Sept. 29, 2012
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson
“I have to give Middle Tennessee a lot of credit. They have got some really good athletes and they just beat us. We got embarrassed and we just didn’t play with a whole lot of energy. The bottom line is we just didn’t do anything very good. I don’t want to take anything away from a great performance from Middle Tennessee State, but that’s probably my worst loss here.
“That’s probably as bad a tackling game as I have seen. When you do that and turn the ball over, you get beat. We really haven’t tackled very well for the last two weeks now. It looks like we’re running in mud.
“Clearly we had some issues, no doubt about that. We just weren’t ready to play. I thought we did all kinds of things, said all kinds of things this week to get them ready, but we just weren’t. So that comes back to me.
“I’m as disappointed as I’m sure the fans are. I’m embarrassed too and I’m going to do everything in my power to fix this and get it right. We’ve got a big challenge in front of us. Clemson has a good football team and we have to come out and play a lot harder than we did today, or it could be ugly.”
MTSU HEAD COACH RICK STOCKSTILL
“I’m just proud of my team. To come on the road and beat a great team here on their turf is a great win for us. It was a tremendous effort on our part. I thought we were extremely physical and tough, and that’s what we talked about during the week.
“We had some specific goals for our team coming in. Defensively we didn’t want to give up the big play. We wanted to play with our eyes and do our job. We pretty much did that. I know they had a 33- or 34-yard run in the first half, but our defense did a good job of keeping the ball in front of them. I thought we played the option and their offense really well.
“Offensively, we wanted to protect the ball and run our offense. The only disappointing thing was the turnover we had in the first half after we got the fumble on the kickoff. Logan (Kilgore) threw an interception on the first drive, but I thought he was great from a mentality standpoint, putting that behind him and managing the rest of the game.
“Offensively, I think we imposed our will on them, and that’s no disrespect to Georgia Tech. To be able to run the ball the way we did, we had some tough physical, 5,6,7,8-yard runs. I thought Benny ran extremely hard, ran behind his pads. Logan did a nice job of getting us in and out of some plays
On beating Tech head-to-head without using gimmicks
“Funny thing, we had a third and half a yard early in the game, and we tried a trick play. It was covered and we throw it away and get an intentional grounding called on us. That’s the last thing we did. Everything else was hard-nosed, physical, right at you. Our defense didn’t give up a point in the second half, which was incredible against this offense. I don’t think they stopped us the second half. We were very consistent. I thought our offense answered their offense.
“This was a hard-fought, physical game. I thought our conditioning was a factor in the game. We kept pushing, we kept pressing, and we kept coming after them. On defense, we were relentless. We were fast off the ground. We didn’t lay around.
On where this win ranks for the program
“I think this win means more because of the type of season Georgia Tech is having and the type of seasons they have had coming into this year. Maryland was coming off a down year when we beat them up there. This was a good football team that we beat [today].”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS
Tevin Washington R-SR QB #13
On the 2ND half offensively
“We had a couple bad breaks. I think we had it about four times in the second half and I think on two drives we had [turnovers]… a fumble on a pitch and the other we had an interception. I think we had bad breaks.”
Did the Miami loss carry over to this game?
“I don’t think so. I think we just didn’t come out ready to play today. They came out with an edge. Collectively as a team I think we could have done a better job getting up for this game. I don’t think the Miami loss had anything to do with it because we had washed that one and had a couple good practices on Tuesday and Wednesday. I think we didn’t come out ready to play as a team.”
Orwin Smith SR AB #17
On the offense’s mistakes
“That’s one of the main things that Coach [Johnson] put emphasis on is the missed assignments. That’s what hurts us. We made plays but when it was time for the real crucial ones that didn’t require much yardage we just couldn’t get them. That hurt us.”
On Tech’s first unsportsmanlike penalty
“I take fault on that one. That was just me being real intense out there. I go out every game with that fire. I’ve just got find a way for other guys to do it too. I can’t really remember what exactly happened but I know he bumped me after the play. I hate any type of contact after the whistle. That’s just the way I am. I like to play fair and when I feel like when the game isn’t played fair I need the ref to say something. Me personally I need to relax. But I did push him back and like how Coach always says the second guy gets called.”
Jabari Hunt-Days R-FR LB #32
On his interception
“It was a specific coverage that Coach had us running. I had the 3 receiver over to the back so I followed him through and made the play.”
Quayshawn Nealy R-SO LB #54
Did Coach Groh’s position in the press box rather than on the field effect the defense?
“Not at all. We started practice with Joe Speed calling the plays from practice. Last week we had problems getting the play calls faster and we thought that helped out. It helped us. It just came down to doing your job.”
On Tech’s tackling
“We have so many tackling drills in practice and we emphasized it so much. We were prepared to tackle because we practiced it so much, but guys were just missing tackles. I don’t know what to say about that.”