonna have to improve a lot before next week.
How did the Pistol look in game action?
“It did some good things for us. I think our tempo was good. There were a few times that we snapped the ball under 15 seconds for the most part. We fumbled the ball on a couple of plays. We missed some throws that we should’ve had. We ran a lot of plays, but the yards per play was not where it needs to be.”
You talked about adjusting and making tackles in the second half. How well did you do that?
“Not very well. On defense, our tackling was poor. Our assignments were not where they need to be. They took advantage of us and got outside of containment a couple of times. Their quarterback did a nice job of that. They know their offense and where they need to go.”
Talk about the difficulty of defending that type of offense?
“It’s difficult, but we better get ready for it, because we’re going to see it three more times. I would’ve rather started off with someone else before Georgia Tech. The textbook was definitely written by him, and they did a great job. I’m sure that there were some things they were not happy with. Again, it comes back to poor tackling and blown assignments, their big plays and their ability to convert third downs.”
What was the halftime locker room like after the big play at the end of the half?
“Obviously it changed the momentum a little bit, but they were still way up. We still had to overcome adversity and play hard in the second half, and I don’t think we did that. Especially on the offensive side, we didn’t do nearly as well in the second half as we did in the first. That’s still a concern of ours, how we rally in the second half. We pride ourselves on our conditioning and the tempo that we run, but we were not an efficient operation on offense.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS
Julian Burnett #40 Jr.
On his first year starting
It felt great. It was my first year starting the season opener and I was happy to be out there leading my team.
On mentality of defense
We’ve just got a different mindset. We want the ball. We fly around to the ball and like Coach Groh said, we’re a pack of wolves now. We’re hungry for it.
Stephen Hill #5 Jr.
Having a breakout game
Just focus. It started in January. Coach Johnson, D Mo [Derrick Moore] and Neal really prepared us this year. I was glad of course for myself but I was glad for the team. We all came out there and we played hard. We had little mental mistakes but we can build off that.
Orwin Smith #17 Jr.
Blocking on kick returns
Coach came in with a new scheme. It’s kind of unfolding pretty good. I feel like we didn’t do as good as we could have on kick returns and we plan on having it better next week.
Logan Walls #96 r-SR
Disruption of defense
I think we were really disruptive. We had a couple of batted passes early. We had three or four picks and everybody was hitting everywhere. Everybody was doing great I felt like.
Jeremiah Attaochu #45 So.
Were linebackers disruptive
I think so. We came out here and did what coach wanted us to do and that’s be disruptive and run to the ball.
Tevin Washington #13 r-JR.
On his calmness stated by other teammates
I just try to be cool, calm, and collected in all situations. A couple of situations I got into last year late in the game I think I got rattled by the situation and kind of got beside myself.