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Post-Game Quotes

Sept. 24, 2011

Recap |  Final Stats |  Notes |  Photo Gallery 1  |  Photo Gallery 2 

GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson

Opening Statement
“Well after the first few games we thought we would try and make this more exciting. I was proud of our guys and especially the way that we came back in the fourth quarter. After they tied the game up it just took about four or five plays and we went right back down and put it into the end zone. We had to overcome a lot of self-inflicted stuff today. We fumbled the ball at the four-yard line going in, we missed a short field goal, and we didn’t do as well in getting the ball into the end zone when we got down into the red zone. I was disappointed at halftime because I thought the game should have been more out of line than it was. We hadn’t punted the ball, they hadn’t really stopped us, I think we missed just one third down, but yet we weren’t up like we should have been. Then we came out and made some big plays on third down, but we get bogged down again and had to kick a field goal. Just a little disappointing.

They hit some plays in the second half, but when we had to the defense got a couple stops and that was all we needed to win the game. I was kind of kicking myself on fourth-and-one for not going for it, but you have to kick them down inside the 20-yard line. If you go and you don’t make it, you give them a short field and our defense was struggling a little bit anyway then, the last thing we wanted to do was give them a short field. It worked out and I think they have a good football team, both teams played hard and I was proud of our guys.”

On areas to improve upon
“It was satisfying to see the interceptions and sacks. Our third down rate was 3-of-8 on defense and 10-of-16 offensively. Guys are getting better, areas have improved. I sound like a broken record with our kicking game, it is an enigma to me. We work on it, it looks fine in practice, but we clearly have to change the personnel on the return team. We got the punt blocked which was nice and I think that the kicks are ok but we have to get it past the 25 yard line.”

On the mental toughness of the team compared to last season
“I think these kids are tough. They were tough last year. I think that they are a little better at their craft than they were a year ago, they understand it a little better. I never question their toughness because we have tough kids.”

On the end result
“I was pleased with the score being 35-28. That is what I was pleased with. I don’t get hung up on yards and all that. I just want to score more than they do.”

On the defense
“They made some good plays and got pressure on the quarterback. They also created some seams in the run game a time or two. I think they did make some good plays getting to the quarterback which is a positive. As a football team we have to get better.”

On Giovani Bernard, North Carolina’s running back
“He is a tough kid and a good running back. I have been saying all week that North Carolina is a good football team. They are pretty talented. They are big in the offensive line and their defensive line is great. No. 90 [Quinton Coples] is probably a first round draft pick for sure. Those two outside guys, No. 91 [Tydreke Powell] and No. 98 [Donte Paige-Moss], they are good players. We had a hard time blocking them.”

NORTH CAROLINA HEAD COACH EVERETT WITHERS

Opening Statement
“I’m disappointed with the loss, but I’m very proud of this football team, the way they came back and fought in the second half. I think we’ll learn a lot about ourselves when we come back and watch tape tomorrow. I don’t think we came out with any significant injuries other than bumps and bruises. We’ve got a chance to correct what we did today and get better next week, and that’s the bottom line.”

On the 50-yard run by Roddy Jones to set up the winning touchdown
“I think it was more just leveraging the ball. [Against] this offense, it’s everybody doing their job, and if one guy gets tied up, and he has to take the next guy’s responsibility, and the ball gets on the boundary, then it’s a tough offense. We didn’t do a good job of getting off a block, off of a cracki, and our corner got out-leveraged and the ball got on the boundary. That was just one play.

For the most part, we you happy with your defense against the option run
“Yes. As I’ve said all week long, this is not about yards. This game is about making them kick three. We just didn’t make them kick three enough.”

On the turnaround after your first TD and making them kick field goals
“We didn’t execute well enough on offense today. I felt like, defensively, we did enough things to give us a chance to win. We knew they were going to get yards. We just didn’t put together enough drives today. This game is about team and putting together drives. We’ve got to go back to being able to do that. We’ve got to run the ball better.”

On the frustration of forcing the tie, then watching Tech go down the field and score
“It’s frustrating, but you’ve got to know the nature of the offense that you’re playing. If you’ve got time, and you’ve got the ball back, then you’ve got a chance to score. I almost wanted to let them score, so we could have two minutes left on the clock so we could go down and score. But, it didn’t work out that way. All we wanted was time to be able to go down and score at the end of the game.”

On the two long pass plays to Stephen Hill (one for a TD, one dropped).
“Again, a scheme against what we do in the secondary. They did a great job. They watch enough of what you do, because you can’t do enough on defense. We run maybe three defenses a game. They see that defense over and over, and they know how to scheme it. They were able, on the quick dive pass, to slip the wide out past the safety that’s supposed to overlap. The safety gets short – touchdown pass. We were short about three years on both plays.”

How were they able to get to Renner so often?
“They were played a defense there at the end, not on third down, where all the linemen were standing up, what we call a radar defense, and you don’t know which one is coming, the fourth rusher. We had the protection a couple of times. I felt like Bryn could’ve gotten rid of the ball a couple of times. For the most part, it was tough on a young quarterback. We’ve got to do some things to help him out a little bit more. “

How do you think your team reacted in its first road game?
“I couldn’t be prouder of this team. I love this team. We’ve got a chance to be good.”

Were you pleased with the way your offense came out in the second half?
“I told the guys at halftime, I love where we are. I think we have a chance to go out here and find out who we were. We were able to get back in the game, tie it up, and have a chance to win. That’s all you want, to have a chance to win at the end.”

GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS

Tevin Washington JR QB #13
On UNC defensive scheme
“We practiced all week going against the scout team with that look from their defensive. Every week is different so coming out there and once we got in the game and we kind of figured out how they were playing, I knew I was going to have to make some plays in the running game. So just making sure I didn’t try to do too much and just do my job.”

Stephen Hill JR WR #5
Seeing one-on-one coverage

“Going against other defenses, I scout them starting Monday. I make sure I look at the film and make sure I see what type of coverage they use and things like that. And looking at the DBs and seeing how short they are or if they’re a little bit taller than the average DB. But it’s just going up and getting the ball and making plays. That’s all Coach Johnson wants. That’s what I’m following through.”

Long catch near the sideline in the first half
“Tevin put it in a spot that I can go get it only. I just used basketball skills from high school. Go up and go get the ball. They kind of surprised me, I ain’t going to lie to you. It kind of surprised me. Once the ball got in my hand, I just used the strength in the forearms because I do a lot of forearm work and I just came down with it.”

Jeremiah Attaochu SO OLB #45
On the play of the defense

“I felt like I came out energetic. We always get pumped up before the game but we were just ready to show what we can do in ACC play. As a defense we got tired of hearing the talk that we can’t get to the quarterback and I just heard from Wes [Durham] that we had seven sacks in the game so it was a you an the team kind of mentality. Everybody does what you need to do and as a team we’ll be together collectively. I feel like that was my mentality going into the game.”

Isaiah Johnson SO S #1
Trying to confuse UNC QB Bryn Renner

“We wanted to make it confusing for him because their style of offense he reads the safeties and based on how the safeties are lined up. There’s a way they complete their passes based on how we lined up. We have a play that we make a disguise so that the quarterback can’t tell what we are running and we did a good job on that.”

Jay Finch R-SO C #50
Blocking UNC defensive tackles

“They were definitely more athletically gifted than some of the other people we have played, which made it definitely harder. They were also big and fast but what gave us the most trouble was how they played against us, which I look forward to watching some of the film and seeing how we can get that fixed. We walked away with a W so regardless of how we played we won.”

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