Sept. 17, 2011
– GEORGIA TECH COACH Paul Johnson
“We are really proud of our guys, we thought they came out there in the third quarter and asserted themselves the way we should have. They played fairly well the whole game offensively, defensively it was a bit of a struggle. But we came out in the second half and got that squared away and got them off the field. A lot of big plays. The A-Backs had a big day and it was fun. Especially after last year, it was fun.”
On coming out in the second half
“Played a little harder, played with intensity and broke up some plays in the secondary. We were playing with a little too much cushion and giving them too much. We had them on first downs a couple of times and just missed tackles. We had a hard time getting them off the field in the first half but once the third quarter came and we got some quick stops and scores we put the game out of reach.”
On Orwin Smith
“Orwin played well, today was his turn. In the third quarter I guess they thought they had to stop the run so they were firing some guys out of the secondary and we took advantage of it, Tevin [Washington] made the throws and it just happened to be to Orwin. Orwin is a good player, and he’s played well for us all year.”
On Tevin making big play throws
“The thing that Tevin does is that he gives them a chance to make the play. He underthrew a couple of them that could have been touchdowns, but they catch them and they end up being big plays. If you have the average per attempt that he does, you are doing something right. It is pretty good. Those are the plays that we haven’t completed in the last couple of years. He is throwing them where they can catch them, that is the idea”.
On improving to 3-0
“It was motivation to get to 3-0. Last year’s team was last year’s team, and this year is this year. We knew that we talked right from the start in camp about getting gradually better and going on this rise because the competition is going to get better as we go. We know that and we keep working. We made a couple mistakes, the second drive of the game we went to throw a play-action pass, didn’t block the right guy, it was a missed assignment and against better competition missed plays like that can get you. You have to take care of the ball.”
On the end of the first half decision making
“What was going through my mind. We were up seven and I knew that we were going to get the kickoff to start the second half. I knew that if we were going to make the first down we needed the time to score. So I took the first timeout, run the quarterback draw, and I can’t figure out how much we need. It looks like it’s less than a yard, and I thought I was going to go for it so I took the timeout. Then when I saw how much we had to go, I am thinking, we kick the field goal, we’ll go up 10, we’ll get the ball back to start the second half, we will score, go up 17 and have three scores. In hindsight if I had known that we were going to do that, I would have just let the clock run down, but at the time, if you think you are going to make the first down on third down you want the extra time. I could have handled it better, and there is still no reason for them to go 80 yards in 30 seconds with one timeout. I was a little hot under the collar about that.”
On the defensive changes in the second half
“We played more dime in the second half, but I think we were just giving them too big of a cushion and we weren’t getting any pressure. A couple of the third down plays we would have had them stopped if we tackled them, the first touchdown, the guy was dead to right but he broke several tackles and ended up scoring. We tackled better in the second half. But I think they guys just kind of turned it up a notch.”
On the role of the wide receivers in today’s game
“This time, last year, they really cheated to the motion on the toss and they ran everybody. I thought all week that the counter play would be a good play. On that play though, the guys that you have to give credit to besides Orwin for running it were Stephen Hill and Tyler Melton. They did a heck of a job blocking downfield to make that thing go for as long as it did. The one thing I noticed today, I cant say enough good things about the wide receivers. They weren’t really involved in the passing game but they blocked their tails off.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS
Tevin Washington QB R-JR
On offensive output
“We were just out there playing one play at a time. At the end of the day we looked up and saw we had 700 yards. It was a great feeling.”
Orwin Smith A-BACK JR
On first play for a touchdown
“The first one I saw a big seam, but mainly what I was worried about was my receivers with tremendous effort just getting downfield. I saw Stephen Hill pancake a guy to my right and I just followed T-Melt [Tyler Melton] to the end zone. It was a great play.”
Embry Peeples A-BACK SR
Plays today almost feel like a videogame
“That’s how most of the plays are drawn up. Sometimes people may miss a block and all this and that, but today you really saw that. When we get our blocks, it’s like playing a videogame. Scores after scores after scores.”
Rod Sweeting CORNERBACK JR
Does scoring early in the second half let you play more aggressive
“We want to challenge receivers every down. Coach Groh gives us the call. Me and Louis Young have got the ability to play man to man. Being aggressive is what we do.”
Steven Sylvester OUTSIDE LINEBACKER SR
2nd half adjustments
“To be honest, nothing. Coach Johnson came in and Coach Groh kind of challenged us at halftime to say this is the defense that we’re going to need to play, especially heading into next week, if we want to be any good. So he just laid out there and thankfully he just rose up.”
KANSAS COACH TURNER GILL
“I just have to tip my hat to Georgia Tech. They executed better than we did. They deserved to win the game. They were a better football team, and they showed it today.”
Could you have expected that Georgia Tech would put up the number of points and yard they did?
“No, but that’s why you play the games. For the three hours out there today, they executed better than we did, offense and defense and special teams. That’s why I tip my hat to them. They’re a good football team, and they did a good job.
It would have been easy to get down after their first play from scrimmage, but you did battle back. Where did you see the wheels come off?
“We couldn’t get them out of our rhythm. They continued to make plays, big plays, which is the thing you have to minimize with any offense, but particularly with this one here. They make some big plays on you, and they multiply, and that gets very tough. We just couldn’t tackle, and the thing is, they executed better than we did.”
It seemed like many times you weren’t in position to make a tackle. Was that the most frustrating thing?
“In the option game, you’re not always going to have guy, because in the option game, you have to account for everybody. It’s an 11-on-11 game, and they were able to scheme it up from an offensive perspective, get a blocker on everyone of our guys, and then you have an opportunity for one of our guys to get off blocks. Sometimes we did, sometimes we got there to make a tackle, and didn’t make a tackle, and sometimes they got body on body with everyone, and they were wide open.”
Did they do much you hadn’t seen, or was it more execution?
“They had not done what we call the belly option, or the belly trap, the first two games. They had it, and they ran that quite a bit, and that’s what really hurt us, particularly in the second half. That was the one thing, scheme-wise, that they had not shown the first two ball games.”
What about the first play of the ball game?
“They ran a counter, and they hadn’t shown that, either. They ran that three or four times in the ball game, too. So the first play of the game, and the belly option were the two things we had not seen this year.”
What were they able to do to stop you on third downs and get off the field?
“They just executed better than we did. You don’t want to have a whole lot of third downs, and we did. We didn’t have a lot of positive plays on first down that could get us out of those long-yardage situations. That makes it a little tough on us. They’re a very good defensive football team. They made plays, and we were not able to capitalize in the second half to move the football. So the combination of them moving it, and us not moving it, and it was unfortunate that it got out of hand.”
What happened to the offense in the third quarter?
“We just were not able to get the running game going. We were not able to establish that on a consistent basis. You get yourself in third-and-seven-plus, and that makes it tough against any opponent. So they did a good job of stopping our running game on first and second downs.”
Do you think the struggle defensively is starting to get to these guys?
“It’s just communication. They’re calls that have to be made during the game, just like offense. That’s just part of football. You need to communicate against this offense. They shift, they do motion. So there are some calls to be made. They may be showing some frustration at the way we played. But on the field, I thought the guys stayed within what we were trying to do.”
Do you think the defensive struggles affected your offense?
“No. When you’re out on the football field, you have to go out and do your job. We have to execute. We know we have to be able to move the ball. I feel confident in our offense that we’re able to do that. Our guys kept playing, but we weren’t able to get better execution.