Oct. 8, 2011
– GEORGIA TECH COACH Paul Johnson
“As I say every week, 21 is more than 16 so that is what is important. I thought that defensively, other than a couple of plays, one in the first and one in the second, we really played well. Offensively we struggled, never got any continuity. It was a myriad of things, and we will have to watch the tape, but we didn’t do very many good things today. It was like popcorn trying to get it fixed. We had a chance to hit some big plays early in the passing game, and we missed them again. We really struggled. But you have to give them credit, their kids played hard, their defensive tackle was all over the place. They whipped our tail pretty good in the end.”
On the penalties
“There was just never any continuity, the penalties were terrible. Eight penalties for 65 yards which is way more we had this year. Two on defense but the rest were on the offensive line. It is ridiculous.”
On special teams
“We finally got a pretty good kickoff return which was huge. That part of it was hot and cold. We had three returns, two not so good, one was pretty good. We struggled at times punting the ball. That is the most punts that we have had in any game this year so far. I think Sean Poole had a good last punt and we did a nice job covering, but prior to that neither guy punted the ball really well. I thought we did an okay job covering the kicks. The opening kickoff, after we scored to go up 21-3 was a beauty, we were kicking with the wind.”
On practice last week
“I thought practice was a little better this week, it wasn’t great but it was a little bit better, we just didn’t make plays. When you have a chance to make plays, and the competition gets better, you better throw and catch the ball. They aren’t going to let you get wide open over and over again. Same thing on the running game. Instead of having big plays, we missed blocks, and had a four or five yard play. It was not very good execution.”
On the offense and third down conversions
“Offensively, we have been pretty good on third down all year. It was just a crazy game. Counting the last one minute drive, we had the ball five times in the first half, we scored two touchdowns, punted, missed a field goal, and threw an interception in the endzone. We moved the ball pretty well in the first half. In the second half we get the big kickoff return, we get it down there and put it in the endzone and then we just put it on cruise control. There was a penalty, a missed read, somebody loose, it was a fiasco. Third down in the second half was awful.”
MARYLAND COACH RANDY EDSALL
“First of all, we’re saddened and upset about what happened to Andrew Gonnella. He’s been taken to Grady Medical Center and is being evaluated. I don’t know anything more than that at this point. If he can’t come back, he’s going to be sorely missed. He’s been a great leader for us, and a guy who loves the game of football. Now we just need to take a piece of him with us and go back out there and play for him.
“We’re disappointed that we didn’t win the game today, but very pleased with how hard our guys played for 60 minutes. I thought, defensively, we played extremely well. Offensively, we were inconsistent, and we had a couple of breakdowns in the special teams. But again, we were pleased with how hard our guys played for 60 minutes.”
On the quarterback switch
“I just felt like we needed a little bit of a spark. I went with C.J., and we’ll just go back and watch the film and move forward.”
On the work of the defense holding Tech under its offensive yardage average
“I thought they did what they were coached to do. They went out and executed the defensive game plan that the defensive coaches put together. When you do that, that’s what happens. Alex had to go in and play and everybody else, but those are the expectations we want. Everybody has to go in and play as good as they can, and today they did.”
On the play of C.J. Brown
“I thought that he did gave us a spark. We’ll just watch the film and evaluate it from there.
On holding Tech to 21 points
“We wanted to hold them to zero points. But again, we played great team defense. When you play great team defense, you’re able to do the things that we did today.”
On the offense’s reaction to the injury to Gonnella
“I thought we got some things going even before that. He gave me a message to pass on to the team, and I did that. But that’s the way we have to play all the time. If we play like that all the time, we’re going to be OK.”
On what you take away from this loss
“I would hope that we would take a step forward. I think the guys learned that when you practice the way we practiced and play the way we did today, you put yourselves in a position to win. That’s what we want to do.”
On how the team handled its first road game
“I thought they handled themselves really well. It was very loud out there. We had one penalty. That really says what it’s all about. We just needed to make a few more plays, and we came up a little bit short.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS
Tevin Washington #13 QUARTERBACK R-JR.
On the Maryland defense
They weren’t doing anything different. The guy I was reading most of the day did a good job of making me miss some reads today. He would come down playing on the B-back and make me pull it and sometimes he would bounce on me. He did a good job.
On second half offense
Overall, I think offensively we came out flat in the second half and I think in execution we had a bunch of penalties this game, probably more penalties than we’ve had all year. On my part I know I did a poor job in the reads in this game running the option. It’s just some things we’ve got to get better at this week and make sure we stay focused, and make sure that we pay attention to detail this week to those little things that gave us trouble this game.
Louis Young #8 CORNERBACK SO.
On defensive game plan against the pass
I knew this week I was going to have to do a lot of nickel. We prepared all week for it. I just studied their routes. I expected a lot more screen plays from their previous games but we held them to some down and distance plays and they tried to go deep on us. We just adjusted to it and I put my eyes in the right spot.
Tony Zenon #9 KICK RETURNER/A-BACK R-FR.
On his kickoff return to start the second half
It was a sideline return to the right and I was supposed to set it up by pushing up and then going out and I set it up pretty good and the guys did a good job of blocking and I hit the hole. The only person I saw I think was the kicker that I had to beat. I tried to cut up from him and keep running and I didn’t notice the guy who was behind me and he caught me.
Izaan Cross #94 DEFENSIVE END JR.
On the Tech run defense
When it comes to run defense in particular, everybody has to do their job. When somebody messes up and somebody’s not doing exactly what they have to do, the running back or quarterback can just spurt out and bust a long one. At times we did good and everybody fit our gap, but it’s just that one small thing that can mess up a defense and that just comes with repetition and knowing exactly what you have to do on every play.
QUASHAWN NEALY #54 INSIDE LINEBACKER R-FR.
On his start and interception
Right off from the bat, if your brother goes down we always play as brothers out there on the field. If your brother goes down, you want to step up and take his role. Make sure there isn’t any fallout. When the game started it was great from the get go. I just needed a little contact to make sure I can play. On the play of the interception, it was a 3 by 1 formation and the tight end did a 5 yard out. The defense that I ran I was supposed to undercut that and we knew that the quarterback does short throws so I was in the right place at the right time to make a play on the ball.