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Post-Game Quotes

Sept. 15, 2012

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GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson

 

Opening Statement

“It was a heck of a game. I’m proud of our guys. Both offensively and defensively we played really well from the start. We had some hiccups special teams wise. All in all, when the first groups were out there they played pretty well. We challenged our guys this week and they accepted the challenge. I had a long memory from a year ago and they did to. They went out, played hard and the credit goes to the players.”

 

On Virginia possibly targeting Tevin Washington to take his helmet off and Vad Lee’s performance…

“Yes. That’s what he said. I don’t know I didn’t see it. He told me they were pulling it off in the pile. I don’t know. It’s ironic that only came off on the goal line in the scrum. That’s happened to us now in two or three games, especially on key plays. I thought Vad went in there and did a nice job. We didn’t ask him to do a whole lot. He was right on the goal line, but to go into that situation it was good.”

 

On the importance of a significant conference win after VT loss…

“I don’t think there was any other way to respond. We were disappointed that we lost that game. We had our opportunities and didn’t get it done. We didn’t play particularly well and probably didn’t coach really well. We dug ourselves a hole, and we have to take it one week at a time and see if we can dig ourselves out. It’s a long year. So we just have to take it one week at a time and get better.  I think we have gotten better every week. That’s the key.”

 

On the blocking by Jeff Greene on the first touchdown…

“He got into the corner pretty good and was riding him out of bounds. That’s what we need. We talked about that and that’s what [wide receivers] coach [Al] Preston worked on in practice. That’s why I wanted to hug his neck because that’s what we need out of him. He was physical and he got after it. I told him that’s your touchdown. You’re the guy who just rolled the corner, and he rolled him too. He almost had him out of bounds.”

 

On the challenge he made to the players this week…

“I just challenged them. When you lose and you care, it ought to bother you. I heard a long time ago that revenge is a great motivator for those who care. They care. We were embarrassed the way we played up there a year ago.”

 

On the advantages/disadvantage of playing three division games in one month…

“Ask me after next week. In the league, you are going to get this good caliber of opponents every week. You have to play them sometime. To have three division games in same month was something. If could have come out of the month of September undefeated we’d have been in good shape. If we can come out 2-1 in the league, then we still have a heartbeat and we’re still fighting. That’s what the goal is.”

 

On Vad Lee’s pistol work and his performance…

“The pistol didn’t work much. We ran few plays form it, but I’m not sure we go much out of it. We completed a pass or two. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember anything that stood out in that formation.

 

 

On the improved perimeter blocking…

“We missed some, but we were better. Right before halftime, we ended up scoring anyway, but the option to the left was so close to a touchdown. It was the pitch to BJ [Bostic] and he kind of got tripped. We had both of them fed up and he hit the seam. If he hadn’t of tripped I think he would have scored there. It was some better than the first two games.”  

 

On OL changes…

I thought that it gives us a chance to get five really solid guys out there who played a lot. I thought that Will Jackson did some good things at tackle. For the first game there will be some issues, like there will be everywhere, but I’m proud of him to go out there and do that after only two days of practice. He’s a really smart kid and he catches on well.”

 

On the fourth down stop and the interception…

“They had a big kick return and any time you can escape that with no points it’s a positive. We were about to turn the interception into points. The series where we had to punt the ball, we missed a couple reads and it was a little frustrating. I thought we had a chance to go up 35-7 at the half and then Louis [Young] made a nice play and we got the pick. It wasn’t executed beautifully at all times. The guys need to learn to get out of bounds. But we got it in the end zone and that’s what counts.”

 

On the tone of the game…

“Well that was the challenge. Before we left the hotel, I challenged them. It’s going to be man-to-man, who is going to back down or step up. They answered the call. Most games if you can out-physical or at least stay neutral you got a chance.”

 

On Tevin Washington’s performance…

“I thought Tevin played well. When he was in there, he did some good things and had some nice runs. He missed a read or two, but all in all he got the right play called, executed and got the ball in the hands of playmakers. I thought he did a nice job.”

 

On the defense’s performance

“It was a little bit better. If you can stop the running game you can play. We limited their running game until the end when they got a few yards. For the most part the first team did a really good job against the running game. If you can’t run the football it’s hard to play most of the time.”

 

On Chris Milton running guys down…

“On the kickoff return he did a nice job of chasing the guy down. When you do that, who knows what will happen. We got a fourth down stop and took points off the board. It was great to see.”

 

On Zach Laskey…

“He was available in the second half if we needed him, but I didn’t want to put him back in.”

 

On the first play of the game…

“That was just luck. It’s the matchup. You get the guy on the linebacker, and he played the out route and we ran a wheel route. It was a great throw by Tevin and a great route by Zach.”

GEORGIA TECH PLAYER QUOTES

 

Tevin Washington R-SR QB #40

     On his pocket presence

“I think it’s a combination of good protection from the offensive line and doing drills everyday with Coach Bohannon. I just try to give the receiver a chance if they’re open downfield.”

 

   On his approach to the game

“Right before we left we watched a clip of the last play of the game last year. The clip was of the two sidelines. Their sideline was going bananas after the last play that they stopped us and we looked like we had no life. We tried to approach the game today with a challenge from our coaches and our teammates that we would come out and give our best shot. We had revenge on our mind from last year.”  

 

Louis Young JR CB #8

     On his interception

It was a great call from Coach Groh. It’s something that we’ve worked all week in practice. They trained us everyday this week to be in the right position to make plays. We were right on it. It was a great call by Coach Groh.”

  

Quayshawn Nealy R-SO LB #54

     On the how watching a fight last night affected the defense  

“That fight last night really had a big impact on the game. Guys really took it to heart last night, especially after a big loss last year. It was a burden on everybody’s heart the whole year and last season. Everybody took it to heart. We just wanted to be physical this game. Last year they put up 250 plus yards on us running the ball. Today on our first [team] defense they only put 54 yards up. We really wanted to put an emphasis on getting down here and getting physical on the blocks. They’re big guys but still you want to get down here and be physical. Just like the fight, punch for punch be physical.”

 

Orwin Smith SR AB #17

     On perimeter blocking

“Guys playing with more intensity out there. They’re playing faster. That was one of the main things that we were hesitant in trying to get out there with the corners and safeties. This week Coach put emphasis on guys playing faster.”

 

Will Jackson R-JR OL #52

     On playing the Tackle position

“It was still blocking people. Offensive line play is pretty simple. The core of it is just trying to go out there and make way for our playmakers to make plays. Being a tackle there was a lot more space and a lot more running which was the big part. I didn’t anticipate how out of breath I would be after every play so that was a little bit of a change up but I thought I did a good night’s job for the most part.”

VIRGINIA HEAD COACH MIKE LONDON

 

On what you tell the players after a game like that

“It’s a humbling experience when you come in and get beat like that. When you don’t execute well on defense or offense, things like that happen. There’s lot to look at. We’re not going to point fingers or blame anybody. That’s a good football team. They ran their style of offense, and they came out ready to play. We got too far of a hole dug to get out of, and they continued to play well. We tried to find some sort of balance and some sort of a rhythm, but could never get into it.”

 

On the big plays for Tech early in the game

“The first play was a touchdown, and the next one was two plays, about 60 yards, then there was another about 22 yards. It is demoralizing when you maybe have a guy right there that maybe missed a tackle or maybe had an assignment error. We talked about it at the beginning, this type of offense is assignment-oriented offense. When you don’t execute to the fullest extent, you can get hurt like that.”

 

Did the amount of missed tackles surprise you given the way the defense played against Penn State?

“Without looking at the film, I know they did break some tackles and get some extra yardage. That’s something we always try to limit with the first initial tackle. They just seemed to keep going faster and stronger, and it looked like we kind of wore out. We are a much better defense than that. But this type of offense got to us, and we didn’t execute the way we needed to, and you see the results. Then you have to score points and move the ball, and we didn’t do that.”

 

On injuries to the offensive line and how to get more rushing yardage

“We’ve got to get guys back healthy and buying into the fact that they have to execute better. We’ve got to take it per person, per man, per coach. We’ve got to prepare them better. There are always things when you lose a game like this, you’re quick to point fingers, you’ve got to do this, you’ve got to teach that. This is the third game of the season, and we see a lot of things we need to fix. Those guys in the locker room are my guys, and I’ve got to coach them better.

 

“Ultimately, the responsibility lies with me with the product that’s out on the field. I didn’t do a very good job of getting the team ready to play this team.”

 

On the Tech touchdown at the end of the first half and how that affected the team

“There are always things in those situations you look at in hindsight, should you have thrown the ball away, do you pull the ball down, or do you not take a sack. It’s frustrating the way the game turned out, and it’s frustrating for the players when they go back and look at stuff that they’ve been coached to do.

 

“But we got handled today. They did a good job executing every phase of their offense and defense. My hat goes off to them.

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