Aug 31, 2013
GEORGIA TECH HEAD COACH Paul Johnson
“Well, obviously when you win by a score that large, you did some things well. We need to build on those. There’s also an awful lot that we didn’t do well. We’ve got a lot to work on to get ready. Right now, the plan is that we’ll take a couple of days off and come back on Wednesday and get ready for league play.”
“We have to go up to Duke. It’s been an awfully tough game the last couple of years and that’s a hard place to go play. We’re going to try to clean up what we did do well and learn from that and accentuate the positive, move on and get better.”
Was one of the positives, asides from scoring as many points as you did, that you didn’t put the ball on the ground today?
“I’ll tell you, actually, we didn’t. It was a crazy game. I think we ran three plays in the second quarter. It got out of hand so quickly and you have some things that you want to try and work on. Anytime that you have the turnovers that our defense got and you score on defense and then we blocked a punt, it’s kind of a screwy game. I think time of possession, I looked at it at half, and they were two to one. They had the ball 20 minutes and we had it 10. We did some things well. We hit some big plays which is what you would hope would happen against a team from that division.”
Was the quirkiness of the game and the defensive scores part of the reason you left Vad (Lee) in a little bit longer maybe after the game got out of hand?
“He only played two series in the second half. The first series, we wanted to establish the B-back because we really hadn’t tried to do that. We did that some. The last series, we were planning on letting him play one more series to throw the ball and work on that. As you can see, the pass protection, lord knows we need it. We are turning guys loose off the edge left and right. So that was it. All told, I bet you when it’s said and done, the kid didn’t play 30 plays. It’s kind of the nature of the beast. You never want to do that. In fact, the last touchdown, I told my man that if he broke into the clear, to take a knee. He just kind of smiled and said, come on coach, I haven’t played in two years. You have to let them play to some degree. “
What were some things that didn’t go the way you wanted them to?
“I don’t know what our third down conversions defensively were. They couldn’t have been great. We had a hard time getting them off the field. The good thing was that when they got down there, we didn’t let them score. They were 6-of-16 [on third down conversions]. That’s still not what we achieve for. I’m sure if coach Roof was here, he would tell you he would want to be better than that. The bottom line is, is they didn’t score. That’s what happens when you get turnovers like that. The game was out of reach before the offense really had to do anything. When we started the game, the defense got a few turnovers and the game’s gone. To the credit of the offense, they went out there and took advantage of it but it was really a short field.”
ELON HEAD COACH JASON SWEPSON
“We have a good trip down here and wanted to get off to a good start, but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. We had the turnover early, second or third play of the game, and then the blocked punt, so it was 14-0 right off the bat.
“We struggled to get into our rhythm. Our defense was put into short field opportunities by Georgia Tech, and you can’t do that against any team, especially against Georgia Tech.
“The positives are that we had a lot of young kids play college football for the first time, and I think we’ve got some good young talent. It was a great eye-opening experience for those young men, but as a team we’ve got to get better. We’ve got an opportunity to have a good football team.
“Obviously this one hurts, just by the score along, but when we look at the film, I think we’ll see some good things. Some of the guys who stood out for me were Odell Bennett, who has a couple of [tackles for loss]. He played a lot of football for us, and I’m excited about the rest of his season. On offense, B.J. Bennett was playing his first football game coming off g shoulder surgery from a year ago, and I think he’s a talent. Gordon Acha played eight and left tackle for us; he’s a red-shirt freshman playing his first college football game. To ask a young man to do that, I think he held his own, and he was quite remarkable. [QB Mike Quinn] will get better. He’s not going to be in a bigger environment than this one.
“I told the team we can only take this as a learning experience. We’ve got to look at the film and get better individually and better as a team.
“Our young punter (Petroni) showed his leg, and Gallagher put one in the end zone.
“So I think we have some good, young talent. We’ve got a chance to get better this week and go from there.”
GEORGIA TECH PLAYER QUOTES
Vad Lee R-SO QB #2
On his touchdown pass to Robbie Godhigh
“I was really using my eyes on that pass. I told Robbie (Godhigh) that we don’t win unless he scores on a touchdown pass because it seems that he always scores. I used my eyes and worked the corner on that and Robbie ran a great route. That was the easy part.”
On the play of WR Michael Summers
“Big time. On the long pass down the field, it was a duck, and he went to go get it. That’s a confidence builder for me to know that I can trust him going deep, and I can throw any kind of ball and he will go get it. That was big time.”
BRANDON WATTS R-SR LB #11
On the shutout
“They (defensive line) took up a lot of blockers and we were able to run around them and make plays. Credit them because they have the hardest job taking on blockers.”
“It meant a lot. That’s the first one we’ve had since I’ve been here. When the 2’s and 3’s went in we were cheering them on.”
TYLER MARCODES R-SO LB #35
On the play of the defense
“A lot of guys got good reps today, and we got to see our depth on defense and see guys make plays. Jabari (Hunt-Days) got a pick, and Chris Milton got a pick for a touchdown so we had a lot of big plays on D.”
Jabari Hunt-Days R-SO LB #32
On his return to action after missing spring practice with an injury
“It felt good. It’s definitely a continuous practice from the end of last season to now. It’s not about what I do individually but about the whole team. As a team, everybody progressed today and we had a fun time.”
Harrison Butker FR K #87
On his first game
“It was really exciting. Last year I went to all the home games and I envisioned myself kicking and I finally was today. It was a dream come true.”