Nov. 29, 2003
– GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Chan Gailey
Opening statement by Coach Gailey: “The bottom line is that we made too many mistakes to win the ball game. Our guys played hard, we did some good things at times, but we made entirely too many mistakes to win the ballgame. You turn it over, have critical penalties and have tipped balls get into their hands you have a difficult time beating a very good football team, which they are, a very good football team.”
Comment on Reggie Ball: “Yes, he’s hurt. I don’t say what it was, if you want to ask him, you can ask him. I don’t talk about injuries. It looks like it’s a short term deal. I don’t think it will be a major injury.”
Comment on penalties: “Personally I thought it was called a little to tight, I think they were worried about things getting out of hand and escalating and I thought they just called it real tight. I know a couple of penalties looked that way too me. I was worried about it initially, but when I went back and asked our players what happened and saw what happened and then asked the official what happened I was really didn’t understand what the calls were, just really too tight.”
Comment on AJ coming into the game: “It’s a tough position to put a guy in and you can only do that with a guy that has experience. He did some good and he did some bad, that’s part of not playing the entire year.
Comment on Georgia’s first touchdown: “They made just a great ball fade it looked like to me and the safety or the corner just made a great ball fade and ran by everybody else.”
General comment: “I didn’t say, they first initially called the foul on number six and obviously six wasn’t on the field so I didn’t know what happened until later after the second half and then I didn’t say anything.”
Comment on Reggie going back into the game: “It wasn’t an issue, it wasn’t his decision.”
Comment on Reggie’s play: “Yeah, I don’t think he is a nervous player and it wasn’t clicking and for what reason, I think it would be easy to point to the fact that he did have, it just wasn’t clean early in the ballgame. I don’t know if it was jitters, I don’t know what it was if it wasn’t setting his feet. I will have to go back and look at the film, but we did have some chances to make some plays early and didn’t make them.”
Comment on if the game was more emotional than thought: “I don’t know, that’s easy to say that might be the case, but I don’t know if that is the case or not.”
Comment on Chris Woods play: “Yeah, Chris had a couple of nice runs, we were able to run the ball a lot better in the first quarter than we were at the end, but I look down here and see 146 yards rushing. To be honest with you, I was surprised it was that much, hadn’t realized it was that much.”
“PJ was actually healthy to play, but I split time with him. Because PJ had not practiced a lot. I just asked him in the locker room and he said he felt good at the end, it didn’t get worse.”
Comment on what was said at halftime: “We just made our normal half time adjustment. This is what we are going to do, this is what we are going to call and we have to make this adjustment and that adjustment.”
GEORGIA HEAD COACH MARK RICHT
“We’re just pleased and thankful to get the victory. It was a hard-fought battle. I tip my hat to Tech and the job they did. Defensively, they really had a good plan for us. Thankfully, we found a couple of ways to make a couple of plays, but they did a really sound job against us. We did block a punt, which was huge for us, and we got a couple of turnovers.
“Their offensive plan was outstanding, too. They controlled the ball. They ran close to 18, 19 more plays than we did. They had more total offense. They did a lot of really good things, and we were just fortunate to get out of here with the victory. I guess now we have to wait a little while to see whether we come back next weekend or not. Hopefully we will.
“Suggs played pretty well. He threw it well, had a couple of touchdown passes. They were different, in that Reggie’s style is different. I thought A.J. played pretty well. They continued to stay balanced in the run and pass. Going into the game, Coach Van Gorder and his staff were very concerned about playing this team because they were so balanced in every single look that they got into. Coaches always look for tendencies, and there weren’t very many tendencies to go by. We just had to play pretty vanilla defense and hopefully contain them. For the most part, we played pretty well. Really one of the biggest stories of the game was the blocked kick and, I think, three interceptions and a fumble. They really helped us.
“Cooper has got a mild high ankle sprain. I don’t know how long that means for him, anything that’s mild, they usually have a chance to play the next week.
“Both teams (Georgia and LSU) played each other before. I don’t know whether it helps us or not. Motivation-wise, I hope it would help us to a certain degree. They’re motivated, too. They’ve got a team that’s hitting on all cylinders, sort of like we were a year ago. Offense, defense, kicking game. We’re still struggling at times. I wouldn’t say we’re clicking on all cylinders right now. We’re finding ways to win. LSU looks like one of the best teams in the country, if not the best team.
“Lumpkin’s really coming along. He picked up a blitz or two much better. He ran the ball well. He held onto the football. He’s getting better as he goes. I was proud of Jeremy Thomas and the game he played. He had a few catches and some outstanding blocks throughout the day. David Green managed the game extremely well. He was very accurate, and I don’t remember him throwing a ball that could have been picked.
GEORGIA TECH PLAYER QUOTES
“[David] Greene had a nice ball fake, I was looking to see where the ball was, I turned around the quarterback had the ball and he just chucked it to the receiver. Give them credit, he had a nice ball fake and made a big play.”
“I wouldn’t call it a back breaker. It kind of shocked us a little bit, but I thought we came back and played pretty good defense.”
“We knew that he [Reggie Ball] was hurting a little bit, but we knew that A.J. [Suggs] could do the job. He had some bad breaks, but give A.J. credit he came in and did an OK job.”
“I bit on the play fake. It was me who was supposed to be in the middle of the field.”
“Their defense was playing really aggressive against us and forcing us into long yardage situations.”
“A.J. [Suggs] has not played at all this year, that was the biggest difference. It’s pretty tough when you get into the game for the first time.”
“This is our biggest rival. We know everybody out there. We went to school with some of them, we’re cool with them, but it’s emotional when you’re playing against them.”
“He [A.J. Suggs] started off slow, but then he got it going. He threw a couple of interceptions, but played OK after that.”
“Come into the game in the second half, go out there and try and make some plays and win the game. We were down 17 and we felt like we had to score some points. We scored some, but we turned the ball over a couple of times and that didn’t help us.”
“I’m not exactly sure what happened to him [Reggie Ball]. He was in the training room the whole halftime. Nobody ever came in and told us what exactly what was going on. They just told me that I was going in.”
“It’s happened a couple of times this year where Reggie had gotten up slow and I was more nervous those times than I was this time. I felt more comfortable. It was Senior Day, I knew it was my last game at home, I was pretty excited. I thought it went OK, we didn’t win the game, and that’s the bottom line.”
“They jumped in cover two, I felt pressure and was trying to throw it away. It was just a bad throw.”
“It’s been tough at practice as well. The second team doesn’t get as many reps as the first group, so you have to prepare more mentally. The biggest adjustment I had to make today was getting acclimated to the speed of the game. When you have not done it in awhile, it’s tough to come in, but that’s the job of the backup quarterback.”
“Our team was just trying to match their intensity. I’m sure after the game everybody shook hands and it was let go.”
“Personally I would like them [referees] to let us play a little. I mean some guys feed off stuff like that, but overall I think they called a good game.”
“I really don’t know which play he [Reggie Ball] got hurt on, but I didn’t know he wasn’t coming back into the game until halftime. You could see it in his eyes when he came back to the huddle. He told some of the guys to stay with him because he wasn’t totally with it.”
“A.J. [Suggs] did a nice job coming in. He made some plays with his legs and his arm.”
“We knew that we needed to come out and make some stops and not let them get up early. It’s pretty tough to catch up to them with that great defense, but they made plays and we didn’t make any plays.”