Nov. 17, 2012
GEORGIA TECH COACH Paul Johnson
“It was an exciting game. I’m awfully proud of our team. It was awfully similar to last week’s game, but there was less scoring because the drives were longer. We had some big plays. I’m proud of our guys. Tevin [Washington] played a great game. Vad’s [Lee] play was huge on fourth down getting the ball in the end zone. I thought he did some good things, but Tevin was more of the hot hand so we left him in. Defensively, it was similar to last week. We stopped them and we got some stops in the second half. Looking forward we’ll process this and we’ve got a tremendous challenge next week. We’ll do the best we can do.
On Tevin Washington’s career…
“I think that he is the epitome of perseverance. I couldn’t be happier for him to play his last home game and play like he did today. I thought he had some big pass plays for us, especially the touchdown pass to [Robert] Godhigh.”
On what Miami might do…
“I have no idea. All I know is that the worst we can do is tie for first in the Coastal Division. After the way the season started and everybody kind of wrote it off, I’m proud of these guys for hanging in there and fighting.”
On Robert Godhigh’s development…
“He’s played solid for us all year. Right now he’s the right guy in the right place. He’s answered the call. Orwin [Smith] went down in the fourth quarter and couldn’t come back, so Robbie was the next experienced guy. He made some plays.”
On any defensive changes in the second half…
“We didn’t make any adjustments. We just got them off the field. The thing that killed us in the first half was the kicking game. We lined up offsides a couple of times. In the second half we made some plays and put pressure on the quarterback.”
On being bowl eligible…
“That’s great. I’m excited for the kids and excited for the chance. That was one of our goals; to win a bowl game. You have to get in one to win one, so we have a chance to do that.”
DUKE COACH DAVID CUTCLIFFE
“The first thing I talked about with our team was Lee Butler. Lee suffered a knee injury that looks like it will require surgery. He has been a warrior for us five years, an extraordinary young man. I told Lee that things like that only happen to special people, because he’s capable of handling it. He is an incredible human being. Most of us couldn’t deal with what Lee has had to deal with in his career. We’ve got his back.
“I told our team, we’re in the midst of a significant season. We didn’t play poorly. As a matter of fact, we played good in a lot of areas. We played good on defense; they played better on offense. I know you find that strange, but let me explain playing this offense. We gave up very few explosives. We made some mistakes in the passing game, but not many. They had 20 third downs; we made them go the long way over and over again.
“Generally, when you play a team that runs this offense, they’re going to make a mistake. They’re going to fumble a snap, they’re going to fumble the exchange, they’re going to pitch one on the ground. They did not. I told Coach Johnson after the game that they played exceptionally on offense taking care of the ball. You’re not just going to shut them down.
“We’re still a work in progress. I loved the way we played; I thought we were all over the right spots from an assignment standpoint. We had somebody there all the time. I’d like to have tackled a little better at times. I’d like to have minimized the yards by the fullback. You would like a lot of things a little better.
“I told our offense early on that we’re in a possession game. That’s all football really is, but when they get minimized, that’s huge. We played good on offense, we just didn’t play great. When you miss a couple of beats in a game like this, it’s very difficult. That’s basically the story.
“I thought we played pretty darn well in the kicking game. Our young specialists played well. I thought our return game, most times, had a real shot. We probably outplayed them in that regard.
“But their offense staying on the field, playing as consistently as it did, we got behind the 8-ball.
“I told our young people that this game will teach us a lot about what we have to do, and we will be back in this position again. We’ll be back in November playing important football. Now you have to pay attention to all that went on and what we have to do to win these games in the future, and we will. We’ve got to work on becoming a bigger, stronger, more physical football team. All of those things were evident at times tonight.
“I told our seniors that I’m not down, I’m not frustrated. Sometimes the best efforts in life don’t pay off. We prepared well, you played extremely hard, you didn’t play poorly, but we didn’t win. It’s too significant a year to not prepare and play well against Miami. Our seniors are 5-1 in 2012 in Wallace Wade. I’m telling you, that’s hugely significant. We need to go prepare starting tomorrow night like a team that intends to win.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS
Tevin Washington R-SR QB #13
On his last home game
“Going into the game I wanted to make sure we came out with a lot of energy and focus as a senior class. As a team, everybody wanted to go out with a win. It’s the last home game and we wanted to play good for our fans.”
Ray Beno JR OL #64
On his reception
“Actually, it was a missed assignment on my part. I was actually supposed to block that corner. As soon as I say that I wasn’t going to make it, I stopped so I wouldn’t get a penalty or anything. I ducked down to make sure the ball would clear me. All I know is that the ball popped out of Chris Jackson’s hands and I said `hey, we need a big play right now.’ I just took it and ran with it. Luckily we got the first down.”
Jeremiah Attaochu JR LB #40
On the defensive performance
“We basically wanted to stay patient. Take everything series for series and drive for drive. When the time is right, when the moment is right, we closed out the game regardless of what happened in the first half. That’s the same attitude we’ve had the last couple of weeks. When mistakes are made you’ve got to come back and wipe them out and take it series for series.”
T.J. BARNES R-SR NT #90
On entering the Georgia game
“This is like momentum really to keep the team spirits up because hate week is next week. We’ll try to learn from this win and try to get this last Georgia victory for me and the seniors.”
Isaiah Johnson JR S #1
On setting the tone
“We had a goal set and wanted to live up to it. Coming back to this predicament we were in, we wanted to finish off the season on a good note. That really drives us. In the beginning of the game I just tried to live up to what we tried to do. That’s what we did.”
ROBBIE GODHIGH R-JR AB #25
Did you try to step up when Orwin Smith left the game with an injury?
“A little bit because he’s our leader at A-back and then he went down I put it on myself to keep the team going and keep going in stride.”